Has the LGBT community been betrayed?

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Senior Editor Toby Graceeditorial.

President Obama has now served two years in office. Though his election was greeted with great rejoicing by the LGBT communities, we quickly realized that “The Golden Age” had not yet dawned. Obama, by nature an intellectual, a rational compromiser and a man of consensus, had promised us much: an end to Don’t Ask, Dont Tell; repeal of the hateful Defense of Marriage Act; broad support for civil union advantages, and much more. That all of this was not tied up in a pretty lavender ribbon and delivered by the end of his first week in office caused howls of anguish and accusations of betrayal from many in the LGBT community.

This reaction shows more about the political ignorance of the accusers than it says about the president. From Inauguration Day itself, Bishop Gene Robinson was shunted away from the main ceremony to deliver an invocation at an unimportant sideshow event. Meanwhile, the primary slot was given to hardcore, gay-hating, fundie evangelist Rick Warren, a man whose involvement with those who are promoting Uganda’s infamous “kill the gays” legislation has been well established.

We got the message. We were not on a sleigh ride to victory. The realization is that Obama is president of the entire nation, including those who hate us–and they vote too.

Nonetheless, with Republicans now in control of the House and having made significant gains in the Senate, it remains to be seen if the recent progress can be sustained, let alone improved upon. The next two years will tell us much about the depth of President Obama’s commitment to equality and fairness, and his willingness to truly fight for the rights of a community long victimized by religious and cultural bigotry. To paraphrase the immortal Bette Davis, “Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.”

Senior Editor Toby Graceeditorial.

President Obama has now served two years in office. Though his election was greeted with great rejoicing by the LGBT communities, we quickly realized that “The Golden Age” had not yet dawned. Obama, by nature an intellectual, a rational compromiser and a man of consensus, had promised us much: an end to Don’t Ask, Dont Tell; repeal of the hateful Defense of Marriage Act; broad support for civil union advantages, and much more. That all of this was not tied up in a pretty lavender ribbon and delivered by the end of his first week in office caused howls of anguish and accusations of betrayal from many in the LGBT community.