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Wayne Anderson Headshot

The LGBT Bamboozle?

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The LGBT and Latino communities have been two of President Obama's most supportive constituencies. And in an effort to bolster any lagging support President Obama has recently been making big headlines on issues of concern to the two communities, such as gay marriage and immigration reform, and in doing so the president has re-energized many of his gay and Latino supporters. But there is an apparent and somewhat glaring disparity between the president's rhetoric and executive actions concerning the two constituencies.

For several months now the president has boldly implemented a growing number of executive actions on immigration reform including his most recent memorandum to stop deporting young undocumented immigrants. Yet there have been no executive orders or presidential memorandums issued in regards to President Obama's rhetoric on gay equality issues. The president's announcement that he personally supports the right of gay people to marry garnered major media attention, most of it positive, in addition to a major uptick in political donations from LGBT voters (even though the president's support of a state's right to ban gay marriages seems to undercut his supposed support of full marriage equality). And all the while, Obama's reelection campaign remains ambiguous, at best, when it comes to supporting the inclusion of marriage equality on the national Democratic Party platform. And sadly, the president continues to refuse to issue an executive order on "ENDA" which would bar federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Why is there such a disparity in Obama's use of presidential powers? Is the LGBT community being bamboozled by President Obama? Why is it that the Latino community receives bold executive actions from the president to allay their concerns on stagnant immigration reform, yet the LGBT community is left with little more than lip service from the president regarding our concerns about marriage and workplace equality?