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Obama’s Report Card on Gay Issues: C+

President Obama fired his first gay military officer today. Navy Lt. Dan Choi was fired under the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy because he is gay. His appearance on national television, as a spokesperson for Knights Out, a group of 38 GLBT military women and men,  violates the antiquated and discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Aaron Belkin of The Huffington Post argues that, if he chose, President Obama could issue an executive order that would effectively end the policy.

As most of us know, the firing is a loss not only because of its discriminatory stance, but because Choi is an Arabic translator, and the military is desperately short in this field.

Overall, President Obama’s report card on gay and lesbian issues has been mixed, and outlets such as the Times have been pressing the President on his cautious agenda on GLBT issues. I’m giving him a C+ because of his hiring of several high profile members of his cabinet (can you tell that I’m in grading mode?). However, he merits only an average rating because of his failure to move on campaign promises to GLBT constituents. So far, he has remained silent on the gay marriage legislative decisions in Iowa and Maine, and now failed to act upon the firing of gay servicemen and women.

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Filed under: gay rights, government, politics, , , , ,

7 Responses

  1. K says:

    A bit harsh on the guy who has been in 100 days and has had to deal with:

    – collapse of the banking system
    – collapse of the American auto makers
    – getting mortgage and foreclosure relief through
    – war in Iraq
    – war in Afghanistan
    – rebuilding America’s prestige and honor around the world
    – undoing the numerous midnight executive orders that were harmful to the environment and so on
    – shutting down Gitmo
    – dealing with the rapidly deteriorating situation in Pakistan
    – putting together a budget
    – numberous other things that make me proud to be an American again … and not ashamed.

    I mean, really, cut the guy some freaking slack. He’s doing more than GWB did in eight years, and he’s got a lot on his plate, and he only has so much political capital to spend — which he’s likely going to have to do in order to get a decent supreme court justice in, anyway.

    Why not celebrate Iowa, Maine and New Hampshire? They’re getting the job done on their own.

    • Dave Singleton says:

      If it were Bush doing exactly the same, you’d be railing against him and giving him an “F.”

      P.S. To all of those using the “he’s so busy” excuse. He took the job- stop whining.

  2. Dave Singleton says:

    If it were Bush doing exactly the same, you’d be railing against him and giving him an “F.”

    P.S. To all of those using the “he’s so busy” excuse. He took the job- stop whining.

  3. Wesley says:

    I dunno, I’d give him a C+/B-, mostly because he’s had some (probably unintentional) effect by inspiring/driving various states to run into the outfield in either direction. And a leader who makes people take sides and mix it up is a good leader I think, until someone loses an eye.

  4. […] stop the dismissal of gay and lesbian soldiers too much to ask? Should President Obama receive more than a C+ for his performance on gay issues? Leave a Comment No Comments Yet so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. […]

  5. Hey, I am totally going to agree with you…Obama is seeming a bit shitty on the gay issues these days. I totally feel that politicians will tell you anything to get your vote just like “players” will tell you anything to get in your pants.

    I am going to keep hoping he steps it up though… a friend messaged me this. (Its a start…)

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/amanda-simpson-transgender-presidential-appointee-begins-work-commerce/story?id=9477161

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Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

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