For Gay Rights, The Honeymoon Is Over

On Sunday, as Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senator Chuck Schumer and over 400 other guests looked on, Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell married John Banta, his partner of over three decades. For Mr. O’Donnell, the wedding was the culmination of a more-than-four-year fight—which included numerous lawsuits and the introduction of five bills to the State Legislature—that finally resulted in same-sex marriage’s finally being legalized in New York last June.

“I began this battle when Eliot Spitzer was elected governor,” Mr. O’Donnell told The Observer. “I used to wake up every day thinking about how many votes I had or didn’t have. Now it’s like, what do I do now?” Read More

Comments

  1. Emelyew says:

    I’m appalled that there was no mention in this article about the Gender Expression Non Discrimination Act (GENDA)! 

  2. Michael Bedwell says:

    Yes, he must be reelected because the alternative is so worse. BUT Mr. Obama did not repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, CONGRESS did—and with very little actual help from him. Just one week before the final vote, charter DADT opponent and chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee Carl Levin told reporters that the President was not doing enough. And the SOLE person responsible for the fact that a Republican successor could bring back the ban is Barack Obama because of his inexplicable and unforgivable successful fight to overturn the ruling in the Log Cabin court case that such discrimination is unconstitutional. No putting that genie back in the proverbial bottle. But here are nine things Mr. Obama could do TODAY without the need for approval by Congress—and no to little possible damage to his reelection. Gay leaders have been asking him to act on most of these since he was sworn in.

    1.
    Order that the federal government not do business with any company that does
    not have LGBT nondiscrimination policies, as, e.g., the city of San Francisco
    did YEARS ago.

     2.
    Order the Pentagon to extend to gay & lesbian service members the same
    kinds of protections against harassment and discrimination IN the military that
    blacks, women, et al., have under the Military Equal Opportunity Program. [This
    would correct the inequality he CREATED when he backed the Pentagon’s demand
    that the original repeal bill, which he promised to personally fight for, be
    gutted.

    3.
    Order the Pentagon to extend to gay military couples ALL benefits not banned by
    DOMA such as access to military family housing. Again, had he not gutted the
    original repeal bill, the DOD could not get away with what even THEY have
    admitted is ARBITRARY discrimination. 

    4.
    Order the Pentagon to retroactively pay eligible discharged gays the money they
    were arbitrarily denied simply because they were gay [that would negate the
    need for the class action suit against him by the ACLU that he's let his DOJ
    fight].
    5.
    Order the Pentagon to stop harassing discharged gays for repayment of so-called
    “unearned” enlistment bonuses, etc.
    6.
    Apologize to all of those discharged from the military [including the some 800
    needlessly discharged on his watch] just as his head of the OPM apologized to
    Kameny for his firing as a government astronomer even though it happened over
    half a century ago and under another President.
    7.
    Order Immigration not to deport foreign born partners of gay Americans [as they
    led us to believer they were going to do].
    8.
    Award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to gay rights pioneer Frank Kameny—which
    he should have done when Frank was still alive to receive it.
    9.
    Never again speak of marriage equality in religious terms such as “God is in
    the mix.” He put his hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution not
    his hand on the Constitution and swore to uphold the Bible.

  3. Joseph A. says:

    “It’s difficult to quantify the precise number of gay residents in the
    United States because the census counts only households reporting as
    same-sex couples. This leaves out single gay people as well as straight
    gay rights supporters.”

    What do straight gay rights supporters have to do with the prices number of gay residents in the United States? Precisely nothing! Well done Mr. Walker and editor!

  4. Joseph Al. says:

    Er, ahem:

    “What do straight gay rights supporters have to do with the PRECISE
    number of gay residents in the United States? Precisely nothing! Well
    done Mr. Walker and editor!”

    (At least mine was typo-related!)