Following President Obama’s less-than-stirring promise to repeal Dont’ Ask, Don’t Tell “this year,” many advocacy groups are asking Obama to show them the money (via Joe.My.God).
Lambda Legal: “We have heard promises before about ending ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and we welcome the President’s statement tonight that the time has finally come to fulfill that promise. Very little has changed since Lambda Legal represented Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer 18 years ago after she was discharged for being a lesbian.”
NGLTF: “While we know the State of the Union speech aims to present broad visions, the next time President Obama speaks to or about our community, he must provide a concrete blueprint for his leadership and action moving forward — this includes his willingness to stop the discharges happening on his watch until Congress can fulfill its responsibility to overturn the law. The time for broad statements is over. The time to get down to business is overdue.”
John Aravosis points out, though, that while Obama didn’t tie himself to many specifics, he did give a timeline (“this year”), he promised a “repeal” and not a “change” of the legislation, and he did not pass the buck to Congress by “calling on them” to do anything.
Still, the Joint Chiefs of Staff were pretty unhappy with the proposal, sitting on their hands while the rest of the chamber stood and clapped during the DADT portion of the speech.
For their part, the National Stonewall Democrats “welcomed” the pledge, but were hoping Obama would address employment discrimination. However, activists are bitterly pointing out that ENDA is likely “off the agenda” this congress.
Watch the full speech here:
D.C. – Lost in the SOTU ruckus is Rep. Jared Polis’ (D-CO) brand-new “Student Non-Discrimination Bill.” I haven’t had time to read the text of the legislation, but the bill (which is starting out with 60 co-sponsors) looks like an anti-bullying bill. (The DC Agenda)
California – David Boies again turns ProtectMarriage.com’s witnesses against them. As the head of Focus on the Family said at the start of the trial, Prop 8’s proponents are not expecting to win until the case comes before the Supreme Court. Timothy Kincaid of The Box Turtle Bulletin hits the nail on the head:
The Pro-8 side is counting on the SCOTUS not recognizing gay people as a suspect class and therefore there only needing to be a rational basis for discrimination. And the belief, however mistaken, that biological parental marriage would be damaged by same-sex marriage would be the basis they have presented.
(Box Turtle Bulletin, Prop8trialtracker.com)
Indiana – Hundreds of LGBT Notre Dame students march through campus to deliver a letter to the university’s president protesting the college’s anti-LGBT policies, including a refusal to recognize the campus GSA and add sexual orientation to the school’s non-discrimination policies. School officials reply with a “that’s nice, dear,” claiming current policies are sufficient to protect students. (Towleroad, The Advocate)
Uganda – The Family confirms that the expected Ugandan delegation is not coming to the National Prayer Breakfast. Sounds like The Family is trying to put more distance between themselves and the “Kill Gays” bill. (Box Turtle Bulletin)