Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Friday, June 19, 2009

Put a Stampp on it

Stampp Corbin is the San Diego City Commissioner. During the Presidential Campaign her served Obama by chairing his LGBT Leadership Council. Corbin was a huge supporter of Barack. But as this new administration continues to drag its feet on LGBT issues we are seeing more and more prominent LGBT individuals and organizations withdraw there support. Corbin is one of those individuals. He recently drafted an op-ed piece that explains why he is pulling his support and why he is encouraging others to do the same.

Below is the piece written by Stamp and posted to Pam's House Blend (thank you Pam for sharing this):

When it comes to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) equal rights, it has been a schizophrenic week for the Obama administration. Last Wednesday, Attorney General Eric Holder addressed LGBT Department of Justice employees at a Pride celebration held in the building. Holder said "...neither the frustrations of the past, nor the challenges of the future should deter us from our goal - our responsibility - to continue our efforts to ensure the full spectrum of equal rights to LGBT Americans."

Last Thursday, the Attorney General filed a legal brief in a California federal case challenging the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that made arguments that compared same sex marriage to incest. Thursday, President Obama announced the extension of some benefits to LGBT federal employees; just not the most coveted ones, like health care and pension benefits. Oh that's right, Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) prevents that and you just wrote a legal brief defending it. When I wake up each morning, I feel a bit schizophrenic myself, "I love Obama, I hate Obama, I am ambivalent about Obama." It's maddening.
Someone get me a Prozac.

I ask, "Mr. President how can you argue for the legality of DOMA, when you are for its repeal?" You really are talking out of both sides of your mouth and my community knows it.

The Administration's specious argument was extolled in a press release "As it generally does with existing statutes, the Justice Department is defending the law on the books in court. The president has said he wants to see a legislative repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act because it prevents LGBT couples from being granted equal rights and benefits. However, until Congress passes legislation repealing the law, the administration will continue to defend the statute when it is challenged in the justice system."

Oh really, so can I expect the same response when your brief is filed in a Massachusetts federal case on June 29th? I certainly hope not. Mr. President make a different choice. Choose to lead.

Both Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton filed legal briefs arguing against existing law. The president says he is a "fierce advocate" for LGBT rights. Really? I don't think comparing a marriage to my partner, to marrying my niece or sister, is being my fierce advocate. I expect the president will try to distance himself from the brief and even the press statement, but it is too late. If how I feel, as one of the president's most ardent supporters, is any indication, Obama is in for a world of trouble over the next year with the LGBT community.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights organization, rightfully condemned Obama for the filing of the government's DOMA brief. I could not agree more with the leadership of HRC. President Obama, your legal brief was clearly a mistake, a big mistake. After Prop 8, my partner and I feel we are playing a tragic game of Wipeout. Traveling through an obstacle course that we must master to get our rights; making it to the end in California, only to be told by voters that heat didn't count. I expected obstacles to be placed in our path by our enemies; I just didn't expect it from the President. I thought he was on our side; I still want to believe that.

Unfortunately, I will see everything that the Obama administration does for LGBT Americans through the lens of the DOMA brief. Meaning, I will be waiting for the other proverbial shoe to drop, while praying President Obama delivers on his promises.

Next week, I am boycotting the Gay and Lesbian Leadership Council Democratic National Committee event honoring Vice President Biden to drive home my discontent. Many other prominent LGBT donors have also joined in the boycott. Is the announcement of benefits for LGBT federal employees to squash the boycott and the general uproar? Hmm...In politics, money talks. It is unlikely that Obama just put together this announcement in the last week to throw a bone to my community; it has been in the works for many weeks. I would have celebrated loudly had this been announced before the DOMA debacle, but now I will only give polite, muted applause. That pesky DOMA brief has ruined everything.

Mr. President, your DOMA mistake awakened a sleeping giant. He is mad as hell and is not going to take it anymore. You better get LGBT affirming legislation moving quickly or the coffers of the LGBT community will be slammed shut on the fingers of your administration and the DNC. You and the DNC may find themselves asking about our donations "if not now, when" as we have been asking about our rights for the last few months.

That's simply the way I see it.

These words from Stampp Corbin sum of how many within the LGBT community feel about our President and his administration. Many will now stop there support of the DNC (emotionally and financially) until something is done.

Pam's House Blend also discusses the number of people that will be boycotting the gay DNC fundraiser. The fundraiser will be hosted by Barney Frank, Tammy Baldwin and Jared Polis and it will feature Vice-President Joe Biden. People are very angered over the DOMA brief that compared same-sex marriage to incest that they are avoiding or boycotting the event. People are also enraged because Barack's administration continue to defend DOMA when they should be making efforts to get rid of it.

I'm hoping there is a change in tactics from this new administration soon. I'm also hoping that the President will become more vocal or atleast start taking some type of action to follow through on his promises. My friends keep telling me I shouldn't be so critical. "He may be doing thing behind the scene that we don't know about."

When I see evidence of those things that he is doing then my criticism will fade. But until that point I must continue to raise my voice about my discontent.

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