Obama’s Stonewall (re-)gift to the gay community

17 06 2009

With the 40th Anniversary of the Stonewall riots coming up, I am sure that President Obama has been asking himself:  What do you get a community who has, well, pretty much nothing?    Today, we get his answer:  You give them a tiny sliver of rights.

This afternoon he is expected to sign a memorandum in the Oval Office (no cameras, please!) granting federal benefits (but not all health care benefits, apparently)….to partners…..of federal employees.  GLBT community, welcome to Animal Farm where some of us are now more equal than others! And even the “more equal” aren’t AS equal as their straight counterparts.  UPDATE:  Apparently, Obama’s “re-gifting” the limited rights already granted to federal employees and their partners some years ago.  Classy!

Really, Mr. President, you shouldn’t have.

Now, listen, this indeed is good news for the small percentage of glb and t’ers who actually work for the federal government AND have a partner (who doesn’t need full health care coverage)  I really am happy for them.  They now can add new meaning to their Manhunt profiles promising “friends with benefits”.

And, look, my mom always taught me to say thank you when given a gift.  So, “thank you, Mr. President.”

But Mom also taught me that it’s the thought that counts behind a gift.  And, the thought behind this gift looks to be pretty cynical.  Obama seems to be doing this to salvage a chi-chi DNC fund raiser honoring Vice President Biden and bankrolled by extremely wealthy gays.  I get it: Give rights to a sliver of the community so you can collect checks from the wealthiest sliver.  (It’s at Washington’s Mandarin Hotel on June 25, tickets start at $1,000/person…a bargain for equal rights…for some.)

The whole thing leaves me feeling a bit like Oliver Twist this morning.  I’ve got my nearly empty bowl of rights.  I take it into the room (at the Mandarin no less!) where the gay federal employees and the wealthy gays are savoring a lavish spread and say to the president, “Please, sir, I want some more, sir”….because, at least where my community is concerned, size DOES matter!




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