“We are under no obligation to give the spotlight to someone who specifically compares LGBT to pedophiles.
I'm not opposed to having an evangelical preacher included. In fact, if we can make inroads into various faith communities to talk about progressive values, that's great.
However, this is a guy that specifically fought to take rights away from people in California. Rewarding him for his notoriety, a notoriety he used to harm LGBT families, seems particularly undeserving.”
“I completely agree that Obama needs to build a strong coalition, but inviting someone who has been so outspokenly against LGBT people to the table before that person shows any sign of reconsideration of their positions? That ends up seeming like LGBT people are being told that having their voice at the table is less important than his voice.
And to date, we're not at the table. No openly LGBT cabinet positions. Only 1 even high level appointment that is LGBT at the White House Council of Environmental Quality.
Obama is great at reaching across the aisle, but we're asking that he include our community in a serious way, too. So far, that hasn't happened.”
mb32 on Dec 19, 2008 at 16:22:36
“How is Nancy Sutley not at the table? She's part of the White House team. I hear and understand the frustration but diminishing her importance and overlooking the progressive views of Rev Lowery is a mistake - IMO. The singular focus on Warren and downplaying Lowery has done more to elevate Warren then what Obama probably intended. I suspect that Obama will even comment on your concerns in his address. The day is supposed to be about unity -bridging the North and the South, so to speak. I know you are hurt and want more. Building a bridge to opposing viewpoints will never be easy. But if you see an opportunity to start building, I think you have to take it even when you know people will not fully understand and will criticize your move. We may not get every thing we want the way we want it, when we want it, but I believe that this new administration will hear and listen to our concerns and try to develop solutions to the best of their ability.”
“I appreciate your comments. I agree that we should never return to the ways Bush ran our country--essentially treating political positions as a commodities. However, he could have picked a number of faith leaders who support his own views that don't have a record of comparing same-sex marriage to pedophiles.
Pam over at Pam's House Blend has an excellent post up about this subject.
“I haven't seen any mention of that elevation and Chuck Wolfe--who is working incredibly closely on the appointments project--also argues that there are no LGBT cabinet members. I liked to it above, but I'll include it here as well:
“Although I appreciate the band's inclusion in the parade, it is not part of the same ceremony that Rick Warren is a part of. I think there is a substantial difference and I attempted to differentiate that in the post.
Additionally, Nancy Sutley is not a cabinet position.”
“I agree that outrage and the sharing of personal stories makes an impact. But I've always found that decisions makers are looking for outcomes. What can the decision maker say or do that makes things better? In my personal advocacy, I've found that to be a helpful tool.
I really appreciate your thoughtful comment, though. And I hope the Obama people are paying attention to this.”
With the rumored nomination of Rep. Hilda Solis to the post of Labor Secretary, it’s apparent Barack Obama’s cabinet will not include a member of the LGBT community. Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Leadership Institute, expressed the community’s disappointment.
“It’s now clear that President Obama’s top appointees will gather in a Cabinet Room that does not reflect the living rooms, board rooms or rooms of worship across this country. Openly LGBT people are accepted and involved in nearly all aspects of American life, but they still will not have a place at the table at the highest reaches of their government,” Wolfe said.
The LGBT community’s Presidential Appointments Project does not have an express goal of attaining a cabinet-level appointment, but the floating of several names of openly gay and lesbian contenders to head the Labor and Interior Departments stirred hope that Obama would make an historic nomination. Still, Obama will make thousands more appointments in the coming months, and the Project has so far collected some 1,400 applications from openly LGBT at all levels of experience.
“Floating names is not enough. We expect President-elect Obama to live up to his word to appoint a diverse administration,” Wolfe said. “Our community is ready to help lead this country.””
vjoseph on Dec 18, 2008 at 16:55:52
“Nancy Sutley was nominated this week. It is not my fault that you fell to see that nomination THIS WEEK.”
“I don't think anyone is making the argument that churches should be forced to marry same-sex couples. However, my point is that this gives Warren a platform that could make him America's pastor for the next 4 to 8 years. He doesn't represent all Americans, and he has been especially harmful to LGBT people.”
Giglawyer on Dec 18, 2008 at 20:00:11
“Given eveything I have read, I believe that many on the religious right are concerned about this. I think that there would be less of a fight from many Christians if this issue were clarified.
Given the truly bigoted people out there, I struggle to see how Rick Warren has been "especially harmful" to LGBT people. He does not preach a message of intolerance or hatred. His missions are inclusive of AIDS, health care for all, and other social issues affecting the LGBT community. As far as evangelicals go, Rick Warren is not one I would put on the "especially harmful" list.
I certainly respect (and agree with) the civil rights arguments behind gay marriage. I also reject the legislation of religious beliefs, which is really what Prop 8 was. But, I think part of the resistance (as seen in the internet ads) to gay marriage is the belief by Christians that the LGBT is somehow legislating a belief that is contrary to their core beliefs and infringes upon their religion. That's why I believe the next attempt to legalize gay marriage has to have very clear lines drawn that this is only a civil right, and that religious institutions and leaders will not be affected in any way.”