Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Archives OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor


  WINDY CITY TIMES

Obama: LGBT disappointment not justified
News update Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010
by Lisa Keen, Keen News Service
2010-10-27

This article shared 2629 times since Wed Oct 27, 2010
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


President Obama said Oct. 27 that he does not think the "disillusionment" that some in the LGBT community have for his administration thus far is "justified." He also refused to say whether he believes "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ( DADT ) is unconstitutional. And he said he has a strategy for getting the military ban on gays repealed in the lame-duck session.

The remarks came during a 45-minute group interview with a group of five progressive bloggers. Only one of the five was gay: Joe Sudbay, who blogs at AmericaBlog.com . The interview took place in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, a daily meeting room next to the Oval Office.

The interview took place just one day after the president "dropped by" a meeting between senior White House officials and 10 LGBT activists discussing strategy for passing DADT repeal language during the lame-duck Senate next month.

Sudbay told the president "there is a certain amount of disillusionment and disappointment in our community right now." And he asked whether President Obama thinks DADT is unconstitutional.

"It's not a simple yes-or-no question, because I'm not sitting on the Supreme Court," said Obama, who, ironically, taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School before running for the U.S. Senate. Obama suggested his reluctance to answer the question was out of respect for the different roles played by Congress and the Supreme Court.

"But here's what I can say," said Obama. "I think 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is wrong. I think it doesn't serve our national security, which is why I want it overturned. I think that the best way to overturn it is for Congress to act."

The House has passed language to repeal DADT in the annual defense-authorization bill. The language included a provision that requires the president, the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff to sign a statement "certifying" that the repeal will not have a negative impact on the military's readiness. But the same measure was blocked in the Senate after Republicans, led by John McCain, staged a filibuster. Democrats came up three votes short of the 60 needed to break the filibuster.

Then, Obama addressed the "larger issue … about disillusionment and disappointment."

"I guess my attitude is that we have been as vocal, as supportive of the LGBT community, as any president in history," said Obama. "I've appointed more openly gay people to more positions in this government than any president in history. We have moved forward on a whole range of issues that were directly under my control, including, for example, hospital visitation.

Regarding DADT he said, "I have been as systematic and methodical in trying to move that agenda forward as I could be given my legal constraints, given that Congress had explicitly passed a law designed to tie my hands on the issue. And so, I'll be honest with you, I don't think that the disillusionment is justified."

"Now, I say that as somebody who appreciates that the LGBT community very legitimately feels these issues in very personal terms," continued the president. "So it's not my place to counsel patience. ... I don't begrudge the LGBT community pushing, but the flip side of it is that this notion somehow that this administration has been a source of disappointment to the LGBT community, as opposed to a stalwart ally of the LGBT community, I think is wrong."

Later on, Sudbay got in another question—this time on same-sex marriage and the Defense of Marriage Act ( DOMA ) .

"Since you've become president, a lot has changed. More states have passed marriage equality laws. This summer a federal judge declared DOMA unconstitutional in two different cases. A judge in San Francisco declared Prop 8 was unconstitutional. And I know during the campaign you often said you thought marriage was the union between a man and a woman, and there—like I said, when you look at public opinion polling, it's heading in the right direction. We've actually got Republicans like Ted Olson and even Ken Mehlman on our side now. So I just really want to know what is your position on same-sex marriage?"

Obama said he is a "strong supporter of civil unions" but that he has been "unwilling to sign onto same-sex marriage primarily because of my understandings of the traditional definitions of marriage.

"But I also think you're right that attitudes evolve, including mine," said the president. "And I think that it is an issue that I wrestle with and think about because I have a whole host of friends who are in gay partnerships. I have staff members who are in committed, monogamous relationships, who are raising children, who are wonderful parents. And I care about them deeply. And so while I'm not prepared to reverse myself here, sitting in the Roosevelt Room at 3:30 in the afternoon, I think it's fair to say that it's something that I think a lot about. That's probably the best you'll do out of me today."

Sudbay quickly asked a final question—whether there is a strategy for passing DADT repeal in the lame-duck session.

"Yes," said President Obama.

"And you're going to be involved?" asked Sudbay.

"Yes," said the president.

"Will Secretary Gates be involved?" asked Sudbay.

"I'm not going to tip my hand now. But there is a strategy," Obama responded.

The president added, "I was very deliberate in working with the Pentagon, so that I've got the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs being very clear about the need to end this policy. That is part of a strategy that I have been pursuing since I came into office. And my hope is that will culminate in getting this thing overturned before the end of the year."

Then Obama seemed to take a swipe at the lawsuit being pressed by the Log Cabin Republicans—a lawsuit that has, thus far, been successful in having DADT declared unconstitutional in a federal district court. It is now before the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, where the Obama administration is defending it.

He suggested the LGBT community needs to be "making sure that all those Log Cabin Republicans who helped to finance this lawsuit and who feel about this issue so passionately are working the handful of Republicans that we need [ in the Senate ] to get this thing done. ... I mean, it's just—I don't understand the logic of it. You're financing a very successful, very effective legal strategy, and yet the only really thing you need to do is make sure that we get two to five Republican votes in the Senate."

Obama said he told "the Log Cabin Republican who was here yesterday," R. Clarke Cooper, executive director of the national gay Republican group, "that can't be that hard. Get me those votes."

"Because what I do anticipate is that John McCain and maybe some others will filibuster this issue, and we're going to have to have a cloture vote," said Obama. "If we can get through that cloture vote, this is done."

An aide arrived soon thereafter and beckoned the president to his next "event."

The interview was the first time any one from the LGBT media has been given an opportunity to ask questions of the president since he took office in January 2009. Repeated requests from this reporter have been routinely turned down, including one made less than a month ago.

Sudbay said he has no idea why he was selected to participate with the group of bloggers in the interview.

"It's not like AMERICAblog hasn't been pretty tough on the Obama administration," said Sudbay. He said there were no restrictions placed on his questions during the interview.

Other bloggers who participated included Barbara Morrill from DailyKos, John Amato from Crooks & Liars, Oliver Willis from OliverWillis.com and Duncan Black from eschatonblog.

The White House has made a complete transcript of the interview available, although it was not up on the whitehouse.gov website as of Oct. 27. It is on americablog.com .

The president acknowledged, at the start of the sit-down, that the progressive bloggers reach "a huge part of my base," and the timing of the interview suggests it is part of the president's ramped-up effort to rally the Democratic Party's base to go to the polls Nov. 2 and preserve the current majorities in the House and Senate.

The administration this week touted the president's record number of openly gay appointees, sent out a guideline to schools about the need to comply with federal laws that obligate them to prevent bullying, and held the DADT strategy meeting with activists.

©2010 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


This article shared 2629 times since Wed Oct 27, 2010
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

SAVOR Less is more for out chef Art Smith during pandemic 2020-06-09
DISH Dining Guide - When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. Just ask Art Smith. During the coronavirus pandemic—the culinary expert who has cooked for luminaries such as Oprah Winfrey, the Obamas and Nelson Mandela—has employed a healthful plan ...


Gay News

Report: Trump aiming to remove protections for LGBTQ patients 2020-04-25
- The Trump administration is moving to remove an Obama-era policy that protected LGBTQ patients from discrimination, Politico reported. The health department is close to finalizing its long-developing rewrite of Obamacare's ...


Gay News

Barack Obama backs Joe Biden for president 2020-04-14
- On April 14, former President Barack Obama offered a video endorsement of his close confidant and friend, former Vice President Joe Biden. "Choosing Joe to be my vice president was one of the best decisions I ...


Gay News

Greer named Biden's LGBTQ liaison 2020-03-23
- Reggie Greer—a D.C-based LGBTQ advocate who has worked as an Obama administration appointee and point person for LGBTQ elected officials—has been named LGBTQ vote director for Joseph Biden, The Washington Blade reported. "It's an honor of ...


Gay News

Obama portraits in Chicago in 2021 2020-01-26
- The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery has announced a five-city tour next year of the portraits of President Barack Obama and Mrs. Michelle Obama by artists Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, respectively, that will launch during the ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Best LGBTQ films, Eddie Murphy, Obama's songs, DJ retires 2020-01-07
- Advocate released its list of the 30 best LGBTQ films of the 2010s. Some on the list include Appropriate Behavior, Moonlight, The Kids Are All Right, Spa Life, The Handmaiden, Colette, Tangerine, Weekend, Booksmart, Rafiki, Beats ...


Gay News

2020 ELECTIONS Presidential candidates make pleas during Iowa LGBT debate 2019-09-21
- Several Democratic candidates seemed to throw President Obama under the metaphorical bus Sept. 20, as they sought to illustrate how they didn't take as long as other Democrats to "evolve" on LGBT issues. Former Vice President ...


Gay News

High-school complex to be named after Michelle Obama 2019-03-09
- Michelle Obama's Chicago high school alma mater, Whitney Young High School, will name its new $4.3-million athletic complex after the former first lady, according to an WGNTV.com item that cites The Chicago Sun-Times. Obama graduated from ...


Gay News

An evening with Michelle 2019-01-02
- Former First Lady Michelle Obama swept into Boston recently as part of the national book tour promoting her memoir Becoming; the event was held at the TD Garden. The evening before the event, my spouse and ...


Gay News

NATIONAL: Military lawsuit, Ohio's pro-trans measure, Obama highway 2018-12-26
- Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN, with partner law firm Winston & Strawn, filed a lawsuit on behalf of two HIV-positive members of the United States Air Force who were given discharge orders just days before the holiday ...


Gay News

DeVos Rescinds Obama Guidance, Leadership Conference responds 2018-12-18
- WASHINGTON — Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on the School Safety Commission's report: "The School Safety Commission report lays out policies and practices ...


Gay News

AMA criticizes Obamacare ruling 2018-12-15
- Saying that the Affordable Care Act's (ACA's) mandate requiring people to buy health insurance is unconstitutional and the rest of the law cannot stand without it, Judge Reed O'Connor of the Federal District Court in Fort ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Mich. lawsuit, Michelle Obama, Harvey Milk, gay teen politician 2018-11-20
- Lambda Legal and Michigan Protection & Advocacy Service (MPAS) announced the successful settlement of a 2015 lawsuit filed on behalf of John Dorn against the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC), a Lambda Legal press release noted. ...


Gay News

Michelle Obama giving book-tour tickets to groups 2018-11-07
- Michelle Obama and Live Nation have announced a selection of the local and community organizations that will receive free admission to the former first lady's upcoming book tour, Becoming: An Intimate Conversation With Michelle Obama. Obama's ...


Gay News

Michelle Obama giving book-tour tickets to groups 2018-10-29
- Michelle Obama and Live Nation have announced a selection of the local and community organizations that will receive free admission to the former first lady's upcoming book tour, Becoming: An Intimate Conversation With Michelle Obama. Obama's ...


 



Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS






About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Archives OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.