By: Dani Langevin, Lesbian Columnist
My disclaimer for this column is that I am simply stating fact. So, if you are against rights for the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered) communities then you will have more reason to continue disliking our present government and if you are for these rights then, well, you have more fuel for the fight.
At no time in our history have we witnessed a government that has done so much for the rights of LGBT’s. In the February and August issues of The Advocate this year, I learned a great deal about Nancy Pelosi’s and Presidents Obama’s efforts to send a message to our nation that LGBT rights are human rights and to support them is to be an American.
Back in 1987, when it was still taboo and our own president was afraid to utter the acronym AIDS, Nancy Pelosi, a new member of California’s eighth congressional district spoke on the House floor about the government’s role in helping those victims dying of the disease.
“Here was this proper, Catholic mother of five who was standing up and talking about a disease that at the time people were really uncomfortable talking about at all,” said Carolyn Bartholomew, a former legislative director in an Advocate interview. Clearly, Nancy Pelosi understood long before the leader of our country did that AIDS was not a gay issue it was a human issue. Today she still fights for this cause and for the rights of the LGBT community.
Let us not forget the President’s hand in all of this. According to the eye opening article August issue in The Advocate, “Obama has signed the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act, announced the lifting of the ban on HIV-positive green card applicants and visitors to the U.S., and the Matthew Shephard and James Bird, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the first pro-LGBT federal law in U.S. History, repealed ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’, and appointed more LGBT’s to head commissions and agencies, to ambassadorships, and senior staff positions than any other president.
He didn’t appoint these people because they are gay. He appointed them because they were more than competent and the right person for the job. Their sexuality had nothing to do with it, as it shouldn’t. And he did not sign all of those policies because he has a gay agenda or to get more votes (he’s already in the White House). He did it because it is the right thing to do. Because Human Rights is not a la carte.
Back in May, President Obama made it known that he is an advocate for gay marriage. I say, “Why not be an advocate for marriage-period!”
Why does a marriage have to be deemed gay or straight? Why can’t marriage be about two people in love who want to share their lives together? Whatever the rhetoric, the President made it clear that he is an evolving and transformational president. Isn’t that what we have always wanted?
Haven’t we always wanted a world leader to envision the future of America and have the ability to not only see what we can be, but bring it to fruition. After all, our first leader was elected at the birth of our nation, a time when our ancestors just declared, fought for and won their independence.
They all knew what our potential was and they wanted a leader to shed the shackles of our previous oppressive government and pave the way to what our nation was about to become. We were and still are an evolving and transformational nation.