Gay Activists at the DNC: Happy With Obama, Anxious About Romney

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ROBYN BECK / AFP / Getty Images

Delegates from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and a gay supporter wave flags at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 4, 2012 on the first day of the Democratic National Convention.

As the first battalion of speakers readied for the convention spotlight on Tuesday night, a group of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender delegates, politicians and activists mingled in a dark restaurant a few blocks away. The Human Rights Campaign held an informal reception for the gay-rights advocates, who applauded Barack Obama for progress he has made on their issues. “He’s done more than any other President in history,” said transgender rights activist Mara Keisling, “and nobody’s in second place.” Still, the LGBT to-do list isn’t complete, and the prospect of a Mitt Romney presidency made them worry for the victories they had won so far.

Attendees reeled off political points of pride like the alphabet: there was the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell;” a new law prohibiting hate crimes; protection for transgender individuals under Title VII; the Administration’s campaign against bullying; and, of course, Obama’s personal endorsement of gay marriage. A few people expressed impatience, but most shrugged off any questions about Obama’s pace on LGBT issues with platitudes about things taking time.

(PHOTOS: The Democratic National Convention)

When asked what was left to be done, Rep. Barney Frank–a gay congressman from Massachusetts who attended the reception–pointed to two main issues: the passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act–a measure Rep. Paul Ryan once voted for that would make it illegal for employers to discriminate based on sexual identity—and legalizing gay marriage, whether through Congress, the Supreme Court or state legislatures. “Prejudice against us has been diminishing rapidly within the general population,” Frank said. “Reality defeats prejudice.”

Republicans have a different perception of that reality, of course, as expressed in the platform that they adopted last week at their own convention. It affirmed state and federal government rights not to recognize same-sex marriage and backed a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The new Democratic platform meanwhile endorses the non-discrimination act, supports “marriage equality” and calls for the repeal DOMA.

(PHOTOS: The Obama Brand)

Frank warned that a Romney presidency would be disastrous for gay rights. “It’ll mean absolutely no advances. It’ll mean Supreme Court justices who will go backwards,” he said, “and he might reinstate ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’” But many attendees were more optimistic. “It also takes time to undo things, and I’m not sure Romney would care,” said Dana Beyer, a Maryland delegate who identifies as transgender. “In the U.S., we expand civil rights, we don’t restrict them.”

57 comments
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sacredh
sacredh

OT, but Sandra Fluke gave a very powerful speech this evening. She drew several standing ovations and made her points eloquently. Nice job Sandra.

JohnYuEsq
JohnYuEsq

TaxCheatRomney = Financial Meltdown, WWIII, and NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST

chrystal026
chrystal026

Gays are Satin best Friends,now pushing Morals to a new Low.

MrObvious
MrObvious

Yup, Jesus talked about abortion and homos all the time. He just hated it with a pashion, right after he went to the money vault and took a dip in the gold coins.

sacredh
sacredh

Not only Satin, but Velvet too.

Pnnto
Pnnto

So smooooooth!

fhmadvocat
fhmadvocat

chrystal026,

Being gay is not pushing morals to a new low.  It is Bigotry rapped inside the Bible which is a new low in morals.

chrystal026
chrystal026

 You can lead a Mule to Water,but you can"t make him Drink it!!!Will Pray for all who Sin,but know God is watching all his Children.

bebo
bebo

This "wrong side of history" cliche.  Gays are on the wrong side of sexuality.

MrObvious
MrObvious

Cliche?

Like all Gay people love pride parades and the first thing a gay soldier would think of is who he can rape in the fox hole?

sacredh
sacredh

I agree. Just the other night I was licking chocolate syrup out of my wife's buttcrack when she somehow managed to untie herself and remove the duct tape from her mouth. She told me how perverted the idea of same sex relations seemed to her.

Tero1
Tero1

It's not a cliche. You are just a sad little bigot.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

And that impacts you HOW exactly?

Brandt Hardin
Brandt Hardin

Religious groups and the GOP have suppressed the rights of

the Gay and Lesbian community for FAR too long. 

It was about time a public official like Obama stood up for this human

rights issue while Mitt Romney hides behind Red State Religion and his Magic Mormon

Underwear.  See Mitt in his sacred

undergarments praying for enough money to buy this election so he can spread

his bigotry and homophobia at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot...

Terry Clifton
Terry Clifton

Barack Obama was drugged  kicking and screaming into supporting gay marriage and if you believe otherwise then you're an idiot. His BS line of "evolving " was just a smoke screen. You can't go three years in your presidency, and then decide that you're for equal rights. It's a straight up fact that the majority of people in the black community are against gay marriage, and that's Obama's base, and that's why he didn't want to come out in support for gay marriage.   Obama tried to have it both ways, but in politics, only Bill Clinton could do that...

Speaking for myself, I fully support gay marriage, and believe sincerely that the federal government has no right under our constitution to define marriage. It's a state issue. 

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/n...

formerlyjamesm
formerlyjamesm

Your "straight up fact" is not so, but only your straight up presumption.  There is a time and place for everything and equality in our country has been a process of baby steps for many, from slavery to women's suffrage, to school prayer, to racial integration, to homosexual equality.  Even DADT was a progressive step, usually dismissed as a stumble, but it was an advance in its time.

Terry Clifton
Terry Clifton

School prayer? Hello, that's against the law, and rightly so.. DADT, was Clinton's way of having it both ways, he should have simply allowed gays to serve openly in the military, that would have been the right thing to do. DADT made a mockery out of their human and civil rights, to force gays live in a closet for the fear of being outed and booted from the military.

Terry Clifton
Terry Clifton

James, I'm 45, served 4 years in The United States Marine Corps, and I watched a couple of my friends get drummed out of the Corp, because they admitted to being gay, after getting arrested in a gay bar in Laguna Beach, California..

DADT- All it did was force gay servicemen and women to hide like the Jews did in WWII. There's nothing you can say to convince me otherwise.

We are in total agreement over school prayer..

formerlyjamesm
formerlyjamesm

Terry, I think you must be a young person who didn't experience the history to which I refer.  I will try to be more specific.

When I referred to school prayer, I meant the struggle to prohibit it and render it properly unlawful of which you seem to not be aware.

The reason DADT came to be is that Clinton did try to impose his prerogative as commander in chief to overturn military policy of drumming out gays from service.  DADT was legislative reaction which removed that prerogative, but did limit previous military practice.

jsfox
jsfox

But isn't funny how when he did come out in favor minds in the black community started to change. In the end I don't care if he was dragged kicking and screaming. It is where he ended up that matters not how he got there.

So do you have another whine you would like to throw out?

Terry Clifton
Terry Clifton

Are you serious? You honestly believe that just because the Messiah, for nothing more than political football jumped very late on the gay marriage band wagon, that would change the minds of the black community. Are you just stupid, or retarded? 

The black community as a whole  is vehemently against gay marriage, period! That is a fact, and you being unable to absorb facts, makes you stupid, and a kool-aid drinker..

Diecash1
Diecash1

@jsfox:disqus

 

And do you really think you are in a position to call anyone stupid or retarded?

In Terry's defense, if there's one thing he knows, certainly from personal experience, it's stupidity.  He's one of the dumbest trolls in the Swamp.

Terry Clifton
Terry Clifton

nflfoghorn,

I don't hate a living soul, that takes up way to much energy.. I haven't felt the need to poll the many ethnic minorities out there, and why should I?

The only minorities that  matter to Obama is the  The Gay/Lesbian, African American, Hispanic, and welfare communities, and he will pander to them like a mofo to keep them all voting for him..

jsfox,

Linking The Huffington Post, and some random blog, is like me linking Fox News. 

ABC News did a poll, and 55% of blacks are against gay marriage.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

Again, why all the hate toward black people??  Did you ever ask how Hasidic Jews or Seminole Indians felt about gay marriage?  Not enough of them to swing elections, huh??

jsfox
jsfox

Unlike most on the right I don't make stuff up.

http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.n...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

So whether these positions were changing anyway or whether Obama coming out in favor made people more comfortable saying they supported gay marriage I cannot say. The point is that once Obama stated he was for it the numbers changed.

And do you really think you are in a position to call anyone stupid or retarded?

MrObvious
MrObvious

So what you're saying is that Obama was 'forced' into supporting gay marriage and GOP is completely against it.

Your point?

Terry Clifton
Terry Clifton

 That it purely to score political points..Nothing more..He is using them for votes..

Terry Clifton
Terry Clifton

Absolutely, Republicans use God, Guns, Gay Marriage, and abortion to the max..Duh....

That's why I will write in Ron Paul when I vote..

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

OK, let's see your Republical Neanderthals push through equality....

Terry Clifton
Terry Clifton

They're not my "Republical Neanderthals". I'm a libertarian..I'm amazed how some of you, simply miss that...

I'm also amazed how you gloss over the fact that the majority of blacks oppose gay marriage..I guess it doesn't fit your narrow view of reality.

Terry Clifton
Terry Clifton

 Pollardty,

There's a forest just beyond the trees...Keep looking..

I'm not a republican, they can speak for themselves..

pollardty
pollardty

I see you didn't refute the neanderthal claim.

Terry Clifton
Terry Clifton

 Absolutely not!! I believe in complete equality, and that means I fully support gay marriage, and I have argued with my conservative friends to the wee hours in the morning over it. I was simply stating a fact that doesn't fit liberals narratives, and that upsets the collective..

Marriage is a state issue, as it should be.

I also have stated many times for the record, that the state or federal government should have no say over our bodies, for no reason. It's ours, not theirs..

We clear?

MrObvious
MrObvious

You're a libertarian but against homosexuality.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

La Cage aux Folles....

[my inner Paulie]

No one even brought up how *any* race of people feels about gays and marriage, let alone blacks.  Why did you feel the need to do so?  Does it diminish my POV somehow?  In your mind do black people think gays have cooties??? 

Just because Flox has tons more cable viewers than anyone else doesn't mean their viewers are any more enlightened about anything.  How stupid of you to even bring this up.

formerlyjamesm
formerlyjamesm

Push through?  Republicans  first must begin to grasp the meaning of equality.

Terry Clifton
Terry Clifton

 James,

I was born and still reside in the South. I know the history back and forth..The facts are simple, the dixiecrats, where democrats to the bone. You can call them what you want, but that doesn't erase the racism that flowed through your party like sweet tea, and still does, though it's masked by the smug, elitist attitudes that all blacks are still stupid and incapable of having a thing without the Democrat party handing it to them.. It's called "Plantation Mentality".

It was the Democrat Party that built the slums, under the guise of "affordable housing". How convenient to segregate all the blacks into housing units to be better managed and controlled.

The federal government is responsible for most of the poverty in this country. Keeping the poor breeding, under educated, and completely dependent on the state is all they want.

Wake Up! 

formerlyjamesm
formerlyjamesm

Terry Clifton, I would just repeat Beholds response to you and further note that it was President LBJ who managed to push that act through. 

As I mentioned earlier, I know one must be more specific when responding to your limited knowledge of history.  The Dixiecrats were segregationist Democrats who were the precursors to the present Southern Republicans.  President LBJ is Democratic President Lyndon Baines Johnson.  You have some reading to do, or ask your mommy to read to you.

Beholdthejabberwock
Beholdthejabberwock

Likewise, @facebook-100000055143873:disqus , feel free to take a Google stroll through the terms "Dixiecrat" and "Southern Strategy" to gain some insight into party morphology.

Terry Clifton
Terry Clifton

They're way ahead of you..See Civil Rights Act of 1964..It was your party that fillibustered and voted against giving equality to blacks and women.

Tero1
Tero1

The GOP is on the wrong side of history and will be judged harshly for it. 

There was a time when one could say "I don't hate black people, I just don't think they should have the same rights as white folks", and still be considered a decent, honourable member of society. The time when one could say the same about gays ie "I don't hate gays, I just don't think they should be able to marry" has come to an end. 

Sorry baggers, but you will have to take your bigotry underground.

pollardty
pollardty

Kevin and Paule will quickly rewrite history to say that It's really liberals h8ed the gays.

Sue_N.
Sue_N.

“It also takes time to undo things, and I’m not sure Romney would care.”

I think that's highly optimistic at the least. Romney has already demonstrated that he's yoked himself securely to the far right, and that portion of the GOP is determined to roll back as many civil rights as they can, until we're right back in the '50s. Which was a great time if you were a white Protestant straight male, but for everybody else … not so much.

Tero1
Tero1

Many people in Canada had the same fears when our conservatives won power last year for the first time in over a decade. The Conservative Party of Canada fought tooth and nail to prevent marriage equality from passing into law but once they were in a position to do repeal it, they shrugged and decided it wasn't worth the political headaches. Hopefully the same will happen if Romney is elected.

Trajan Saldana
Trajan Saldana

Canadian conservatives are not American religious zealots (and hypocrites to boot) -- it's a huge asylum south of Canada

Sue_N.
Sue_N.

Let's all hope.

I'm curious, how do Canadian conservatives stack up against ours? Are they as nuts, or are ours just, um, "exceptional"?

Sue_N.
Sue_N.

Tero, JS and Trajan: That's kind of what I figured. Go us. *sigh*

Tero1
Tero1

Sue;

jsfox is essentially correct. For instance, our conservatives have no plans to repeal gay marriage, no plans to repeal abortion rights (there are no limits on abortion in Canada) and they have a fairly reasonable approach to taxation. They did however scrap our long-gun registry.

jsfox
jsfox

Ours are exceptionally insane by conservative standards around the world not just Canada. Well unless you look at conservative in Iran then you are getting close.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

Hopefully Momney WON'T be elected.