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Obama Gets on Board

October 23, 2010

The other day I posted about the It Gets Better Project by Dan Savage (check out the new website, it’s much better than the Youtube site it replaced).

Well a few days ago our President, Mr. Barack Obama, submitted a video himself. A wonderful gesture from the President. It’s amazing to see our leader support a grass roots effort against the bullying of our nations youth. So kudos to Dan Savage for starting the project, and kudos to the President for supporting it. See the video below:

I think it’s a wonderful video. As with most of Barack’s speeches it’s eloquent, concise, and effective. I also think it’s wonderful to see a man who represents hope and change in this country to speak out and give hope to our nations youth. If one listens carefully, however, one can see the fine line Mr. Obama is balancing on. He addresses the topic of bullying and denounces it, while at the same time trying to avoid strong language that supports the gay rights movement.

According to the White House blog he’s very committed to stamp out bullying. In August 2010 he put together an anti-bully summit to bring together 150 different groups to discuss the topic of bullying, and the dangers of it. Check out the blog entry here for more information, and for more information and some great links on anti-bullying. A wonderful gesture. But as I mentioned in my past post- the real issue here is the nations unacceptable attitude towards LGBT sexuality, not just bullying.

But to be fair he does discuss the issue of equality. After he addresses the dangers of bullying he goes onto address discrimination, “… not just discrimination against LGBT Americans, but discrimination in all its forms.” He says that, “… as adults it’s important that we set an example in our own lives. And that we treat everybody with respect. That we are able to see the world through other peoples eyes, and stands in other peoples shoes.” A wonderful message, but a message I want to respond to with: put your money where your mouth is. If you truly believe in equality of all Americans then support the execution of it.

During his 2008 election campaign Obama was definitive in his stance on gay marriage. He was for a civil union, but against gay marriage. Civil unions allow homosexual couples to have the same rights as straight couples: hospital visits, transfer property, and a handful of other advantages one gets in marriage. But he still states that marriage is something to be reserved for a man and a woman. This confusing stance is basically a political “having your cake and eating it too.” But to me this is a matrimonial equivalent of segregated water fountains. Both whites and blacks get to drink water, but one is still seen as a second class citizen. The LGBT community doesn’t just want equal rights, they want to be seen as equals and respected as such. Another hot topic right now is the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, something that is getting heavily reviewed in our court system right now. An incredible article by an unknown gay soldier released in The Week reveals the true evils of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. The repeal of DADT (like gay marriage) is an issue of equality, not legal entitlements. I understand the political suicide one could be committing in supporting one side or the other, but Obama was elected because the people want change. And a lot of supporters are expecting him to bring it.

You may not know it, but right now we’re standing on the cusp of a very important time in history. Gay rights are right around the corner, and the battle is happening right now. If the President is truly for equality he needs to recognize that this country is in a fight, and he needs to choose a side.

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