Or trying to, at least.
I have to say this: I am not an impatient woman. (Yes, I can hear the laughter from here.) What I mean to say is that, given that politics and government were what I studied, with the intention of joining those despicable creatures that I later realized I couldn't put up working with, I understand that anything related to government is going to take at least twice as long as people think or want, and that's being on the very conservative side.
Yes, I would love to see DOMA repealed. As a woman who is legally married to her spouse elsewhere, having our marriage recognized by the federal government would have the greatest effect and benefit to my life. But I know that that is not a priority, especially given the state of the country when the new administration took office.
I admit I was a bit persnickety about the DADT thing, as I agreed with the legal scholars who said that, much as segregation in the military was ended by a President, so could this discriminatory issue. Yes, it would still be on the books, and it's important to have Congress remove it, but the President, as Commander In Chief could put out an order restricting the military from spending any money on the processes that enforce DADT. But, begrudgingly, I admit that I understand where the administration is coming from in the way they want to remove it. (That doesn't mean I'm happy
about it. Just that I understand it.)
And the DOJ filing last week. On the surface, well, yes. As somebody who's now spent the majority of her working life in the legal field, I understood it. When a case is brought against you, you fight it. You move to dismiss, and you fight it in any way possible. That's what you do.
But then I read more of it. And it turned out to be more of the slanderous, baseless name calling that we've been hearing for years. While the DOJ (and I in no way, shape or form, think that Obama had a hand in crafting it, nor do I expect that he read it before approving it - if he did so personally at all) was absolutely right in that they have a duty to defend it, the manner in which they did so was despicable and disgusting.
Which left me not at all surprised by the White House's gesture last night. But oh, how I wish it could have been anything but a gesture. It certainly has no substance. This post ("If Barack Obama was Gay")
very clearly and succinctly sums up what the LGBT community of Federal Workers will and will not get out of this Memorandum. Please read it, and then return.
Yes, they are good things to have. I won't deny that. But that shouldn't be put out there as appeasement. Those benefits are things that should be granted automatically. Along with all the others. And DOMA prevents you from offering health insurance to their partners? Well, then, how is it possible that my company, among many many others in this country, provide health insurance to Domestic Partners? It's not DOMA forbidding it - it's because the policies in place that run the federal agencies say that it's only available to married couples, and DOMA says that married couples can ONLY be straight.
That means that you COULD offer health insurance benefits to partners of federal employees, but choose not to.
Shame on you.
I won't go into the myriad other problems I have with this, but I want to say:
My wife and I, and the family we are planning, are loyal citizens. Of this country, but also of yours. You are our President, and even if we hadn't voted for you, you would be our President. You promised many things, and I know that while not all promises can be kept, lately you have been showing that your promises mean less than nothing. You stood silently while states granted marriage equality - and as one state took it away. Your spokespeople have been made to look like fools, referring reporters and questions back to your statements a year ago during the campaign. These latest moves have been worse, though, than the silence. They show that the government of our country that I am so proud of shows not a lick of respect for me or my family.
Please fix this. You can, and you know how. If you believe, truly, as you stated during your campaign, that marriage equality should be a state-by-state issue, then allow it to be so. While I know that the repeal of DOMA is not something that can happen in a year, let alone overnight, say, publically, that it is WRONG. Show us, and all of America, that you know right from wrong. Show America that you are who we thought you were. Condemn those who move us backwards in the fight for equality and fairness.
You can do this.
You've made, and allowed to be made, wrongs. Now make them right.