Tuesday, June 16, 2009

No More Crumbs

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by Ed Decker

A few weeks prior to the 2008 Presidential elections, I had dinner with our gay cousins in Manhattan’s Chelsea district. Without warning, the dinner conversation took a heated turn and I found myself struggling to convince our hosts that Obama was a better choice for America than McCain. Surprisingly, our queer relatives were not having it. Gays that weren’t for Obama? Had I entered the twilight zone?

I was dumfounded by their unyielding position that the Democratic Party had disappointed the gay community time and time again. At least the Republicans don’t lie about hating us, our cousins contended, you know where they stand. With the Democrats, they continued with vigor, they’ll lie to you to get your vote and then all you end up with is crumbs. Empty promises of equality for our community that never truly materialize. Look at the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell gays in the military policy.

I mean what the hell? Yet year after election year, we are mesmerized by the possibility of real leadership from the “liberal” Democrats and all that ever materializes is betrayal. The LGBT community pours money into their campaign coffers and all we get back is crumbs, we tell you, crumbs!

I stared at them speechless. One of them continues with great passion, `You are making a play. You have the power to make a difference. You must do something. It is up to you to help change our course'. At this point, tears accompanied his pleas.

It was difficult to understand how our queer cousins or any gay person for that matter could not see that the LGBT community was certainly better off with a liberal vs conservative in the White House. I conceded that sure, we may be taking small steps, but at least we are making progress right? They were not moved by this well tread point of view. Truth be told, I am no longer either.

The rage our cousins feel now burns in my belly. They are right. It is time that equality in this country disavow its heterosexual prerequisite. We have to stop settling for less. Even as some parts of the country acknowledge our unions, the 1996Defense of Marriage Act, defining marriage between a man and a woman, is still the law of the land.

So this inch by inch, city by city, state by state, approach to LGBT equality battle needs to change. There is a bigger picture here. Our “pro-gay”allies need to truly step up. This includes President Obama publicly acknowledging that the LGBT community is an integral part of this country and that discrimination, in any form, will not be tolerated. Plain and simple. No more crumbs.

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