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Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:16 PM

Paul Begala: Will President Obama Deliver on Gay Rights?



The president inspired with talk of Stonewall and equality. So what will he do about it? By Paul Begala.

When Martin Luther King Jr. spoke to the March on Washington in 1963, he used an interesting metaphor. He called “the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence ... a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.” King said he and the hundreds of thousands gathered on the Mall were there “to cash a check.”

In his second inaugural address, on the day we honor Dr. King, President Obama issued a promissory note of his own. “Our journey is not complete,” he declared without equivocation or reservation, “until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”

Our president linked Stonewall with Selma and Seneca Falls as latter-day Lexingtons and Concords in the battle for full equality for all Americans. The Stonewall Inn was a New York gay bar. On June 28, 1969, it was raided by the police, enforcing a law that prohibited liquor licenses for bars with a gay clientele. This had happened before; gay Americans were routinely humiliated and incarcerated. But this time they fought back. The riot was a seminal moment in the history of gay rights. So for the president to link it to Selma, where the heroic John Lewis and others were savagely beaten, and Seneca Falls, where Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and other pioneers of the women’s-rights movement dared to declare their equality, is both historic and heartening.

But almost before his words had finished resonating across the National Mall, his press secretary was walking them back. The president, he told reporters, personally supports gay marriage. But the legality of gay marriage itself? “That’s something that should be addressed by the states.” Of course, states determined the legality of interracial marriage for decades, and so the marriage of the president’s parents was illegal in 19 states. We rightly look back at that time with horror, just as our children will look back on today, when 30 states have enshrined discrimination against gays into their constitutions.

Full article:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2013/01/28/paul-begala-will-president-obama-deliver-on-gay-rights.html

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Reply Paul Begala: Will President Obama Deliver on Gay Rights? (Original post)
DonViejo Jan 2013 OP
Liberal_Stalwart71 Jan 2013 #1
DURHAM D Jan 2013 #2
Liberal_Stalwart71 Jan 2013 #6
dsc Jan 2013 #4
Liberal_Stalwart71 Jan 2013 #5
Proud Liberal Dem Jan 2013 #3
Behind the Aegis Jan 2013 #7

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:21 PM

1. Did Begala hold his former boss accountable for DOMA? He makes valid points, but it was

Bill Clinton who put us in this position.

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Response to Liberal_Stalwart71 (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:27 PM

2. drivel

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Response to DURHAM D (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 08:02 PM

6. Not drivel! TRUTH!!! Not only did DOMA pass Congress, Bill Clinton went around the country in 1996

bragging about how much he hated gays getting married.

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Response to Liberal_Stalwart71 (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 05:08 PM

4. True or false

DOMA passed both Houses with veto proof majorities. If you don't know, then you are too ignorant of this issue to post. I await your answer.

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Response to dsc (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 08:01 PM

5. Spare me the bullshit! Bill Clinton went around the country and campaigned for DOMA!

By 1996, BOTH houses were controlled by Republicans, and yes, there were Blue Dog Democrats who were more conservative on the issue.

Before you call me ignorant or other names, know your goddam history.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 01:19 PM

3. Legislatively?

Not a whole lot as far as I can tell with this Congress. Unless Republicans get with the times and stop their hating on LGBTs, I don't see how, considering the GOP control of the House and the filibuster-prone GOP in the Senate, anything gets through for at least the next 2 years. I can see ENDA eventually getting approved by a more progressive Congress but, unfortunately, not anytime soon. DOMA's fate will ultimately rest on SCOTUS and I have no idea how they might rule. It would depend on one of the moderate/conservative justices providing a swing vote like with ACA. I can see much more progress- both on non-discrimination and marriage equality- being made at the state-level and I'm sure that President Obama will do as much as he can using EOs. Congress has become rather worthless IMHO for anything other than.............

As wrong as it may be, I simply don't see Congress legislating marriage equality. Scrapping DOMA, sure? I predict that for national marriage equality to exist in all 50 states, it will have to happen piecemeal, state-by-state, over a long period of time absent the existence of a progressive supermajority that support it in Congress.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 02:28 AM

7. I won't hold my breath, but I will try to be hopeful.

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