The news that President Obama will mention DADT in tonight's State of the Union address was received by the Gay blog-o-sphere with the kind of cynicism and spite typically reserved for the truly homophobic. Steeped in skepticism and laden with an infantile sense of defeatism, some important blogs even suggested the President skip speaking of DADT entirely.
I often use the word "reckless" to describe such voices, but in this case reckless would be generous. Because not only must the President speak of DADT during his address, he must lay-out a plan for its eventual repeal in a way that is democratic, long-lasting and moral. Not because juvenile Gay media types say so.
But because you, Barack Obama, you said so!
Unlike many other LGBT bloggers, I've never stooped to calling President Obama a homophobe. Yes, decisions such as the Rick Warren inauguration appearance were certainly misguided. But to brand Barack Obama a homophobe both diminishes the very potency of that word while opening the door for real homophobes to one day take this community down.
Instead, I believe the President is as sensitive to LGBT concerns as he is to the concerns of every oppressed American. It took eight years for Bill Clinton to wreck havoc on Gay America with DADT and DOMA and I never anticipated this damage could be undone in a mere 12 months. How anyone could only confirms the poisonous myopia of the insta-everything Gay-stream.
White House haters may view the repeal of DADT as just another opportunity for an anti-Obama blog-smear. But we must remember this is truly life and death for LGBT soldiers. For them, this is not a mere headline or debate topic, but rather their ability to serve safely and securely while protecting our safety and security. This is an issue with no room for cynicism, but only respect, urgency and action.
Most importantly, this is the moment -- one of many still ahead of us -- where LGBTs must stop their Bama-bashing and Dem-dissing and demand (yes, once again!) that the President abide by his promise to repeal DADT. Not because the President "owes" us something, or has "thrown us under a bus" (come on!). But because he has a moral imperative to abide by the moral compass I believe has always guided him.
Ending DADT is simply the right thing to do. And Barack Obama knows it.
While President Obama can certainly kick-start a DADT repeal, this is not a one-man operation. Particularly if we want to ensure such policies will truly -- and irrevocably -- become law. It's essential President Obama show the leadership and will needed to end DADT, but it's equally key that we as citizens demonstrate we are right there behind him. That as much as we demand he act as a fierce advocate for LGBTs, that we are equally fierce advocates for ourselves.
Perhaps one cynical truth is absolutely certain, politicians are -- in the main -- mostly preoccupied by a single goal: Retaining their jobs. If their constituents support a DADT repeal, they'll support a DADT repeal. But they must hear from those constituents -- and they must hear from them now! Indeed, as we gear up for tonight's address, it has never been more crucial to send a shout-out to the White House that the nation will no longer tolerate discrimination against our soldiers.
I have spoken aggressively against LGBT talking heads who bash the Oval Office with little concern for the consequences of their actions. Lots of bashing has gone on since details of the President's speech have begun to emerge on Monday. I do not call myself a leader. But I do ask those who truly desire LGBT equality trade defeatism for a solutions-based mindset that will usher in the change Pres. Obama both promised and must deliver.
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