Persistence of Vision

Who could have thought that with a bit of patience and some work that things could possibly have changed?  Oh wait.  I said that…back on June 17.  While most were out complaining that the Obama administration wasn’t moving fast enough on LGBT issues and had thrown us under the bus, I was trying to remind you all that change takes time…so be patient and also persistent.  And it was yesterday (Oct. 28) when Obama signed the first major LGBT bill…The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act…which he had promised to do when he was a candidate for President.  And far be it from me to sit here and tell you that I told you so…so I will refrain from doing so.

Sure, the signing of the hate crimes bill is his first major accomplishment for LGBT rights as seen by most in the LGBT community (not all).  However, it’s not the only thing that has been done.  He has allowed State Department employees to include their same-sex partners in certain embassy programs.  He has expanded some federal benefits to same-sex partners…excluding health benefits and pensions which must be done by Congress.  And he has told the Department of Health and Human Services to lift the ban on HIV+ people from entering the country…a law passed by Congress and signed by then-President George W. Bush, but was never enforced.

Yes, this is all just but a small drop in the bucket.  There is still a lot of work to be done.  But I ask you this…should we be out there antagonizing those that we need to work with?  In my opinion…no.  We should remain persistent and steadfast in terms of our goals and what we want to see accomplished.  We need to continue to work with members of Congress and the President to keep moving our goals forward.

We must be persistent…but most importantly, we must be patient as well.   It has been 9 months now since Obama took office.  Apparently, the vast majority of people expected things to change instantly once he was in office.  And if any of those people understood politics in the slightest bit, they would know that change takes time.  This is why I say to be patient…but be persistent and stay on them about it.  Don’t let them slide our issues under the rug.  Congress right now is working on ENDA, DADT, DOMA, LGBT immigration reform, and even federal benefits to all LGBT employees.  In fact, ENDA has a Senate hearing that is fast approaching and could possibly be our next major accomplishment.  And with DADT, even though the President hasn’t said much to Congress in regards to the issue, he is working with the Defense Department and the Pentagon (and he has been talking to certain members of Congress, as well) on a plan to terminate the failed policy once Congress passes the legislation.  Things are in motion and they take time.  Patience and Persistence.  (And as a quick note…President Obama cannot overturn DADT with an executive order.  So quit saying that he should.  It was a law passed by Congress, and thus Congress must overturn it.  All the President can do is sign an executive order to stop all investigations and prosecutions of LGBT service-members…which yes, I do think he should do; however, in the overall grand scheme of things, it would do little good as it would be overturned by another executive order by the next President more than likely unless the law is overturned by Congress by that time.  Also think of it this way…without the stop in place, Congress might be more prone to act on this legislation rather than putting it to the back-burner.  Food for thought.)

In regards to DOMA…and I really hate repeating myself with this simply because it’s annoying.  The Justice Department has to defend this law in court.  They have no choice.  It is their job to defend the laws of the nation.  They don’t get to pick what laws they want to obey and defend.  President George W. Bush attempted to do just that (upon Vice-President Cheney’s advice) and we rose up and said that he couldn’t do that.  And now here we sit attempting to set a double-standard.  Do I want DOMA repealed?  Yes.  Do I think it will be?  Yes.  But do I get mad at the Justice Department because they are defending it in court?  No.  Why?  Because it’s the law…and they are entrusted to uphold all the laws…no matter how controversial or wrong they are.

It has been just over 9 months…and yet here we sit bitching that things haven’t changed fast enough for us.  Hell, we still have 3+ years to go.   And we are just now starting emerge out of a severe economic recession that has gripped our nation for the past couple of years…though the job market has yet to improve.  Our issues are important to us…as they should be.  But we must also keep in mind those issue that grip all of us together.  Sometimes, there are bigger things that do take precedence over others.  So the art of patience must be practiced.  It will come in quite useful.  But on top of that patience, be constantly persistent.  Our overall goals cannot be achieved without these two things.  Don’t give up…and don’t antagonize those that are trying to work with you.  Be persistent with them but stay on their side.  There is only so much one person can do on their own.  It’s better not to piss off those that are trying to help because, in the end, they could turn away their support for our cause.  We should focus our frustration on those that are actually against us and our community.  We know what our grand vision is… a nation of equal citizens.  Momentum is on our side.    It took 11 years to get the hate crimes bill passed…and you’re bitching that it took this administration 9 months?  I think the blame goes to other administrations.  And by comparison, the other bills are moving along a lot faster than that one did.  So continue to drive the message of our cause, but remember some things take a little time (especially when they have to go through congressional protocols).  Be persistent but remember patience.  Our goals will be achieved.

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2 Responses to Persistence of Vision

  1. latavian says:

    Who does the photo of the eye belong to?

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