Monday, April 26, 2010

Grading Obama and Congress

At our LGBT Leadership Town Hall last week perhaps the most stark example of the disconnect between some gay groups -- namely the Human Rights Campaign -- and the LGBT movement as well as average gay, lesbian and transgender Americans, was when panelists were asked to give a grade to President Obama and to Congress.

Everyone can talk about the bit of progress that has occurred -- rules changed at the Health and Human Services Dept. that allow for hospital visitations by gay partners, executive orders banning discrimination in the federal workforce for gay and transgender people -- but how do these things add up and how do they compare with the very big issues the president promised action on, such as don't ask, don't tell repeal, the Defense of Marriage Act and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act?

In my opinion it's unfathomable that anyone can give the president a "B," but HRC's Joe Solmonese did (and, curiously, so did Mara Keisling of the National Center for Transgender Equality), while Servicemembers Legal Defense Network's Aubrey Sarvis gave him a "C," and a "D" was given by former Clinton advisor on gay issues Richard Socarides, Pam Spaulding of Pam's House Blend and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's Rea Carey.

Listen in to their grading. And tell me how you would grade Obama and Congress. Following this, I'm posting in a separate post some other highlighted clips from the Town Hall, which you can of course also listen to in full.