Dear President Obama: THANK YOU! Guys in the Coffee Shop: Get Off Your Asses

… and thank you to the activists, legislators and lobbyists who took action to make this happen. 

I recently moved to Manhattan in the Chelsea neighborhood.  Tonight I went out to a coffee shop to do some work.  The repeat of DADT has lifted my spirits in the struggle.  However,  I can’t help but overhear the conversation going on at the next table and it’s making my blood boil.  Two gay guys are discussing why they don’t go to rallies or other activist events.  They are explaining to each other why they don’t. 

“I don’t go because I just don’t run into discrimination or other problems.  I don’t get kicked out of places or called names…”

The two of them went on about it and how some of their friends go, but they don’t.  I couldn’t stand it. 

“You don’t run into it because you live in Chelsea, a gay Mecca situated in a very gay friendly metro area!” I thought to myself.

“I’ve even been to Georgetown DC, and I don’t even run into trouble there…”

“Georgetown DC?  That’s your example of a conservative place?  Try going to Provo UT and holding a guy’s hand.  See what kind of looks you get there, dickhead.”  I rambled to myself.

I just could. not. stand. it. 

I stood up and went over to their table.  I told this guy that the reason he doesn’t run into these issues is because he lives in a gay mecca, but more importantly because others who came before you stood up and marched so your life could be better. You need to start doing the same! 

This so infuriates me how many gay people aren’t taking action to help the cause.  They aren’t working hard to make sure that the future generation of gay folk will have it better than we do.  It’s like parents and the refrain of “Making a better world for our children”

Why aren’t we paying them back by doing so?

Well, I’ll tell you someone who is.  It’s that “Do Nothing Obama.”  The repeal of DADT was not singlehandedly won by him.  There were other legislators and many many tireless activists who helped make this happen.

However, President Obama stood up, addressed the country and the government and put a stake in the ground, pushing them to repeal DADT.  It happened.  It happened sooner than I thought it would.  This is HUGE.

There are many people with power, money and influence who did NOT want to see this happen.  Obama stood up to them.  He stood up to those who say:

“[The House of Representatives approval of a “hate crimes” provision within the defense authorization bill] also sets us on a slippery slope toward serious infringements of the freedom of speech and freedom of religion. ‘Hate crime’ legislation will lay the legal foundation and framework for investigating, prosecuting and persecuting pastors, business owners, and anyone else whose actions reflect their faith.”
~Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council

• “[F]reedoms are being lost.”
~Pastor Jim Garlow of Skyline Church in La Mesa, California

• “As has proved to be true in both Europe and Canada, this Orwellian piece of legislation is the direct precursor to freedom killing and speech chilling ‘hate speech’ laws.

“It represents a thinly veiled effort to ultimately silence – under penalty of law – morally, medically and biblically based opposition to the homosexual lifestyle.”
~Matt Barber of the Liberty Counsel

• “This new federal law promotes two Orwellian concepts. It creates a special class of persons who are ‘more equal than others’ based on nothing more than deviant, sexual behavior. And it creates ‘thought crimes’ by criminalizing certain ideas, beliefs, and opinions, and the involvement of such ideas, beliefs, and opinions in a crime will make it deserving of federal prosecution.  

“Consequently, government officials are claiming the power to decide which thoughts are criminal under federal law and which are not.”
~Robert Muise, Senior Trial Counsel for the Thomas More Law Center

• “There are no ‘love crimes’ when it comes to violence. The reality is that so-called ‘hate crime’ laws are designed to punish people for what they think, feel, or believe.

“Violent crimes should be punished regardless of the characteristics of the victim. ‘Hate crime’ laws are an effort to enforce the orthodoxy of political correctness and to curtail freedom of speech.”
~Glen Lavy, Senior Counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund

• “But ‘hate crime’ laws are unnecessary. Criminal acts are already illegal. What’s more, ‘hate crime’ laws violate the constitutional right to equal protection, create the un-American offense of “thought crime,” and abridge the freedoms of speech, religion and association.”
~Robert Knight and Lindsey Douthit for the Concerned Women For America

There are lots of people who agree with these crazy statements.  Obama has made himself a target of these people.  I sure hope we have his back when he runs for reelection.

Furthermore, as far as the implementation of DADT Repeal, let’s not jump all over the administration for working out training and readiness schedules.  There are plenty of serving men and women who agree with Col. Bill Spencer and his wacky worries about repeal. 

Let’s not forget that there are more than a handful of homophobes running around with guns, grenades and other weapons.  I want to make sure that those people are identified, educated, or weeded out.  I want to make sure that our own people are educated on how to deal with homophobia in a way that does not escalate into a gunfight.  I don’t want to see LGBT men and women coming home in body bags due to homophobic fragging incidents.

There is a difference between “serving among gay people” as they have been and serving around out and proud gay people who will not be shy about who they are (and good for them!).  If there wasn’t then why was repeal so important?

Everyone needs to continue to do their part on our various battles.  This shit doesn’t happen by itself.  It happens because people like activists, legislators and presidents stand up and lead; they take action not just for themselves but for others.

Obama has kept his word.  Surely he has earned some trust on this issue, no?  I suggest we have some patience and let him continue to lead rather than jumping all over him because the law doesn’t go into effect when he signs the law.

Read up on the desegregation timeline and the fiction of “stroke of a pen”…

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