EDITOR: Before I get hate mail for this title, the play on words between Obama Nation versus Abomination, is not mine originally. It comes directly from the one black lady in the front, towards the left, in the Prop 8 Musical starring Jack Black as Jesus Christ.
The Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team has released its official civil rights agenda. The section on LGBT rights includes federal civil unions.Why shouldn't the title read, "Equality Promised"?
"While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do," President-Elect Barack Obama is quoted as saying. "Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It's about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect." The passage on relationship recognition goes much farther than modest proposals currently pending in Congress to extend domestic partner benefits to federal employees:
Support Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBT Couples:Barack Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions. These rights and benefits include the right to assist a loved one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and property rights.Other LGBT highlights of the Obama plan:
- Expand Hate Crimes Statutes: passing the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act;
- Fight Workplace Discrimination: pass Employment Non-Discrimination Act;
- Repeal Don't Ask-Don't Tell;
- Oppose a Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage;
- Expand Adoption Rights;
- Promote AIDS Prevention;
- Expanding beyond abstinence-only sexual education;
- Ending the federal ban on needle exchange
(NOTE: Please play video after reading the EDITOR'S following commentary.
To find out more check the video credits below.)
Have we Queers all forgotten that these pledges to Our Community have been made before? These promises are held up as beacon for us to follow blindly. Only to be left dismayed, shocked, and found to be neglected and used by these same politicians, six months to a year later. We have been running around as long as the Hebrew slaves in the camel's sandbox. As of June of next year, it will have been forty years since Stonewall.It is time to enter into the promises of our land of the free and home of the brave.
We're HERE!; We're QUEER!. Get over yourselves, please!
Contrary to what has happened in the past, we will no longer sit idly by to watch our hopes for equality fall on the ground, get trampled over time and time again, and then wither away. We will no longer be forced to accept another one of our fellow Community members being discriminated against or killed, because we failed yet again to realize The American Dream. Now, is the time for no more Mr. Nice Gay! We will gain the recognition that "all men are created equal" is not just words on a piece of paper but a self evident and fundamental truth that this beautiful Country of ours was founded on, and will now live by!
THIS ISNT AN ISSUE TO BE DEBATED. My children will see EQUALITY in my lifetime! IT IS THE CRY OF THE HUMAN HEART TO HAVE LIBERTY IN LAW.
LGBT Leaders Voice Concerns Over Lack of Openly Gay AppointeesGay ambassador likely to return under Clinton State Dept. by The Associated Press | 05 DEC 08
Kerry Eleveld | The Advocate | 08 DEC 08
The LGBT community played a prominent role in helping elevate President-elect Obama to the highest office in the land and now some powerful activists are hoping to see more inclusion in senior-level administration positions. No openly gay people have gotten the nod to date. Quiet concern among some LGBT activists has shifted to a low rumble over the fact that a majority of senior-level White House staffers and cabinet posts have been announced and not a single openly gay person is in the mix. One gay Democrat noted that the first tier of senior assistants to the president had been chosen and 8 of 15 cabinet secretaries have been announced and yet the LGBT community still has no representation....
Two factors in particular make the absence even more glaring. First, most other interest groups... already see themselves reflected in the President’s inner circle.... The source said LGBT folks inside the Beltway already saw red flags when the transition co-chairs and advisory board members listed on the website failed to include any members of the gay community.
... The LGBT community has one of the most well orchestrated processes for presenting qualified ...glbt... candidates to the Presidential Personnel Project. The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund along with the help of 10 other groups has already collected 1,400 resumes through their Presidential Appointments Project and delivered a binder full of qualified candidates to the transition team.....
Victory Fund spokesperson Denis Dison said the project started collecting resumes in January of this year and the process continues. He noted that about 3,000 appointments would be made overall, the vast majority of which have yet to be made. But he shared the sense of urgency about senior level positions at a time when most Beltway types believe the cabinet will be settled within the next two weeks.....
.... No openly gay, bisexual, or transgender person has ever served as a cabinet secretary. Members of the community who are widely considered to top the list for inclusion in the Obama administration are:
.... The anonymous DC insider did express optimism about future appointments. “This is the kind of problem that's easily fixable,” he said. “But they need to be called into account – the community needs to stand up and say, ‘We're part of the team here, we helped you get elected and we need to be at the table.'”....
- Mary Beth Maxwell, ... for Secretary of Labor
- John Berry, ... for Secretary of the Interior
- Fred Hochberg, ... for Small Business Administration
- Tobias Wolff, ... for Justice Department, or for Deputy White House Counsel
(EDITOR: This article has been cropped to main points. To read the full article click here, please.)
(Washington) Preparing for her new role as secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton is moving to surround herself with a cast of die-hard loyalists and veterans of her husband’s administration to help her cope with world crises and backstage Washington power plays.
One notable name on the list is Michael Guest, one of only two openly gay ambassadors ever to represent the United States overseas. Guest resigned from the foreign service in mid-career last December to protest the State Department’s treatment of same-sex partners of diplomats....UPDATE: Guest became the nation’s second openly gay ambassador when Bush appointed him to the Romania post for a term lasting from 2001 to 2003. Guest had served for nearly 20 years as a career U.S. Foreign Service officer at the time Bush named him ambassador to Romania in 2001. After completing his term as ambassador in 2003, he became dean of the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute, which trains Foreign Service officers. Guest created a stir in 2007 when he announced he was retiring from government service, in part, to protest a State Department policy that denies spousal benefits, including security protections, to same-sex partners of Foreign Service officers stationed at overseas posts. He said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had authority to provide some of the partner benefits but she declined to do so. Earlier this year, Guest said he was supporting Obama’s presidential bid..... And to deal with internal Obama administration affairs, State Department bureaucratic politics and media pressures, the former first lady appears set to tap current Senate aides and former White House “Hillaryland” stalwarts, whose reputation for insularity and staunch protectiveness has already set off anxiety among career foreign service officers. State Department officials say they have been told to expect visits as early as next week from Clinton advisers who are working with President-elect Barack Obama’s incoming transition team. Members of the new administration’s team have been at State since mid-November, getting briefings and visiting officials there. Neither the transition team nor Clinton’s office would comment.
(SOURCE: TAKEN FROM ARTICLE BELOW FOR CONTINUITY WITHIN THIS FORUM)
(Source: 365 Gay News); (Cartoon: by Gary Varvel of the Indy Star)
UPDATE: That is 7 queers of 300 appointees! Now granted this article is old; however, it does show an interesting pattern. Mr. Obama, do you realize you are 23 fags short on quota? ):
Obama names 7 gays to transition team
By LOU CHIBBARO JR, | Washington Blade | 18 Nov 08
Officials with President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team this week named at least seven openly gay people to transition panels assigned to review federal departments and agencies. Three of the seven gays named to the transition panels: Fred P. Hochberg, business man; Roberta Achtenberg, former San Francisco Supervisor , and Elaine Kaplan, a labor attorney whom all held high-level positions in the Clinton administration. The Obama officials also named President Bush’s former ambassador to Romania, Michael Guest, to a transition panel assigned to review issues pertaining to the State Department (see article above).The Color Out Of Colorado: Video is courtesy of Sean Ray. These are the men of "Testify To Love", @ the 7th annual Cabaret to Fight AIDS, singing "Color Out Of Colorado" from Howard Crabtree's When Pigs Fly. Singers: Ryan Rigazzi is the lead, with Jorge Hernandez, Steve Valdez, Wade Crosson and Sean Ray. Musicians: Ron Jenkins, piano; Ben Bernstein, bass; and Erika Johnson, drums. Location: The Rrazz Room, San Francisco, CA. 22nd of April, 2008.
“The Agency Review Teams for the Obama-Biden Transition will complete a thorough review of key departments, agencies and commissions of the United States government as well as the White House,” a statement posted Monday on the transition team web site states. The teams will “provide the president-elect, the vice president-elect, and key advisors with information needed to make strategic policy, budgetary, and personnel decisions prior to the inauguration,” the statement says.
Hochberg, a longtime gay Democratic Party activist from New York, served from 1998 through 2001 as President Clinton’s deputy and later acting administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Achtenberg served as Clinton’s Assistant Secretary of Housing and Equal Opportunity at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. She later served as senior adviser to then HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros during Clinton’s second term in office. Kaplan served in the Clinton administration as head of the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, which is charged, among other things, with enforcing federal personnel policies and laws that prohibit discrimination against federal workers. Kaplan put in place policies that protected federal employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation. The other openly gay members named to the transition review teams, include:
Last week, reports surfaced that Obama was considering appointing his highest-ranking gay campaign official, deputy campaign manager Steve Hildebrand, as successor to Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean. Dean announced last week that he would not seek another term as chair. Obama transition spokesperson Stephanie Cutter has said neither Obama nor the transition team would comment on any potential appointees to government or party positions until such appointments are officially announced over the next several weeks.
- Rick Stamberger, president and CEO of SmartBrief, Inc., an online news publisher;
- Brad Kiley, an official with the Center for American Progress think tank;
- Thomas Soto, co-founder of Craton Equity Partners, a large “clean technology” investment fund based in Southern California.
(Source: THE SOUTHERN VOICE. My apologies for the crop job see below for an explanation.)
Explanation: Apologies to all of F6's loyal readers for the crop job. Whomever the Southern Voice and/or Washington Blade Editor that allowed this article to the printer needs to go back to school. I had to story board the original article three times in order to pull out the prurient parts of the article text versus the title.