Obama's administration plans to offer domestic partner benefits to federal employees, minus health insurance and retirement which will require legislative action. More here.
Note to Dan Onorato: you have the power to extend domestic partner benefits to Allegheny County employees without legislative action. The City does it. The State will be doing it. What's the real hold up?
People are still pretty pissed at Obama for the horrendous beat down he gave our community with the recent DOMA legal brief. Pissed. Dan Savage is calling for a year round civil disobedience action.
But I have suggestion for an ongoing, smaller-scale action that would have a larger impact than a one-off “march” through an empty city. My idea would need fewer than a 1000 people to succeed—730 to be exact—and it wouldn't be over in a day. It would go on, day-in, day-out, every day, for a year. Hell, it could go on indefinitely. It involves civil disobedience and the 730 volunteers would have to be willing to get arrested. People who are unable to participate could make donations to help cover the expenses—legal expenses and travel expenses—of those who can.
Here's the idea: one gay or lesbian couple—a couple currently denied their rights under DOMA—shows up at the entrance to the White House grounds. A different couple every day. They ask to speak to the president about DOMA. They're refused. They sit down. They refuse to leave. They're arrested, carried away by the police. Couples would be recruited from all over the country, demonstrating that gay marriage isn't just an issue in liberal California or godless New England, and the media in each couple's home city and state would be notified in advance of their arrest.
Would you be willing to do this?
DNC dinner is coming up and the homos aren't taking Obama's betrayal laying down. Protests for the June 26 dinner are planned, both inside and outside of the event (hence the weak dp bennies offer above). If I could figure a way to go, I would do so.
Should you give money to the DNC? Steel City Stonewall is holding a public meeting on Thursday at Your Inner Vagabond at 7 PM. Might be a great question. Where are the Stonewall Democrats on these issues? Should we contribute money to the party machine that is not advancing our rights? Do we contribute money to a President who compares our relationships to incest? We have a watershed moment coming up with the July 1, 2009 vote on the County Non-Discrimination Ordinance. If the ordinance doesn't pass, we really need to have a serious talk amongst ourselves about what isn't working. Then you need to pony up some money to get a real LGBT advocacy infrastructure in place.
Why support candidates who aren't making it happen? If Onorato can't lead his own County on such simple matters as non-discrimination and domestic partner benefits, what the hell kind of effectiveness do you expect to see at the state level? Hell, Rendell came out in favor of marriage equality at Pgh Pride several years ago but is mum on HB 300. How much more wishywashy leadership will you tolerate, folks? Something needs to be strategically different and that it simply going to involve each of you reading this blog to cough up some bucks. Dan Frankel cannot save the day over and over again.
Hey, the US Senate appears to be full of weak-willed folks, too. Not a single sponsor for the repeat of Don't Ask, Don't Tell according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Ha. Not – a – single – sponsor.
How many more smack downs are you going to take people? I get that you can't just hop to DC and get yourself arrested a la Dan Savage, but you can give up a night at Applebees and send $30 to the Women's Law Project to help make a systemic difference. Stay tuned for more on that.
By all means continue forging the relationships that turn the tide, but realize that pressures much mightier than constituent meetings are at play. If our “fierce advocate” compared us to child molesters, where do you think we really stand?