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Saturday, April 04, 2009

White House Backtracks - Adds Equal Language

- George Orwell, Animal Farm, Ch. 10

Pam Spaulding:

UPDATE (9:52 PM ET): That was fast. Kerry Eleveld of The Advocate just emailed that she just received a "corrected" statement from the White House that includes the word equal.

"The President respects the decision of the Iowa Supreme Court, and continues to believe that states should make their own decisions when it comes to the issue of marriage. Although President Obama supports civil unions rather than same-sex marriage, he believes that committed gay and lesbian couples should receive equal rights under the law."

Wow. So how many eyes in the White House were on this and they all "confused" or "missed" that significant phrase -- equal protection/equal rights? ROTFLOL!
Also, a note on what is really going on here. The president can hold whatever personal or religious beliefs he wants to, but he governs us under civil law (which he obviously knows), not biblical law or how he "feels". The only reason civil unions and DPs exist is because too many Americans conflate religious and civil marriage. Conceptually, they are exactly the same thing, in practice (and in our ingrained culture) everyone knows they are not. He knows that. This is about political will and political strategy. It's pretty clear that the president chooses to follow, not lead on this one.

Pam took the statement from the Advocate. A commenter on the Advocate notes:

Name: Paul
Date posted: 2009-04-04 6:21 PM
Hometown: kansas City

We need to begin to just ignore the WH on LGBT issues. The best we'd get from them that we won't loose any more rights. Focus on Congress. Spend our time and effort forcing them to pass the needed legislation to move us in the right direction. Pass a repeal of DADT and DOMA. Pass a gender inclusive ENDA. Once the legislation is on his desk, intense public pressure could force the president to sign the legislation. I had hoped for more from Obama. His inspiring letter this summer congratulating those of us who were married in California. Now I understand that there won't be any movement from him to advance the cause of civil rights for LGBT folks. Sadly, the best thing we can say about him now is that at least he's not John McCain. Isn't that sad?

I would be surprised if Obama would have vetoed the legislation. George Bush never stated clearly whether he would have signed or vetoed legislation to repeal DADT. This shows why it's a bankrupt political strategy to put all eggs in the Democratic basket.