Joyce L. Arnold, Liberally Independent, Queer Talk, equality activist, writer.
Just another week in presidential election year marketing, and though probably only an all but unnoticed blip in their “how are we doing this week” tracking, both Republican and Democrat received some negatives for their responses to LGBT related concerns.
From Annie-Rose Strasser, Romney Dodges Question On Why He Supports Personal Liberty For The Rich, But Not For LGBT People Or Women:
At Mitt Romney’s town hall event in Colorado today (July 10), an audience member asked the presidential candidate where he stood on personal liberty … .
AUDIENCE MEMBER: ‘I see that you project yourself as somebody that is a champion of liberty, and I was really moved when you said that this country is propelled by free people. …
… so my question is in terms of social equality and in terms of women’s rights or gay rights and liberty in that area, what is so wrong about exploring liberty and giving liberty to everyone in every field, not just in the economy?’
Romney went on to mostly dodge the young man’s question, speaking only specifically about the issue of abortion, and not speaking to LGBT issues at all. …
For some context, and by coincidence, a new Public Opinion on Gay Marriage in Utah was released.
In 2004, 54% of Utah voters stated there should be no legal recognition of gay relationships. Only 25% supported civil unions. …
Now, opposition to gay marriage has dropped to 29%. Meanwhile, 43% of Utah voters support civil unions, and 28% support gay marriage.
This is the “all” conundrum. It’s really hard to make the case that “liberty and justice for all” actually means for “some.” An honest version might be something like, “with liberty and justice for some of the people all of the time,” but that’s kind of like being offered an apple pie made with all the apples in one slice, and it’s been taken.
For Mr. Obama, this isn’t strictly an LGBT story, not when the facts are considered. But it’s still true that for a lot of people, saying “AIDS” immediately leads to thoughts of gay men. Via Metro Weekly:
AIDS Healthcare Foundation Challenges Obama on AIDS Conference Attendance, Policies
With less than two weeks until the kickoff of the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) in Washington, one key participating organization is expressing dismay at the failure of President Obama to confirm his attendance for an event being held a mile from the White House.
At a press conference this morning (July 9), members of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) said Obama’s inaction was another example of an administration that has not placed the fight against AIDS high on its list of priorities. …
Some 25,000 people are expected to attend the conference (the first time in more than twenty years it’s been held in the U.S.), including Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
This is not the first time Obama has sent mixed signals to AIDS activists. Although Obama lifted the travel ban that prevented those with the disease from entering the U.S. in 2009 – an effort begun by his predecessor, George W. Bush – his global AIDS budget for fiscal year 2013 cuts funding by $214 million, decreasing it from $6.63 billion to $6.42 billion.
Staying in DC and in a 2012 frame of mind, Chris Geidner reports Democrats Fight DOMA In Court — But 60 Stay Home:
The House Democrats went to court today (July 10) to defeat the Defense of Marriage Act, filing a brief in an ongoing challenge to the law. Nearly one-third of the party’s caucus, however, didn’t join the party leadership in calling the law unconstitutional.
Geidner adds that twenty of those 60 members (a list is included in the article) have actually signed on as co-sponsors of the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal DOMA, so at least for them, failure to sign the brief must not mean they support DOMA. Maybe it’s a question of tactics, and 2012 spinning. For the other 40, who knows, but surely 2012 politics are involved, if not the determining factor. Once again, though, the question comes to mind: how far ahead does the Electorate have to be before the Electeds figure out they’re courageously bringing up the rear?
I can hardly wait for more 2012 signs of fearless, cutting edge leadership.