Op-ed: Wise Up, Dustin Lance Black

The board member for the American Foundation for Equal Rights penned an op-ed condemning the president for not supporting same-sex marriage laws; a response to his assertions.

BY Melanie Nathan

April 30 2012 4:53 PM ET

Let us face the paradox here: While at some point in time we have collectively failed the ultimate attainment of equality, we are still on the path and we still have hope. The sooner we realize that our only hope in present time is President Barack Obama and the sooner we laud the greatest record of equality to date being notched to this president, the more likely we are to achieve our goals. 

This administration, more than any before it, has taken leaps toward equality, on so many levels. This is not the time to chastise or threaten President Obama or any Democrat. Given how close this election could be, it is political suicide to alienate even one single voter, and judging by the comments on the Reporter site, Black has had his way.

Black spends paragraphs on inane comparative,  furthering the dispelled evolve speechifying theme as he asserts that Obama “is behind Laura Bush, Dick Cheney and Cindy McCain” in his so-called evolution. How does Black measure Obama’s record against the commentary of the likes of Laura,  Dick, and Cindy, who have no political prowess or any election at stake? There are no role models here. None of these few Republicans were saying these things when they faced elections.

Black would serve our community more by touting our need for more progressives to be elected to Congress. After all, we will only attain equality with a Democratic majority in Congress. In November 2011 the Respect for Marriage Act passed the Senate Judiciary Committee with a vote of 10-8, with all committee Democrats favoring appeal and all Republicans opposing, making a strong political statement that Democrats support marriage equality. The repeal bill would need 60 votes in the 100-member Senate, and sponsors acknowledge the votes are not there. The measure would have no chance in the House, controlled by conservative Republicans. Do you still blame Obama’s purported evolution?

The mere fact that President Obama has said he will sign the repeal of DOMA serves us all; and what he says or doesn’t until we have a cooperative and viable Congress is meaningless to equality. Now we must plan for his reelection and a Congress that will deliver marriage equality to his desk. It will be then that the plane, despite some blurry clouds, will land safely.

 

MELANIE NATHAN is CEO of Private Courts Inc., a mediation and human rights advocacy firm specializing in LGBTI equality and international human rights. She is a blogger at www.oblogdeeoblogda.wordpress.com, and coproducer of Gay U.S.A. the Movie.

Tags: Commentary

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