White House Issues Track Record On LGBT Rights: DOMA, DADT, Hate Crimes Law, HIV/AIDS, And More

The White House today issued a lengthy recounting of the many, many advances in LGBT rights seen during the Obama administration. The “fact sheet” – which I’ve posted in its entirety below – serves both as a very well-earned bragging point and as a stark reminder of how tenuous many of these advances remain with the specter of a Republican administration looming before us. Read it all, please.

“We are big and vast and diverse; a nation of people with different backgrounds and beliefs, different experiences and stories, but bound by our shared ideal that no matter who you are or what you look like, how you started off, or how and who you love, America is a place where you can write your own destiny.” President Obama, June 26, 2015

Since taking office, President Obama and his Administration have made historic strides to expand opportunities and advance equality and justice for all Americans, including Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Americans. From major legislative achievements to historic court victories to important policy changes, the President has fought to promote the equal rights of all Americans — no matter who they are or who they love. That commitment to leveling the playing field and ensuring equal protection under the law is the bedrock principle this nation was founded on and has guided the President’s actions in support of all Americans. And the progress the Administration has made mirrors the changing views of the American people, who recognize that fairness and justice demand equality for all, including LGBT Americans.

The Obama Administration’s record on social progress and equality includes:

Preventing Bullying and Hate Crimes against LGBT Americans

· Overcoming years of partisan gridlock, the President worked with Congress to pass and sign into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law in October 2009, which extends the coverage of Federal hate crimes law to include attacks based on the victim’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

· The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) collaborated with five other federal departments to establish a federal task force on bullying. One of the results was the creation of the website – www.StopBullying.gov. The site includes resources and assistance for LGBT youth, including examples of community groups that offer support and options to seek counseling. As part of the first-ever White House Conference on Bullying Prevention, the task force also funded a video called “It Gets Better” to address LGBT youth who have been bullied and are at risk of depression and suicide.

· The U.S. Department of Education hosted five summits on strategies for protecting students, including LGBT students, from bullying and harassment. These events included an LGBT Youth Summit in 2011 and a meeting with transgender students in June 2015, with a sixth summit scheduled for August 2016.

Supporting LGBT Health

· In June 2009, President Obama issued a directive on same-sex domestic partner benefits, opening the door for the State Department to extend the full range of legally available benefits and allowances to same-sex domestic partners of members of the Foreign Service sent to serve abroad. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) also expanded federal benefits for same-sex partners of federal employees and allowed same-sex domestic partners to apply for long-term care insurance.

· In March 2010, the Affordable Care Act was signed into law by President Obama and ensures that Americans have secure, stable, and affordable insurance. Insurance companies are no longer able to discriminate against anyone due to a pre-existing condition, and because of the law, insurers can no longer turn someone away just because he or she is lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.

· The federal website, HealthCare.gov, designed to help all consumers find the health insurance best suited to their needs, makes it easy to locate health insurers that cover domestic partners.

· The Affordable Care Act also makes it easier for people living with HIV and AIDS to obtain Medicaid and private health insurance and overcome barriers to care from qualified providers.

· President Obama developed and released the first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States in 2010, updated it through 2020, and is implementing it to address the disparities faced especially by gay and bisexual men of all races and ethnicities and transgender women of color.

· The President has supported legislative efforts to ban the use of so-called “conversion therapy” against minors and released a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) study condemning the practice. This report, which was developed in collaboration with the American Psychological Association and a panel of behavioral health experts, is the first federal in-depth review of conversion therapy. As SAMHSA reported, variations in sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression are normal. Conversion therapy is not effective, reinforces harmful gender stereotypes, and is not an appropriate mental health treatment.

· HHS funded the Services and Advocacy for LGBT Elders (SAGE) to establish the first national resource center for older LGBT individuals. This center supports communities across the country as they aim to serve the estimated 1.5 to 4 million LGBT individuals who are 60 and older. This center provides information, assistance and resources at the state and community levels.

· HHS now requires all hospitals receiving Medicare or Medicaid funds – just about every hospital in America – to allow visitation rights for LGBT patients. The President also directed HHS to ensure that medical decision-making rights of LGBT patients are respected.

Repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

· The President signed bipartisan legislation to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell on December 22, 2010, allowing gay, lesbian, and bisexual Americans to serve openly in the Armed Forces without fear of being dismissed from service because of who they are and who they love, putting in motion the end of a discriminatory policy that ran counter to American values.

Ending the Legal Defense of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)

· In February 2011, the President and Attorney General announced that the Department of Justice would no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act’s provision defining marriage as only between a man and woman, leading to the Supreme Court’s landmark decisions holding the Act unconstitutional.

· After the United States v. Windsor decision, in which the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional, the President instructed the Cabinet to review over 1,000 federal statutes and regulations to ensure the decision was implemented swiftly and smoothly by the federal government to recognize the rights of same-sex couples.

· The Administration has long advocated for a Constitutional guarantee of marriage equality for same-sex couples—a position the Supreme Court vindicated in its historic decision in Obergefell v. Hodges.

· In October 2015, after the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced proposed regulations implementing the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision for federal tax purposes to ensure all individuals would be treated equally under the law.

· After the Supreme Court issued a decision in Obergerfell v. Hodges, the Social Security Administration (SSA) began to recognize all valid same-sex marriages for purposes of determining entitlement to Social Security benefits or eligibility for Supplemental Security Income. SSA continues to work closely with the LGBT advocacy community to conduct outreach to ensure that same-sex couples are aware of how same-sex marriage affects benefits.

Protecting LGBT Americans against Discrimination

· In July 2014, the President signed an Executive Order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against any employee or applicant for employment “because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin,” continuing to set an example as a model employer that does right by its employees.

· The Administration has taken unprecedented steps to protect and promote the rights of transgender and gender non-conforming Americans. These actions have included:

· The release of joint guidance from the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice to provide educators with the information they requested to ensure that all students, including transgender students, can attend school in an environment free from discrimination. Additionally, the Department of Education published Examples of Policies and Emerging Practices Guide for Supporting Transgender Students.

· The issuance of guidance from the Department of Justice that concluded that the prohibition against sex discrimination in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 encompasses claims of discrimination on the basis of gender identity, including transgender status.

· Agencies, including OPM, the State Department, SSA, and HHS, took various actions to ensure that transgender Americans were treated fairly and without discrimination in the workplace, in official documents, and in the health care system.

Taking Steps to Ensure LGBT Equality in Housing and Crime Prevention

· In 2009, HUD commissioned the first-ever national study of discrimination against members of the LGBT community in the renting and sale of housing. The Department also launched a website to allow citizens to offer comments on housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Since then, HUD has continuously worked to address LGBT housing discrimination.

· In January 2012 and in 2015, the President issued a final rule and subsequent guidance to ensure that the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s core housing programs and services are open to all persons regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

· HUD’s Equal Access Rule makes it clear that housing that is financed or insured by HUD must be made available without regard to actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status. It also prohibits owners and operators of HUD-funded housing, or housing whose financing was insured by HUD, from inquiring about an applicant’s sexual orientation or gender identity or denying housing on that basis. In addition, the guidance makes clear that sexual orientation and gender identity should not and cannot be part of any lending decision when it comes to getting an FHA-insured mortgage.

· In 2013, HUD teamed up with the True Colors Fund to give LGBT youth a safe space to be their true selves. Over the next two years, the initiative has developed and evaluated strategies to prevent lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth from becoming homeless or intervene as early as possible once they do become homeless.

· The Justice Department issued guidance stating that Federal prosecutors should enforce criminal provisions in the Violence Against Women Act in cases involving same-sex relationships.

· In December 2015, the Department of Justice issued Guidance on Identifying and Preventing Gender Bias in Law Enforcement Response to Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence. The guidance serves two key purposes. First, it aims to examine how gender bias can undermine the response of law enforcement agencies to sexual assault and domestic violence. Second, it provides a set of basic principles that – if integrated into law enforcement agencies’ policies, trainings and practices – will help ensure that gender bias, either intentionally or unintentionally, does not undermine efforts to keep victims safe and hold offenders accountable.

Advancing and Protecting the Rights of LGBT Persons around the World

· The Obama Administration continues to engage systematically with governments around the world to advance the rights of LGBT persons. The Administration’s leadership has included various public statements and resolutions at the UN.

· President Obama has also issued a presidential memorandum that directs all Federal agencies engaged abroad to ensure that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons.

· The Department of State continues to grow the Global Equality Fund, a multi-sector public-private partnership to advance the human rights of LGBT persons globally. Since the Fund was launched in December 2011, it has allocated over $30 million to civil society organizations in 80 countries worldwide.

· USAID, the U.S. government agency primarily responsible for delivering international aid and assistance, launched the LGBTI Global Development Partnership and “Being LGBTI in Asia,” and funded a range of LGBTI human rights programs. In 2014, USAID released its LGBT Vision for Action, a document that communicates USAID’s position on LGBTI issues to internal and external stakeholders.

· In February 2014, USAID appointed a USAID Senior LGBT Coordinator to ensure that the promotion and protection of LGBTI rights is fully integrated into all aspects of USAID’s vital work overseas.

· In February 2015, the U.S. State Department appointed the first-ever Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons to lead and coordinate U.S. diplomatic efforts to advance LGBTI rights around the globe.

· The State Department revised its Foreign Affairs Manual to allow same-sex couples to obtain passports under the names recognized by their state through their marriages or civil unions.

Recognizing LGBT History and Contributions

· On May 28, 2014, the Department of the Interior announced a new National Park Service theme study to identify places and events associated with the civil rights struggle of LGBT Americans and ensure that the agency is telling a complete story of America’s heritage and history. The results of the theme study are expected later this year.

· On June 9, 2015, the Henry Gerber House in Chicago, IL was designated a National Historic Landmark. Once the residence of noted gay rights activist Henry Gerber, the home was where the nation’s first chartered LGBT rights organization, the Society for Human Rights, was formed in 1924. The Henry Gerber House is one of nine LGBT sites that have been designated as a landmark or historic place during the Obama Administration.

  • Gene

    BUT THE TWO PARTIES are the SAME!!!!!
    LOL

    yeah…this would have all happened under the republicans..

    and Trump would not reverse any of it…

    Vote this december. to cement this in place, and expand on it.
    and yes. sincerely
    THANK YOU OBAMA!

    • hiker_sf

      Better think about getting that Alzheimer’s test.

      And consider leaving notes to yourself all over the house that the election is in November not December.

      • Todd20036

        There’s an election

        • hiker_sf

          Apparently, she doesn’t realize that comments can be edited. Or maybe she knew but forgot.

          • stuckinthewoods

            the edit function is only available to registered Disqus users.

          • hiker_sf

            I didn’t realize you can post without being registered.

          • PickyPecker

            Usually the ‘hit-and-run’ posting types do that.

          • Todd20036

            If the name is “blue”, the user is registered. If it’s greyed out, the user is not registered.

          • hiker_sf

            And here I’ve been on the registry when I could have been free.

          • stuckinthewoods

            yes, registered user names appear in darker type and hovering on their name shows their ‘private/follow’ choice. Nothing shows for unregistered users who can’t edit, etc or have avatar pics.

      • JustSayin’

        Please use the /sarcasm tag when you post stuff like that. It looks like you are bagging on Gene.

        • hiker_sf

          I was. There are 2 people who post here who are smarmy – if you look at his other posts on this thread, you will see he insults those who voted against Clinton.

          My bad, but I can’t be good all the time. :/

    • Gene

      well pointed out…(was looking at calandar when wrote December…oppps)
      but we MUST vote.

      the right wing is desperate.

      this election, due to the already (after 8 years, despite their best efforts) stacked in liberal favor federal courts, and the SCOTUS, will be a turning point. We the Democrats win this one, they can undue the last bits of the “reagan revolution”…and the rethuglicans know it, and will throw the sink at Hillary and all democrats. if the rethuglicans win, our rights will be one of the first things to go

  • JaniceInToronto

    So what percentage of these can be overturned by the Rethuglicans?

    • Gustav2

      Most.

    • hiker_sf

      Can? Many. Is it likely? Mostly no.

      • Todd20036

        If Clinton wins, I agree. If trump wins, then yeah, I think it likely

        • Gustav2

          The Manhattan Declaration folks will have a list.

    • another_steve

      If it’s not a federal statute — law — it can be reversed. Executive Orders, for instance.

      If it’s a federal agency rule or regulation that was published in the Federal Register, it’s a bit harder to reverse or eliminate, but it technically can be.

  • Skokieguy [Larry]

    OMG – Joe, you’re trolling he who shalt not be named! Love it!

    • Todd20036

      He won’t give a shit. He still thinks pressure by LBGT citizens forced SCOTUS’ hand

      • Gene

        and, when data is laid out that shows his premise is full of crap and has more holes than swiss cheese, he is as scarce as a nun in a whore house

        • Todd20036

          … but not a priest at a whore house.

      • Treant

        In some sense, it did. Our refusal to sit down, shut up, and take what the religious right had for us was key to our acceptance. SCOTUS had no choice but to listen because we made them listen. Their decision was their own, but public opinion certainly helped sway it.

        • Skokieguy [Larry]

          And let’s not forget the large corporations, who we are often eager to bash, who got tired on the constantly changing crazy-quilt of marriage / civil union laws and wanted a national standard.

        • FairHe

          Don’t forget forcing it down everyone throats endlessly using the media and academia. That was also key in making everyone not care about your choice in sexual behaviors. If you’re going to cartwheel over this be honest.

          • Todd20036

            Honest? You think orientation is a behavior? Despite all the research suggesting otherwise?

            You know what is a behavior? Religion. You want to take away rights based on religion?

            Well?

          • FairHe

            Well, since you can’t cite the exact science used to determine exactly who is and who is not an unchangeable homosexual for life you can’t really claim superiority based on biased research with small sample pools. Taking away religious rights based on you You FEEL is just as poor a choice. No you don’t have a winning argument with an approach like that. Shutting down speech you can’t personally tolerate is Your problem and no one else’s. Trying to convince others to silence those you disagree with makes you look like the party of teenage hormone feels and Not science. Cite the exact science one can use to determine your postulation about homosexuality or just learn to live with speech that you personally disagree with.

          • Todd20036

            You want links to studies that show orientation is immutable? You don’t come off as the scientific type.

            What’s more, you just negated your own argument.

            “Taking away religious rights based on you You FEEL is just as poor a choice. No you don’t have a winning argument with an approach like that.”

            So even if orientation is based on how one feels, taking away that right to not be discriminated based on that is a poor argument.

          • FairHe

            Well, if gay isn’t based on how u feel than what biological marker do you use with 100% accuracy?

          • A lifetime of experience? Knowing gay people? BEING gay? I don’t need a biological marker to know that I *am* gay, or that I didn’t *choose* it. Can I impart that to you? Yes. Do you have to believe me? No, but I’d have to ask how it is that an EXTREMELY high percentile of other gay people would tell you the same thing, if it isn’t true.

          • Todd20036

            Scientists have determined that several different chromosomes markers that determine orientation. It’s not a single gene, but orientation is physically based.

            Again, what difference does it make if you FEEL that religion deserves special rights even though it’s not physically based?

          • Nobody’s religious rights have been taken away or even touched. Nobody’s. Nobody’s speech has been shut down either. They’ve only gotten screechier.

          • Dramphooey

            Maybe the troll means their voices got so screechy only dogs can hear them. The little secret they don’t realize is that America is no longer listening to these losers.

          • It’s not just the speech.

          • Dramphooey

            Now that we’re apparently winning you can choose to be GLBT and be on the winning side. It’s like a light switch. How lucky you are!

          • Todd20036

            A few bisexuals I’ve met are so 50/50, they really can choose.

            But even for them, why should the be forced to choose one over the other?

          • Could we retire that phrase please? Every single homophobe uses “force it down our throat,” and though it can make for some pleasing snappy comebacks, it’s about as tired as “alternative lifestyle choice.”

        • Todd20036

          Only marginally. All the votes against equality came from goobers. All the democratic picks chose equality.

          • Treant

            Back in the 1980’s, I doubt we would have had the Dems on our side, either. Every little bit helps!

        • tristram

          SCOTUS’ decision was its own. But Obama did not just ride public opinion, he moved it. When he supported equal rights and eventually came out for marriage equality, he changed minds in key segments of the public.

          Our gay little world would be vastly different if we’d had a GOP president for the last 8 or even 4 years. There would have been different judges in the district and appeals courts – changing the cases that advanced to SCOTUS. If McCain had won, we’d still have DADT – and all it’s attendant nonsense. The Solicitor General would have argued for DOMA and against marriage equality. The cases would have been heard by a Court with two rightwing justices in the seats held by Sotomayor and Kagan. It is more likely than not that SCOTUS would have upheld DOMA and made marriage equality a state-by-state decision or denied it entirely. And that doesn’t touch any of the myriad executive orders that Obama issued to advance lgbt equality.

          • Adam Schmidt

            I wish I could give you a multitude of upvotes for that… very well said!

    • Jean-Marc in Canada

      HAHA, so true. Sadly, it will fall upon deaf troll ears as he will no doubt offer up another round of copy and paste twaddle with a heaping pile of “they’re all the same” bullshit. Still, it will be entertaining to see what insults will be hurled.

    • Get Real

      Other than re-posted a link to this article, is there another way to blunt and shame

      • medaka

        If you mean British Petroleum, watch oikos. He is very good at that 🙂

        • Gene

          the master of the fine art of it in fact.

          ‘course, its is like shooting fish in a barrel

        • Get Real

          It is cute. I am tickled each time a see a message like …

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0h18H9UUw78

        • Steverino

          Butt Plug?

          • Get Real

            The pink swaying one…

      • FairHe

        “Did someone say my name?”

    • FairHe

      Voldemort can’t be trolled. The last movie took care of that. Josephine does love to troll elsewhere. You heard your marching orders:”We are big and vast and diverse; a nation of people with different backgrounds and beliefs…”

  • thom

    after looking at the past 8 years, how can any self respecting queer person vote to put trump in the white house?
    i intend to vote for Clinton, to donate to her campaign, to phone bank for her, to drive people to the polls, to register people to vote.
    Vote Blue! there’s still much to be done and we cant afford to lose momentum…. the next president has to appoint up to three new supreme court justices. LGBT rights are still new and very fragile in this country. we have to work HARD to ensure they hold fast

    • Gene

      yes…but, unlike some GLBT people, you have not bought into the republica laid lies about her character, and are not willing to let the (perceived) perfect be the enemy of the good. And you certainly are to smart to believe in the “Trump would not be so bad, because he would not get anything done, and Hillary would bomb Tehran and Toronto and Trinadad and Tobago tomorrow” crap.

      some other people, in contrast..well..they are what the rest of us call “stupid”, and do believe much of the crap the rethuglicans have tried to smear her with

      • hiker_sf

        Yeah, smearing those of us who struggled with voting for the potential first woman president and voting against Clinton’s record – say on fracking and other issues – by saying we ‘bought the’ Republican ‘lies’ isn’t helping at this point.

        Consider letting this go and moving on.

        • Silver Badger

          Poor fella. Get used to saying “President Clinton” again. Yes, you did buy the Republican lies. Too bad.

          • hiker_sf

            Yes, the Republicans are staunch anti-fracking advocates and wanted to smear Clinton as being pro-fracking. Or something. Fucking moron.

          • Silver Badger

            Republicans staunch anti-fracking? How is the weather in your world? Have you been on earth long? When are you leaving? Soon?

          • hiker_sf

            Maybe you shouldn’t drink cocktails this early.

          • FairHe

            Drink earlier and more often. You liver isn’t going to pickle itself, darling. Karen from Will And Grace is there to positively support your alcoholism through every rerun. Old white ladies that gay men idolize make alcoholism look fabulous, darling.

        • Trump sits like Jabba the Hutt on the scale opposite Hillary with so much weight, so much absurdity, wrongness and potential disaster, I can’t imagine what could pull Hillary down low enough that he’d be “the lesser of two evils,” even if you despise her. I do NOT agree with all of her positions, fracking being one. But no way, no how would I throw a vote to Trump (I keep imagining him gulping them down) either directly or effectively, because Clinton isn’t a perfect candidate. Couldn’t do it. Wouldn’t have done it when I WAS a Republican.

          • hiker_sf

            I agree. And, of course, I’ll vote for Clinton in November. But bashing those who supported Sanders NOW, after all is just about over is counter productive. If we are supposed to all be in this together, stop the needless bashing. Saying we ‘bought the Republican lies’ is a lie and needlessly insulting.

          • thom

            completely agree! thank you for voting clinton, and helping ensure a sane SCOTUS! 🙂

          • Part of that is natural, hiker. I know it’s painful when a candidate loses (even in a primary), I’ve been there MANY times. But the mud was flung both ways. I’m still getting it out of my eyes from some Bernie fans, and I never said anything against him, I liked him. But it became like a gun-rights advocate catching a whiff of “gun grabber,” and #FeelTheBern-ers were not shy with the insults and vitriol. It WILL subside. Gloating will calm down. Hurt will heal. Happens every primary time and we forget until next time.

          • 2karmanot

            I have been a died-in-the wool supporter of Bernie since the Vermont days. We are a loyal tribe because Bernie is the real deal. I admit to being dumbfounded by the barrage of Bernie hate on the these threads and especially over at ABlog, where Avarosis went into full propaganda yellow journalism mode. Hillary is a formidable woman and will make a powerful presence as a center right blue dog President. Her ascendancy will put to bed once and for all any semblance of the old New Deal that once defined the heart of the Democratic Party and it’s identification with working people. Times have changed, Corporate oligarchy is now the prevailing paradigm. As much as I hate it, I’ll vote for Hillary because we must stop Der Dtrumpenfhurer at all costs. So I say to you other 11 million Bernie voters, think carefully and consider that Hillary’s corporatism is fair compared to the fascist racist madness that will descend if tiny trump is elected.

        • Gene

          you had promised to, what is it… kilfie (?) me…

          everyone admires a man of his word

          • hiker_sf

            I thought the sniping was over when Clinton was declared the presumptive candidate. Everyone says the math makes it impossible for Sanders to win, so I unkillfiled everyone.

        • fierce_urgency_of_whenever

          Its still a current problem.

        • thom

          yep, people are allowed to have different opinions without being :”bought “.
          essentially that’s what all election are. finding which candidate most aligns with you. .. and given the choice between Hillary and trump sf has said they’ll vote for clinton. i think we should be glad for that

        • Dramphooey

          I agree with you. I don’t know why anyone is picking fights with Sanders supporters today. If one of them keeps going, fine, fire back, but I don’t know why a Clinton supporter would start it considering Clinton is victorious.

          Last night on RawStory I saw some piece of garbage/supposed Sanders supporter who was actually calling Obama a terrible President. I was angered but I refused to respond to the meaningless troll. He was also possibly the most pompous ass I ever encountered on Disqus. Why feed this?

        • FairHe

          “Consider letting this go and moving on.”, making like Elsa IS the best advice homosexuals and their sympathizers can do since all the candidates in this election are pretend different but have all the same back-channel friends. Lets not fool ourselves into thinking we have a democracy. They’ve told us since 2013, vote for hillary in the next presidential election.

    • I can’t figure how a thinking adult human could vote for a buffoon like Trump under any circumstances, personally. But ^^this^^. Yes.

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    • band

      Ask Wayne Anderson, who was on here night and day in 2012 urging us all to vote for Romney.

      • thom

        don’t really care about your beef with anyone on here.
        just saying that if queer rights are a top priority you probably shouldn’t vote for trump

      • medaka

        Good to see you back here, band.

        • band

          Thanks, Medaka. I still read JMG several times a day—and often link to it on FB. I just comment a lot less frequently because the content these days seems much more focused on the haters. That is, and has always been a focus of Joe’s activism, and I applaud him for it. It’s just not content that I feel the need to weigh in on.

          Glad to see you’re still here and in full effect!

          • medaka

            I read several times a day too, but rarely comment anymore. There are some really great new commenters here, though, as I’m sure you know. I only weigh in when I can go after the newest trolls. Or give kudos to those who still have it in them to go after the old trolls. Très happy kudos to you for calling out our magically re-appearing racist.

          • band

            Reappearing AND reinventing. Which, I’m sure, makes him think he’s JUST like Madonna.

          • medaka

            I like kind of almost sort of like Madge A LOT more.

            And it actually hurt my soul to say that.

      • Wayne

        Still relying on lies band, lol

        • medaka

          lol? You forgot the z.

          • Wayne

            But you got it for me

          • medaka

            I do like to help those in need.

          • Wayne

            Yes your kind and caring nature shows through in all your posts it’s almost as if you weren’t a bitter hater

            I’ll be kind and not leave an LOLZ – though I struggled to type that without laughing out loud

    • Brian in Valdosta

      And remember this, folks: not voting at all simply because one believes that Hillary is flawed, etc. is the same as actually putting a vote in Herr Drumpf’s pocket.

      Don’t like Hillary? Great. Then don’t stump for her. But don’t stay at home. Get out and vote for the Democratic Party’s agenda of inclusion and civil rights.

      • 2karmanot

        Transfer all that energy down vote then. Take back the house!

  • Treant

    What a great record! I’m looking forward to President Hillary Clinton continuing down the same path (and losing candidate Trump skulking back to New York).

  • Wayne

    I was a fierce critic of Obama’s first term but even I have to admit that after he was pushed to at last “evolve” on marriage equality Obama finally and truly became that “fierce advocate” for LGBT people he promised to be.

    Good on him.

    • band

      You know he’s still black, right?

      • Wayne

        and you know that your bullshit accusations of racism of anyone who disagrees with you is just that: Bullshit. And speaking of bullshit Band you argued for Obama’s entire first term that Obama was right to stand by his marriage is a “sacred union” for straight people bullshit. And you called anyone and everyone a racist, and amazingly, a quisling, who disagreed.

        Some things never change, you’re still stuck on stupid.

        • band

          No, dear. I actually put up with your obviously irrational hatred of Obama long, long after everyone on here had already figured out exactly what it was that made you despise the president so much. I only started to use the racist label once your posts on here made it absolutely clear that that was—and is—your problem with Obama. After you began responding to each and every post Joe would make about a pro-LGBT move by this administration by showing up frothing at the mouth to scream about what a homophobe Obama was and urge us all to vote for Romney.

          • Wayne

            You don’t know me or any of the other people you called racist and worse. You just make up lies and repeat them again and again and hope others will believe them. That doesn’t make it the truth. You don’t know me band, you never have. I come from people of color. People of color are my family. I’m very proud of a few things in my life. My military service to my county, my activism on gay rights, and being my niece and nephew’s favorite “Uncle Wayne”

            You really don’t know shit about me band. Period.

          • james_from_cambridge

            You are a Republican/Libertarian, so it’s kind of an easy leap to make that you might just hate people of color.

          • Wayne

            You’re just fucking delusional so jumping to false conclusions is your standard start off point.

          • band

            Yes, Wayne, I know you’re a huge fan of people of color, just as long as they’re divas or drag queens up on stage or on TV entertaining you. When one is your president, though? Not having it AT ALL. Which is not surprising coming from somebody who has been know to leave comments disparaging “illegals.”

          • Wayne

            I’m not a “fan” of people of color band, People of color are my blood and my family. From my native ancestry to my multi-faceted and multi-racial family, and trust we cover the waterfront. I have a Korean nephew, Black nephews and nieces, my family is literally the rainbow.

            You know nothing about me band.

          • james_from_cambridge
          • Wayne

            Interesting that you would choose Whitney as your source of authenticity for demanding proof of racial heritage; an incredibly talented woman yet she sadly denied and lied about her own sexuality for years

          • james_from_cambridge
          • Wayne

            I’m not stalling you are just projecting as per usual

          • james_from_cambridge

            S-t-a-l-l-i-n-g. Stalling.

            Where’s the receipts showing your a Native American? Also, the poll showing Bernie supporters fleeing to Gary Johnson?? Waiting…

          • Wayne

            You are asking for my birth certificate or something? lol and you don’t think you sound just like Trump?

            And I didn’t say I had that polling information I asked if I did show you polling information that said Gary Johnson is gaining supporters from disaffected Bernie supporters would you admit that you are full of shit to say anyone who supports Gary Johnson is a racist. And judging by several articles I’ve read (not to mention comments on several blogs like Politico from those who do identify as Bernie supporters who will now vote for Gary) so I think I will soon be showing you polling data that says just that.

          • Wayne

            Oh, and just to tide you over. Here is a comment from today’s article on Politico about Bernie supporters being pissed at Obama for endorsing Hillary, and one of the top comments to the article is from a unhappy Bernie supporter threatening Obama, Clinton, and them democrats that they will vote for ….. ding ding ding “vote Stein, Johnson, write in Bernie, or stay home” the comment has already garnered over 280 likes. Here the full quote with a link: “You are truly blind to the reality of the situation. We are not Bernie’s followers. Hillary has followers (we call sheeple). Bernie has supporters. We are independent thinkers who vote our ethics. About 20% of Bernie supporters (in blue and purple states) will vote Trump. A similary number for Clinton. The other 60% will vote Stein, Johnson, write in Bernie, or stay home — if the FBI doesn’t press forward before the convention, because HIllary belongs in jail. Why would you want a criminal who has done so many bad things in office?”

            http://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/bernie-sanders-supporters-obama-224105

            Hmmm so it would seem that there are indeed some of your fellow Bernie supporters who in your mind must be RACIST, right?

          • Wayne

            Ive said it before and I will say it again – you Bernie Bro haters are so much like Trump

            And it’s so obvious

          • Ragnar Lothbrok

            Leave her alone.

          • The_Wretched

            Swim wings are hazardous and the pics questionable.

          • Wayne

            His mother demands he wear his swimmers in the pool… and fuck you

          • Ragnar Lothbrok

            NO fucking in the pool Wayne !!

            It’s a simple rule !

          • Wayne

            Now you are just fucking sick.

          • Ragnar Lothbrok

            Duh Wayne, you used fucking and pool in the same sentence, get a grip.

            And why Such a potty mouth??

            But you know, I would have had the good judgement not to post pics of ANY kids in the first place.

          • Ragnar Lothbrok

            She is pretending not to be terrified. That poor girl is going to need years and years of therapy.

          • Wayne

            That girl is ferocious and fears nothing – and you really are showing what piece of shit you are fake Ragnar.

          • Ragnar Lothbrok

            lighten up freak.

          • Wayne

            I’m reposting my original reply to band without the pictures of my nephew and niece that I had originally included because I’ve been made to regret my decision to show my actual family – but as always, I do stand behind my original comment, so here it is:

            You don’t know me or any of the other people you called racist and worse. You just make up lies and repeat them again and again and hope others will believe them. That doesn’t make it the truth. You don’t know me band, you never have. I come from people of color. People of color are my family. I’m very proud of a few things in my life. My military service to my county, my activism on gay rights, and being my niece and nephew’s favorite “Uncle Wayne”

            You really don’t know shit about me band. Period.

      • james_from_cambridge

        Oh, he knows. But he’s forgotten his libertarian-based support and love for Mitt Romney, conveniently.

        • Wayne

          What? Still butt hurt that Hillary beat Bernie down like he stole something ( and actually, if you take the data theft Bernie’s campaign pulled off I guess she would be right)

          lol

          • james_from_cambridge

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wayne-anderson/swiftboating-of-mitt-romney_b_1674227.html

            Wayne Anderson: The “Swiftboating” of Mitt Romney

            “The term “swiftboating” is an expression that has become synonymous with deceptive and untrue political attacks that were originally used with devastating effect against presidential candidate John Kerry in 2004. In 2012, the dark art of “swiftboating” appears to have a new practitioner, and this time it’s the most unlikely of candidates — Barack Obama.”
            ____________________
            Wayne Anderson: Why a President Romney Could Be Good for the Gay Community

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wayne-anderson/why-a-president-romney-would-be-good-for-the-gay-community_b_2004799.html?utm_hp_ref=politics&ir=Politics

          • Wayne

            I’ve written hundreds of articles over the years. And stand behind all of it and the context in which it was written including those two posts. And yet I did not vote for Romney.

            I voted for Gary Johnson. And since your such a Bernie Butt Hurt Boy maybe you should direct your ire and spew your bile at your fellow Bernie supporters who are now saying they plan to vote for ……… wait for it…… Gary Johnson.

            LOLZ

          • hiker_sf

            And yet you can’t afford white strips.

          • Wayne

            I don’t think bleaching your teeth is healthy nor to my mind that attractive. It’ looks fake. And I’m quite confident in my looks ( I even post my own photo unlike some….)

          • hiker_sf

            Hence another reason you disliked Obama – he has the whitest chops north of Chicago.

          • Wayne

            No, I disliked Obama because he played politics with the equality of millions of LGBT Americans in his first term. I always made that very clear, but some assholes can’t accept that, or accept that Obama was wrong to do it, and so anyone who doesn’t drink the koolaide gets called names.

            But really, for any activist worth his salt, stuff like that is small change

          • band

            Wayne, honey, by the second year of Obama’s term, we all knew that within seconds of Joe posting about any pro-LGBT move by the Obama administration we could all count on you to be here in the comments section absolutely outraged about such a fortuitous event and raving nonsensically about what a homophobe Obama was.

            Let’s not pretend that what was going on with you had anything to do with pro-LGBT activism. Or rational thought.

          • Wayne

            The only one pretending is you. You don’t know shit about my motivations, because I spelled them out quite clearly, but rather than accept that you were wrong to support Obama’s “marriage is a sacred union for straight people bullshit” you called out anyone who said you were wrong as a racist even called them quislings while you defended anti-gay statements like Obama had made.

          • band

            You’re deeply confused, Wayne. (Quelle surprise!) Back in the early days of Obama’s presidency, “quisling” was a term hurled at those of us who were supportive of the president’s record on LGBT issues, NOT one we threw at irrational detractors like you. It doesn’t even make any sense the way you misremember it.

          • Wayne

            Quisling: a traitor who collaborates with an enemy force occupying their country.

            Now tell me again how others were being a quisling when it was you who defended Obama again and again for standing behind his assertion that marriage was only a “sacred union” for heterosexuals.

            Because if anything you acted the part of a quisling to perfection

          • band

            There. Now if you would just re-read that comment, think really, really hard, and realize that your earlier, baseless assertion that I was calling other people here “quisling” back then makes absolutely no sense, you might finally be getting somewhere.

          • Wayne

            You defended Obama again and again for his belief that marriage was a sacred Union for heterosexual people only so if you are a gay person defending that shit stinks of quisling!

          • band

            Or maybe that realization is just beyond your capability. No matter how hard you think.

          • Wayne

            Or maybe you were wrong to defend Obama when he stood behind an obviously anti gay thought process or at the very least for purely political reason

          • james_from_cambridge

            No Bernie supporter would support a libertarian psycho, who would let the sick and poor starve in the streets. Not ONE. You’re projecting your military-based, anti-government nonsense that privilieged little flowers like you advocate. You will never live down being a Mitt Romney/Gary Johnson butt boy, asshole.

          • Wayne
          • james_from_cambridge

            No one but a right-wing shill like you takes “RedState” seriously, especially these days. As for Rachel Maddow, she just said Johnson is pitching to Bernie supporters. So what? Show me one poll that says even one Bernie supporter is voting for him. You can’t. Because it ain’t happening. You’re a liar and a fraud, like all libertarians.

          • Wayne

            So if I show you polling data that Bernie supporters are now supporting Gary Johnson you will admit your full of shit?

          • james_from_cambridge

            Let’s see it, liar.

          • Ragnar Lothbrok

            He will say he is having trouble with his new phone, but just wait until he gets home and then Shits gonna happen !

          • Wayne

            Patience grasshopper… some of us have jobs and a life

          • james_from_cambridge

            Sorry. Didn’t meant to come to your work and knock the dick out of your mouth.

          • Ragnar Lothbrok

            Harassing innocent kids in a pool is not something to be proud of !!

          • medaka

            Fulloshit LOLLLLZZZ!

          • hiker_sf

            Yeah, I’m not going to head over to RedState. But thanks for proving again that you are really a Republican troll.

          • Wayne

            That’s why I also gave links to MSNBC, what they aren’t liberal enough for you? All the articles tell the same tale Bernie Bro’s are showing interest in Gary Johnson, you know the one you said only racists support.

            Hmmm seems you must therefor believe a large portion of your fellow Bernie supporters are……. hmmmmm what’s the word you used, oh yeah. RACIST.

            lol

          • hiker_sf

            Do you even bother to read the shit you post?

            The link to MSNBC says that the desperate Johnson is going to pursue Sanders supporters. It says nothing about Sanders supporters supporting Johnson and his nutcase libertarian views. Actually it says that Johnson is going to fail at this effort. Among other things, he’s against minimum wages and efforts,to mitigate the harmful effects of climate change, and that’s the EXACT opposite of what Sanders supporters want.

            If I were Clinton, I’d avoid support from people like you.

          • Ragnar Lothbrok

            Hi WAYNE ! Any luck in digging up my quotes that don’t exist that you said you would post yesterday ?

            Busted again !

            LOLZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ !:) ! 🙂 ! 🙂

          • Wayne

            Oh you were critical whe I said I would dig up the quote now you are critical because I didn’t? I’m definitely Gina dig it up now

          • medaka

            I’m definitely Gina dig it up now

            You are Gina! LOLZ22ZZ!

          • Ragnar Lothbrok

            whe ar yu gon t di p way ?

            lolZzZzZzZ

          • medaka

            Here he goes with with LOLZ again

          • Ragnar Lothbrok

            Selfies are sure to follow

          • medaka

            Red white blue and bow tie cosplay selfies. Can’t. Wait.

          • The_Wretched

            Don’t be a sore winner / troll. Bernie was concerned that the DNC wasn’t secure in it’s data and then proved it. The mistake was in letting DWS and loons have control over the lists that Bernie’s team assembled. It’s was Bernie’s data in the first place.

      • Todd20036

        Mixed. Half black/half white.

        • james_from_cambridge

          He identifies as black. Amazing to me that for centuries, the “one drop” rule was in effect, even if the mixed individual looked white. Now, it’s always “how dare you! He’s mixed, not black!”, especially when white people wanna claim someone as their own. Please!

    • TK

      Wayne, it’s nice to read you admitting you were wrong. I’m anxious to see your apology one day…you’ll get there.

      • Wayne

        I have nothing to apologize for if anything Obama should finally admit he was wrong and apologize for standing behind his marriage is a sacred Union just for straight people but as I said I’m glad he finally got there and was glad to help push there

        • medaka

          if anything Obama should finally admit he was wrong and apologize for standing behind his marriage is a sacred Union just for straight people

          shortbus

  • I remember the shit the community (AmericaBlog leading the charge) was against Obama at the beginning. Even Rachel Maddow throwing shade (“fierce advocate?”). And I wonder how much of this success is because of that borderline-nasty prodding, and how much was premature. Remember the “Chill the fuck out, I got this” meme? Maybe he did. Probably more like, a little from column A and a little from column B I guess…

    • band

      People who were too fucking stupid to realize that if Obama made any overt efforts to try to get DADT repealed during his first year in office, the media narrative would have immediately become “Obama repeating Clinton’s mistakes” and that might have meant DADT wouldn’t get repealed during his first term—or the ACA passed.

      The same people who, after witnessing both the SecDef and head of the Joint Chiefs testifying before Congress in February 2010 in favor of DADT repeal, failed to acknowledge that Obama had actually been quietly doing what needed to be done to get DADT repealed the whole time they were screaming about him being a homophobe in 2009.

  • band

    Wayne Anderson is going to be apoplectic to see public acknowledgment of the fact that the election of that black guy in the White House has been one of the best things ever to happen to LGBT Americans

    • hiker_sf

      Romney would have been better. lol!

      • band

        And by “better,” he meant “whiter.”

        • Gustav2

          Of course, that’s a given.

  • james_from_cambridge
  • bkmn

    It took a while for him to take the first step but once he did it didn’t take long for him to run with it.

    • Robincho

      A good hockey player aims for the puck. A GREAT hockey player aims for where the puck’s GONNA be. This POTUS is unquestionably among the latter group, and every one of us should be on our knees to him, for making it so much easier to be “on our knees”… I expect greatness from Hillz also, but let us savor the (sadly) waning moments of him Setting The Tone… 😉

    • Lumpy Gaga

      Right after Joe Biden.

      Free Joe Biden!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Rex

    Thanks Obama.
    And, thanks to those who supported these efforts.
    Including Michelle Obama and Sasha and Malia.
    And, Joe Biden.
    And all the courageous LGBT Americans who championed the fight and would not back down.

    • Gerry Fisher

      Remember when Joe Biden said that Obama would make a really great candidate for President in ’07 because “he’s very articulate,” and he got a lot of deserved grief? Despite saying something that played off of a racist stereotype, he turned out to be a very close friend, adviser, political partner, and supporter of the first black president. Funny how things turn out, sometimes. 🙂

  • JustSayin’

    It is the most expansive efforts by a U.S President to assist the LGBT population and hopefully under President Clinton it will be continued and expanded.

    Now waiting for the perpetual whiners to complain or say he did not do “enough”.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    But soon enough, we will be reminded that the GOP and Dems are EXACTLY the same.

    • Todd20036

      Well, today’s democratic party is similar to the pre-Nixon GOP.

      Today’s GOP is disturbingly similar to the Nazi party of early 1930s Germany

      • Jean-Marc in Canada

        Perhaps, but they’re not the same and to make that comparison as “IT” does, is sophistry.

        Now, having said that, I agree that the Dems need to shift left which is why I think Bernie did do one thing right, he made them shift, though not far enough.

        • Kelly Lape

          I guess that just makes Burnie just another failure. After all he failed to make “them” shift.

          I’m feeling Burned out because assholes coming to the Democratic Party call us “them” – we’ve been here for decades. We’ve seen this country tack so far to the right that idiotic millenials seem to think both parties are the same.

  • 5moreminutes*imtired

    WAY O/T!!!! But they leaked a really grainy GAGA demo today, and I am loving ever bad-quality second of it. MELTDOWN!!!!!!!! That is all. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYsvaNeqbwk

  • tcinsf

    Thanks Obama!

  • 2karmanot

    After all is said and done this will be Obama’s true and historical legacy in the advance of human rights.

  • Tigernan Quinn

    I spent three months in a military jail in 1990 because my roommate and I got caught jerking off together – I will always be grateful to Obama’s administration for making sure such a thing can never happen to anyone ever again.

    • 3 fucking months. for masturbation. absolute bullshit.

  • Keppler2

    Reading the headline on this item, I found myself reflecting (once again) on how much Obama has done to redress legislative ills enacted by Bill Clinton, the guy HRC (Human Rights Campaign) keep extolling as the most gay-positive president in history. Moral: Ignore the promises and charm; look to the results. Thank you, President Obama, for this accounting, and for your help – even though, in the early days of your administration, it wasn’t clear that you’d acquit yourself any better than Bill did.

    • EqualityForAll

      It’s clear that, in the beginning, Obama played the political game of balancing himself on the fence of public opinion in an attempt to appease the masses. Unlike Bill Clinton, however, he quickly jumped off the fence and landed squarely on our side of the pasture. Rather than trying to appeal to perceived public opinion, he sought to change it – something for which I believe he has been largely successful.

  • JCF
  • Yeah, we’ll just ignore those first couple of years with the justice department. That’ll be our little secret. That, and 4 years of ‘evolution’.

    • Groundwork, planning, 4-dimensional chess. . . I’m not convinced that Obama didn’t have a plan all along. He’s a smart cookie, and over and over proved to be doing one thing behind the scenes while seemingly preoccupied doing something else. He’s earned a helluva a lot of benefit of the doubt.

  • Gregory In Seattle

    And on all of these issues, Obama had to be dragged, kicking and screaming.

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