Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Neither at home nor abroad

"The struggle to end discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons is a global challenge, and one that is central to the United States' commitment to promoting human rights." - President Obama

You may not believe this, but a few mere months ago, I had broader interests than Pintrest and Twitter. As with so many things, life gets in the way of your life. When I had more spare time, especially during law school where I spent the majority of the time praying I wouldn't be called on and surfing the internet, I was a political geek. My political nerdiness started in highschool, the 2000 election year. I was dating a Republican (a reoccurring pattern in my life), and I'm (now) a registered Democrat. Granted, I couldn't vote in that election, but I made sure I was educated, for two reasons only: so I could sound smarter than said boyfriend and because my dad and I would chat politics. 

Fast forward 8 years, I'm married to a Republican*, still talking politics with my dad, and deeply emotionally invested in the election. I voted for President Obama for many, many reasons, but chief among them was, what I believed, would be his treatment of human right issues - including homosexual rights. 

The last four years have been, overall, a disappointment for me. For reasons that are bigger than this particular blog post, I feel that President Obama has not lived up to his expectations and the hopes that I held for him. I think the most troubling part of this for me is what this says about me: I think that my expectations were bigger and more optimistic than reality could allow. As I've posted about before, I generally get sad when my expectations aren't met and I get even sadder when my naivety gets the best of me. 

Back on track: President Obama hasn't done enough over the last four years, especially for the LGBT community. Yes, he decided to stop defending DOMA, and he finally ended Don't Ask Don't Tell, but in my mind the fact that he won't come out and say that he supports gay marriage, indicates that he's putting his political future ahead of his personal convictions (especially, since the people who are bothered by particular issue with him will probably still vote for him anyway since these are looking like our other options: Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Mitt Romney.)

No doubt, this is a move that is going to start some heated debate, as it was probably calculated to. Conservatives are going to complain that we shouldn't push our "moral failings" onto others, Independents are going to ask what the f*** we're doing giving aid to other countries regardless, and Liberals are going to bitch that we haven't done enough in the states and this is just a ploy to placate LGBT voters. And this is me saying: you all have some points, even those of you who I don't agree with. But, I do not care.

Anytime the United States says, unequivocally "this is the right thing to do and this is what we stand for," people pay attention. And if one person, anywhere, stands back and reexamines their belief system, then this policy has served its purpose, at least in my mind.  And while it doesn't make up for four years of disappointment, I'm glad President Obama is getting back into fighting shape.

*Full disclosure: Marcus does not identify himself as a Republican, but rather as an Independent voter. I just know it pisses him off when I tell people he's a Republican. If I were to fairly identify his political views they would be "fiscally conservative, socially liberal." Our agreement on social issues is the reason we could get married. We're like the Schwarzenegger/Shriver marriage, minus the maid.

1 comment:

  1. More than being disappointed in Obama, I find it disgusting that in order to have a viable chance of being re-elected, he has to disassociate himself from the efforts to promote sex id equality. I'm similarly disgusted that no one would ever have a chance of presidential election unless they devote some words to their belief in god. It's disgusting that the group of people who dictate these actions are big enough to matter.

    So Obama's a wimp, but at least I can trust he wouldn't disown Malia if she outs herself. Cheers to the article showing a step in the right direction!