The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, DC 20500
June 27, 2009
This is the second time I am writing to you, and this time I am writing in an open forum. My last letter was to let you know that members of the Gay/Lesbian Community were watching. What motivated that letter was your support of Virginia Governor Tim Kaine as head of the Democratic National Committee (DNC.) Mr. Kaine had an abysmal record in his dealings with the Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgendered (GLBT) Community, particularly in relation to equality on such matters as marriage or civil unions. I asked you to remember the huge amount of support and financial assistance that came from our people to your campaign. I asked you to remember and be respectful of our hopes and our dreams that were now in your hands.
We have passed the six month mark now, and your Administration is bent and on course with some of the issues you have been saddled with. You have made inroads that we hope will right the economy; a bill that will address concerns with the environment in the form of a “Climate Bill” has passed the House, and we hear about your concerns directed toward Universal Health Care that, if passed will touch and improve the life of every American.
During the campaign, promises were made. Some of those promises were directed toward the GLBT people. You became our hope when you spoke of ending the odious and indefensible Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the equally repugnant “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ruling which is used by the military to purge anyone who identifies as gay or lesbian. This rule was never properly administered, and more gay/lesbian people are thrown out of the military ranks than ever before. You promised that you would see to it that both of these would end.
You promised to see that discrimination would end for all people. You promised we could do it together. “Yes We Can!”
What have we received? Only recently you announced benefits for the same sex partners of those in the Diplomatic Corps. You announced that same sex partners of Federal employees would have hospital visitation rights. Such token recognition is appreciated, but unfortunately, it is just that: “tokenism.”
Once again we are made to swallow the bitter pill of disappointment occasioned by your Justice Department in its Brief filed in support of the State of California and opposing the position of Smelt/Hammer in their suit against the United States of America and the State of California in regard to the situation caused by California’s Proposition Eight and the enforcement of DOMA. The Plaintiffs had sued to challenge the sections of the DOMA that held that states were not required to recognize same sex marriages that occurred in another state. They also challenged the section of DOMA that held that marriage is a legal, civil contract between a man and a woman and is so defined for purpose of Federal law. This was cited as violating “Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the US Constitution,” as well as their right to privacy.
It is not the fact that your Justice Department opposed the Plaintiffs in this case, it is the way they did it, and the vehement language they chose. Their Brief could have been written by the Bush people, and it has therefore left so many of us with mouths agape in disbelief. In upholding the DOMA in this manner, your administration has further entrenched this discriminatory law into the fabric of American lives. Your people have also blessed the economic hardships that this law inflicts on the Gay/Lesbian population…. the expectation that Income Taxes will be fully and honestly paid, but the thousand+ benefits that accrue to heterosexual couples cannot be enjoyed by same sex married couples. This is in direct opposition to your pledge to work toward the repeal of the DOMA. You have said that you took an oath to uphold the laws of the nation. This is very true. I would ask you though, does upholding a law that is unjust have to be done with the enthusiasm and the mean spiritedness used in this case by your Department of Justice?
Once again, you have let us down. Do you believe that our patience is infinite? Do you believe that we are yours no matter how great the let down? Do you see the GLBT Community as being desperate and easily satisfied? Please know that we have been steeled by years of struggle and that steel has been further tempered by years of disappointment at the hollow promises of a government that panders to the Right. Yet we believed you, and your campaign opened the door to hope.
We believed you, and so with one eighth of your first(?) term gone we begin to feel the same disappointment as we have felt in the past. It would be appropriate for members of the GLBT Community to withdraw all financial support from your campaign war chest , from the DNC and from your Party, at least until we see signs that you are beginning to live up to your promises to us.
I still support you and so much of what you are doing, but my wallet is closed now and it will remain closed until I see signs that you are keeping faith with us and intend to uphold the promises you made to us when you sought our votes.