I have some issues.

Dear Barack Obama,

Let me start by saying that Iwas a supporter of yours during your 2008 campaign for president, and I voted for you on Election Day.  I am still a supporter of yours, but where I once had confidence that you would live up to your campaign promises, I now have doubts.

During your campaign, you promised LGBTQ voters several things.  One was the passage of the Federal Hate Crimes Prevention Act, or the Matthew Shepherd bill, which I am glad to know has passed both the House and the Senate.  I hope that when it reaches your desk you will sign it, as you have previously said you would.

The other things you promised us, Mr. President–ENDA, the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and the repeal of DOMA–these things you have not yet delivered on.  I realize that there are many who would say that there are more important, or more pressing, issues for you to deal with right now–the economy, the overhaul of the health system–and I understand the need for your attention on these things.

However, human rights cannot take a back seat.  They are pressing matters.  And they are important. The longer it takes to pass ENDA, the longer real, actual human beings will be denied or lose their jobs or housing, further contributing to the national unemployment and homeless rates.  The longer it takes to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the more good soldiers we will lose to discharges, or even death at the hands of their fellow soldiers who will not tolerate gays in the military.  And the more you put off acting to repeal DOMA, the longer families will be in a state of limbo, unsure of their rights and status in the eyes of the law.

You are in a unique position to do more change than any president before you, and I can only hope that you will use this opportunity to legally recognize the millions of LGBT individuals in this country as real citizens with equal rights across the board.  Mr. President, I voted for you because I truly believed that you would champion for my rights as you said you would.  I need to know that by the time you leave office, be it in 2013 or 2017, that my rights will be protected and secure.


Amanda Shirkey


7 responses to “I have some issues.

  1. Definitely need to send that right to DC…or atleast CNN or something…

  2. Two things:

    One – there are few, if any, dangerous homophobes in the US military. We only cared about discipline and unit cohesiveness. When queers proved to us that they were just like us, we welcomed them as brothers in arms.

    Two – Obama never actually promised a lot of what you think he did. He made nuanced, broad statements in favor of the LGBT people, but made specific comments against much of your agenda.

    Like so many deluded fools, you wrote your own agenda on the tabula rasa that he presented you. 😉

    Now – if someone really wants to fight DADT, use the Constitution! The 2nd Amendment states that the right to bear arms (that means serve in the military) shall NOT be infringed. It made no exception in the case of queers.

  3. How will removal of the DADT policy also eliminate the anti-gay sentiment in the military?

    • It won’t, at first. Sentiments change over time. By removing such an obviously prejudiced policy (straight comrades aren’t forced to keep their personal lives a secret), and letting the LGBT folks in the military interact normally with their fellow soldiers, slowly that prejudice erodes.
      I’m not saying it would end the anti-gay sentiment overnight, and I’m not saying that it would ever do so completely, because people bring their prejudices with them, but it is a start.

  4. Jonolan,

    If you truly believe all that you have said than I must tell you that I truly feel sorry for you. Now, I am not calling you names or trying to upset you, but ignorance is not bliss when investigations this big are chalked up to a “confused and selfish person” and that you believe that the military is cool with homosexuality in the in the armed forces. Even in times of war the number of people that are discharged for their sexuality is appalling.

    I’m so sorry that you feel the world is made up of rainbows and butterflies.

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