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Blender asks U.S. Senator about LGBT rights. Response: you're 'fortunate to have Obama in the WH'

Wow. Just Wow. With the naked drama and paranoia over Obama’s senior domestic policy aide Melody Barnes’s simple statement about marriage equality, and the slow movement on LGBT issues by the WH and Congress, I guess we should be happy that these nuggets of wisdom keep coming out that justify the DNC donor boycott/”pause”.

A Blender emailed me yesterday about a reception for Rhode Island U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D), and the lawmaker was asked about both the boycott and his viewpoint on the progress on civil equality. The senator’s candid response tells the whole story about what “change” means from this Democrat’s point of view.

I’m really glad I asked him about the gay bloggers and their boycott of the DNC. I told him you were all angry over a lack of progress on issues like Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, a repeal of DOMA, etc.

I like Sheldon a lot, and I have much respect for him, but his response to my question was bullshit. His whole spiel was “Oh politics is messy and complicated, blah blah blah…..” And then he said Congress has to get health care done, then fix the economy, do climate change, etc. Great, and the civil rights of 30 million people are being denied. I guess gays and lesbians don’t matter. I wish someone had said that to him.

Then I mentioned that the gay bloggers believe the Democratic party takes the GLBT community for granted and keeps delaying votes on our rights. I really pressed Sheldon on that. He said we should all feel fortunate that we have Obama in the White House and a Congress which supports him. He said the Republicans were obstructionists, and added amendments to bills, etc.

I felt very disillusioned listening to that. He didn’t seem to have a real explanation why the Democrats haven’t moved faster on gay rights. Politics is unwieldy? Do you and Joe Sudbay and the others buy that argument? Should we?

Whitehouse’s view probably represents that of many of his Hill colleagues. I have to say that the senator’s response is exactly why a boycott donations to the DNC is under way (along with the DSCC and DCCC, IMHO). There is no excuse for the lack of movement on so many minor (low-hanging fruit listed by our advocacy orgs), let alone, major LGBT issues by this admin and by Congress.

That a sitting senator hasn’t any problem giving the “you should be grateful” statement is BS — implicit is that LGBTs need to keep opening our wallets over and over and be happy about any progress is ludicrous. The President made promises, we’re holding him and the party to dealing with them. The problem is there’s always going to be an excuse that also revolves around timelines for midterms, re-elections, etc., so the best time to deal with the “hard” issues is now. These leaders can multitask. They choose not to.

So what are your thoughts? Anyone else attend their Congresscritters events and heard BS like this?

Related:
* DNC boycott gains momentum; Q of the day: what are the risks?
* Gay Inc.’s ‘low hanging fruit’ that hasn’t been picked

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding

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