Is Obama Doing Enough For the Gays? We Ask Metro Weekly's Chris Geidner About LGBT Workplace Discrimination and the White House [VIDEO]

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Part 1 in a series.

Apart from GOProud and the Log Cabin Republicans, there is no doubt that all the major organizations which make up Gay Inc will be solidly behind President Obama in his reelection campaign over the next six months. (Mitt Romney may have once pandered to gay voters in Massachusetts, but those efforts are now as dead as the Buffet Rule since Romney swung so hard to the right in his primary and pandered even harder to the National Organization for Marriage.)

For supporting him with gusto in 2008, the gays have gotten a couple big wins with President Obama, most noticeably passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act and the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Obama's gotten a bit of a pass on not coming out for marriage, as he (and Michelle) continue to play wink-wink, nudge-nudge around an issue that is largely out of the president's direct control.

But Gay Inc is starting to get very loud about an issue that is very much within the president's control, at least when it comes to federal contractors: protecting LGBT workers from being fired.

We asked Chris Geidner of Metro Weekly about it, who has the scoop.


Contrary to what many people assume, it's perfectly legal to fire someone for being gay in the vast majority of this country. (HRC puts the figure at 29 states where "LGB"s can be fired, and 34 states where "T"s can be.) The Employment Non-Discrimination Act would put an end to that, but ENDA has less of a chance of passing John Boehner's House of Representatives than...well...than any piece of legislative championed by President Obama.

It seems like the president would use a relatively easy stopgap here to achieve the same goal within his own business jurisdiction, as it were, and to issue an Executive Order banning discrimination against LGBT workers of contractors doing business with the federal government. Presidents have long utilized workarounds to achieve such goals when the legislature didn't suit them. President George W. Bush was known for his "signing statements"; we wrote just a couple days ago about how President Lincoln emancipated the slaves of Washington, D.C. in 1862 when he couldn't do so in any state.

So you'd think Obama would simply sign an Executive Order saying the part of the government under his purview will battle and end LGBT employment discrimination with the levers at its disposal...especially since, as Geidner reported exclusively in March, candidate Obama vowed to do just that back in 2008.

Why hasn't President Obama done this?

Watch our chat above to find out why.

@steven_thrasher | sthrasher@villagevoice.com



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3 comments
PrestonDawknes
PrestonDawknes

Gays cant give BLOOD because they are nasty People.Animals INjEST and Eat and Lick their OWN Feces jUST like GAYS.Gays live a Shorter lifespan  [ That of an Animal ]  in Comparison to Normal People..Gays are the Ones Spreading the Aids Virus around the Plantet in A Great Amount..http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/...Catholic Priests also are spreading the Aids Virus and have a Higher Rate of infection within the Priesthood.Catholic Priests also have their Death Records Sealed and Altered and changed to hide that they have Aids.This keeps the Catholic Church Gods Holy Church in the Eyes of the Millions of Catholics worldwide.  while the Catholic church Spreads the Aids Virus to all mankind.The Catholic Church has also Convinced millions of Africans and others as well that Condoms AUCTUALLY Cause AIDS Contraction.These people are so Evil.priests are dying  AND  SPREADING  AIDS at a rate at least four times that of the general U.S. population. priests responded to The Star's survey on AIDS and the priesthood -- a response rate of 27 percent. Nearly 60 percent said they personally knew at least one priest who had died of AIDS. And one in three said they knew priests who were living with HIV or AIDS.When priests do tell their  superiors, the cases generally are handled quietly, either at the priests' requests or because church officials are reluctant to discuss and    just  iggy-ing   the  facts Thousands UPON Thousands  of Roman Cat holic priests across the United States have died of AIDS-related illnessesSeveral years before the AIDS epidemic, many gay Catholic  men became infected by anal parasites.  through sexual  TRANSMISSION , to infect as many as 60 percent of gay Catholic Priests.   Some experts believe that the continuing epidemic of  anal parasites among gay  Catholic men has been a cofactor for AIDS …  and a major conTributor to its spread.Most priests with AIDS contracted the disease through same-sex relations. One perverted  priest had infected eight other priests.see   The   real problem ....is   HIV/AIDS . because of the basic dishonesty of the church with regard to all reality ,"Some priests say the church was warned nearly 30 years ago that such problems could develop but ….    failed to take steps to prevent them.  As many as ALMOST - 50% of the Catholic priesthood is now homosexual. Doctors and scientists still differ in their interpretation of the available information about anal parasites and AIDS, But …scientists  know for sure that anal parasites contribute to AIDSMAYBE  SOMEDAY  YOUR  CHILD  WILL    BEHOLD   sacraments of  fudge  PROJECTED   FROM  THE  END OF  A  holy  MONSTERS PRIESTLY  PRICKPARTICLES  OF   STRAY  CORN  a sacrament Of the  fathers   SPECIAL   BLESSINGS  ? ? if the  pope  permit /      AS  the mob of  scat holics recall  !…OOH   OOH  !   YES  HOLY  fATHER ..*  THE  DISCIPLES  ATE CORN  FROM THE  FIELD ON THE SABBATH……this is how catholics Think……….Do you want one of these seminaries in your area? You have the right to know whether a child molester resides near you!Gay  catholic  men should get tested regularly for anal parasites, and have them eradicated if they are found, and take steps to avoid transmission to   the  lay  members  and  altar boys. Anal paraites and intestinal damage cause malabsorption and resulting malnutrition, further weakening the body and the immune system.   fact is /The multiple partners in the gay Catholic preisthood   cause different anal parasites to be mixed together    • to cause new strains of anal parasitic viruses...Symptoms of  anal  parasites can include loose stools, flatulence (gas), or diarrhea (usually mild), and especially malaise -- feeling ill, depressed, or tired. Often these problems come and go,   catholics iggized idiots   don't recognize them as symptoms.It's very important that sexual  partners  in   the  Catholic  priesthood   .. be diagnosed for  anal  parasites and treated together, to prevent re-infection.The safe-sex guidelines for preventing AIDS will not always stop   transmission,  of  anal  parasites. In addition to safe sex,   gay   Catholic  priests must also avoid  the   transmission  to  younger  boysREFERENCESArcher, Douglas L. and Walter H. Glinsmann, "Enteric Infection and Other Cofactors in AIDS," Immunology Today (October 1985).Pearce, Richard B., "Intestinal Protozoal Infections and AIDS," The Lancet (July 2, 1983).REFERENCES-----, "Parasites and AIDS: Evidence of a Link," DAIR Update, Number 1, published by the Documentation of AIDS Issues and Research Foundation.Zagury, D., et al., "Long-term Cultures of HTLV-III-infected T- cells: A Model of Cytopathology of T-cell Depletion in AIDS," Science (February 21, 1986).

Duppontguy
Duppontguy

Left wing critics who spend their time bellyaching and holding marches have absolutely no idea what real on-the-ground retail politics is like, how difficult it can be or how to accomplish their objectivies in a politicized  environment.  I am reminded of the 2009 gay march on Washington that took place in reaction to Obama's perceived slowness in addressing gay issues.  He only had minor issues like the Great Recession and health care reform to deal with.  If the millions spent on that march and, say, 5,000 of those marchers had gone to Maine instead, perhaps we would have saved gay marriage in Maine.  The left wing in its unceasing search for ideological purity sometimes deserve the world they help create.

NiagaraFallsOntario
NiagaraFallsOntario

Well, since nobody else has said anything I guess I'll hop on the soapbox.  In the US (and here in Canada) our non-gay leaders seem puzzled by this question of 'doing enough for gays' because while our lives are very different from straight people's, we are still an invisible, anonymous people that, by appearances, we seem to be very affluent, overly educated, wearing only the best and owning the most expensive: so how in the world are we struggling? If we have all this money and 'stuff', what are we complaining about?  Short answer: it's all lies.  There's a small percentage of gay people who have money, fancy degrees and NYC lofts, but the majority of us live quiet lives alone, unnoticed, without much money and working simple jobs in smaller cities because we can not afford a 2 million loft in a 'big gay city'.  

We have to start by being HONEST with society and stop playing up this fantasy that we have everything and the party's always happening, the good drugs are easy to be had and so are the perfect bodies, and money.  Our central issue is NOT marriage equality - over the last decade I have seen a disturbing trend of isolationism...so many gay people have become shut-ins who sit online in chat rooms waiting for that young college guy with a perfect body willing to accept all our flaws (good luck with that!) because 1) we've become so isolated from real gay people that we've forgotten what reality is - most gay men don't have the bodies of straight college athletes, post-doctorate degrees or wear $1000 sweaters.  This isolation has warped our sense of self, we see ourselves as failures for not living up to this standard and on the flip side, we now expect other gay men to fit this mold or else we won't talk to them.  2) Worse yet, we've missed out on critical social skill development that would allow us to learn how to date and someday enjoy marriage with someone who comes to the table with the same skills and goals.  As it stands, our expectations are purely selfish, physical and the second the guy starts to slide, we dump him.  These are not marriage-ready people...they are not choosing potential partners based on 'is this guy going to be there when I have a life crisis, is he going to be a good provider, best friend, willing to stick with me through anything?'...not to mention that gay men (who are out and ready to date) only make up 1-2% of the population.  It's VERY hard to find someone to date.  It's confusing for us too, because age goes out the window: some gay men came out at 15, while others came out at 45 and have the emotional health of a 15 year old.  Gay people don't communicate or get involved with each other because there is a huge social ladder within this tiny group that implies who is good enough to talk to and screw the rest.  As long as that is in place, you'll never see the gay community do anything constructive that unites us.  We can't be in the mean-spirited competition with each other that has done nothing besides ruin each other's self-esteem not to mention cause a lot of us to conclude that other gay men are too screwed up to even try dating, so you have thousands who have now quit looking altogether.  It starts with US as gay people.  It is unacceptable, in my opinion, that we treat each other worse than any minority group I know of.  I know of no other minority group that requires you to have hundreds of thousands of dollars in order to live amongst it's own community; yet gay men are experts in 'fixing up the neighborhood' only to jack up the housing prices so they can let in 'the good gay people' and keep out the lower income gays that they don't want the rest of society to see.  

We could be a community that is strong and united, but the rich-bitch act has to go.  

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