Speaking of Women's Rights: Pride(ish) Month at the White House

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pride(ish) Month at the White House

A few weeks ago the White House declared June “LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER PRIDE MONTH.” In his proclamation President Obama stated that he was “call(ing) upon the people of the United States to turn back discrimination and prejudice everywhere it exists.”

Fast forward to last Thursday: On June 11th the Department of Justice filed a brief in a California lawsuit that’s seeking to challenge the Defense of Marriage Act. The brief defended DOMA fiercely on a number of levels, including from a budgetary standpoint, citing “Congress's articulated interest in preserving the scarce resources of both the federal and State governments” as an argument for keeping DOMA in place. (so, are they saying that we can’t afford equality right now??) It also referenced cases where incest and marriage to children were involved and deemed LGBT individuals different from other protected minorities, giving the brief an unfocused “everything but the kitchen sink” feel. An interesting (did I say interesting? I guess I meant crappy) move for a guy who’s campaign promised to repeal DOMA upon election.

For me, the filing of this brief has taken the sails out of Obama’s LGBT Pride Month proclamation, and brought a good deal of hypocrisy to the administration’s stance on gay rights. Even so, I would still like to have respect for my President and therefore plan to follow his directive and “turn back discrimination and prejudice everywhere it exists.” Starting with President Obama.

P.S. Find out what real Pride looks like...march with Legal Voice in Seattle's Pride Parade on Sunday, June 28th. We'll be joined by the Jet City Rollergirls and will have beads and buttons to throw to the crowd!