Oh Glenn, will you please go away and STFU?!
I first wrote back in March about the Census’s plan not to count any same-sex unions/marriages in 2010 – even if they are legal in the citizens’ home state – because DOMA defines marriage as a union between opposite-sex individuals.
But Obama has apparently decided to throw the angry gay community another bone.
The Washington Post reports today:
The administration has directed the Census Bureau to determine changes needed in tabulation software to allow for same-sex marriage data to be released early in 2011 with other detailed demographic information from the decennial count. The bureau historically hasn’t released same-sex marriage data.
The article further notes that the Census has “long” collected data on same-sex unions but simply refused to publish it, again citing complying with DOMA as the deciding factor.
I’m not sure how that can be true since the little understanding I have of it is simply that gay couples would be registered as “unmarried couples,” which does nothing to distinguish them from straight couples who chose not to marry.
It would be nice to have government produced numbers on gay couples since it would provide some good data on the number of people the government is discriminating against.
Needless to say, whatever numbers they do produce (if they produce them at all), are bound to be controversial.
From the press release:
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Forty years ago, patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn in New York City resisted police harassment that had become all too common for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Out of this resistance, the LGBT rights movement in America was born. During LGBT Pride Month, we commemorate the events of June 1969 and commit to achieving equal justice under law for LGBT Americans.
LGBT Americans have made, and continue to make, great and lasting contributions that continue to strengthen the fabric of American society. There are many well-respected LGBT leaders in all professional fields, including the arts and business communities. LGBT Americans also mobilized the Nation to respond to the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic and have played a vital role in broadening this country’s response to the HIV pandemic.
Due in no small part to the determination and dedication of the LGBT rights movement, more LGBT Americans are living their lives openly today than ever before. I am proud to be the first President to appoint openly LGBT candidates to Senate-confirmed positions in the first 100 days of an Administration. These individuals embody the best qualities we seek in public servants, and across my Administration — in both the White House and the Federal agencies — openly LGBT employees are doing their jobs with distinction and professionalism.
The LGBT rights movement has achieved great progress, but there is more work to be done. LGBT youth should feel safe to learn without the fear of harassment, and LGBT families and seniors should be allowed to live their lives with dignity and respect.
My Administration has partnered with the LGBT community to advance a wide range of initiatives. At the international level, I have joined efforts at the United Nations to decriminalize homosexuality around the world. Here at home, I continue to support measures to bring the full spectrum of equal rights to LGBT Americans. These measures include enhancing hate crimes laws, supporting civil unions and Federal rights for LGBT couples, outlawing discrimination in the workplace, ensuring adoption rights, and ending the existing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in a way that strengthens our Armed Forces and our national security. We must also commit ourselves to fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic by both reducing the number of HIV infections and providing care and support services to people living with HIV/AIDS across the United States.
These issues affect not only the LGBT community, but also our entire Nation. As long as the promise of equality for all remains unfulfilled, all Americans are affected. If we can work together to advance the principles upon which our Nation was founded, every American will benefit. During LGBT Pride Month, I call upon the LGBT community, the Congress, and the American people to work together to promote equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2009 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of the United States to turn back discrimination and prejudice everywhere it exists.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
first day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.
“Federal rights”? Hmm…
I would love to see the Federal government recognize marriages that are recognized as such in the states where they were performed. It wouldn’t be nationwide equality, but it would allow all those peeps in Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, and other states with gay marriage, to enjoy the Federal-level benefits of marriage (like the enormous tax breaks).
Outside the Beverly Hills location of last night’s event, groups waving pride flags protested the California Supreme Court’s recent Prop. 8 decision (above). Obama apparently made eye contact with one of them as he entered the building, as he referenced them in his remarks:
“One of them said, ‘Obama keep your promise,’ ” the president said. “I thought that’s fair. I don’t know which promise he was talking about.”
Not funny, Obama. Not. Funny.
Photographs of Iraqi prisoner abuse which U.S. President Barack Obama does not want released include images of apparent rape and sexual abuse, Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper reported on Thursday. […]
“These pictures show torture, abuse, rape and every indecency,” [U.S. Major General Antonio] Taguba, who retired in January 2007, was quoted as saying in the paper. […]
Based on what he’s seen, Taguba supports Obama’s decision not to release the photos: “The mere depiction of these pictures is horrendous enough, take my word for it.”
The newspaper said at least one picture showed an American soldier apparently raping a female prisoner while another is said to show a male translator raping a male detainee.
Others are said to depict sexual assaults with objects including a truncheon [aka baton], wire and a phosphorescent tube.
There are 400 cases alleging abuse.
I understand the distinction between so-called enhanced interrogation (or methods that may be considered torture) and abuse: one is sanctioned through the chain of command and the other is not.
However, as the details and the breadth of this abuse becomes more known, one has to wonder the validity of the ‘a few bad apples’ defense applied to Private Lynndie England et al.
If the military runs a prison and establishes a culture in that prison – obviously shaped and sanctioned by commanding officers – such that abuse is disturbingly heinous and increasingly common, does the sanctioning and perpetuation of that culture by superior officers not push those acts from abuse to torture?
On an LGBT note, that instance of male/male rape is not going to be good for efforts to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
I was happy I caught the beginning of “The Daily Show” last night because Jon, as he does better than anyone in media, highlighted the ridiculous juxtaposition of the torture debate/prisoner abuse photo ‘scandal’ with the administration’s lack of action on DADT, specifically in regards to Dan Choi.
The quote Towleroad pulled sums it up: “So it was okay to waterboard a guy over 80 times, but God forbid the guy who could understand what that prick was saying….has a boyfriend.”
Yep, pretty much.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Update 3:44 PM: Apparently taking the lead from the above, a reporter challenged Press Secretary Robert Gibbs today on the logic of not releasing torture photos because they would endanger the troops but allowing the firing of Arabic linguists, like Dan Choi, who would presumably protect the troops.
Cases of gay Arabic linguists being dismissed from Iraq have been around forever but I’m glad the mainstream media is really biting into it this time.
As I reported earlier, the language on the White House civil rights page recently went from “repeal don’t ask, don’t tell” to “sensibly change don’t ask, don’t tell.” (GAG).
It obviously caused some alarm among the blogospher and even the Service Members Legal Defense Network took notice.
Thankfully, AmericaBlog has some good news to report:
There was some concern that the Obama administration was backing off the President’s repeated promise to lift the ban after the White House Web site yesterday changed its commitment to “repeal” DADT to a promise to only “change” the policy in a “sensible way.” This led many observers, including the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, to worry whether the White House was backing off of its repeated commitment to, as President Obama himself promised, “fully repeal” the DADT policy.
The White House Web site has now been updated, again, and the “repeal” language is back. And while it’s couched in the same terms about being done in a “sensible way,” I would assume that all administration policy is implemented in a “sensible way,” so this should have no bearing on whether President Obama will keep his promise to fully repeal the ban.