This is a lovely fall day and I have spent it inside listening to the speakers at the National Equality March and tweeting my support for granting full equality to all our citizens. It is astonishing to me that in 2009 there are still people who are afraid that their rights will be trammeled if we respect the rights of others (already guaranteed by our Constitution). And so we go about deliberately taking civil rights from our GLBT family, friends and neighbors, state by state. We write legislation taking rights away. There is nothing less democratic and more hateful than this. Why is it that the right wing always wants to deny full citizenship to Native Americans, women, African Americans, and GLBT people? It is exactly like the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s, which gave full civil rights to all citizens, excluding no one. But these civil rights have been amended by various states to exclude GLBT people explicitly--most notably by California in it's recent passage of Proposition 8 in November 2008. Utah is another state that has recently attempted to legalize discrimination against GLBT from every aspect of full participation in society--housing, employment, marriage, service in the military and national guard.
Bill Clinton had the opportunity to oppose Don't Ask, Don't Tell and the Defense Of Marriage Act, but failed to do so. In my opinion this was his greatest failure, this abandoning of the rights of all our citizens to full participation in our society.
President Obama gave a wonderful speech last night in support of granting full civil rights to GLBT citizens by ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell and the Defense Of Marriage Act. He did not set a time limit, but I believe he will follow through on his promise. If he does this, he will have earned his Nobel Prize.