Perhaps President Barack Obama has taken a cue from right-wing lawmakers in Tennessee, thinking that by not mentioning gay and lesbian families we will simply cease to exist. He's almost assuredly looking ahead to the 2012 elections, and the fact that evangelical Christians in swing states prefer to think of their LGBT neighbors as loveless, sinister, booty-crazed heathens.
In Obama's long and cloying "official statement" recognizing June as Pride Month, our Politician-in-Chief barely touches on committed same-sex relationships and not once mentions the possibility of marriage equality or civil unions. Below are a few benign paragraphs from this warmed-over proclamation:
Since taking office, my Administration has made significant progress towards achieving equality for LGBT Americans. Last December, I was proud to sign the repeal of the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. With this repeal, gay and lesbian Americans will be able to serve openly in our Armed Forces for the first time in our Nation's history. Our national security will be strengthened and the heroic contributions these Americans make to our military, and have made throughout our history, will be fully recognized.
My Administration has also taken steps to eliminate discrimination against LGBT Americans in Federal housing programs and to give LGBT Americans the right to visit their loved ones in the hospital. We have made clear through executive branch nondiscrimination policies that discrimination on the basis of gender identity in the Federal workplace will not be tolerated. (Time and again the President has declined to use his bully pulpit to advance an Employment Non-Discrimination Act which, tattered and forsaken, still languishes in Congress.) I have continued to nominate and appoint highly qualified, openly LGBT individuals to executive branch and judicial positions. Because we recognize that LGBT rights are human rights, my Administration stands with advocates of equality around the world in leading the fight against pernicious laws targeting LGBT persons and malicious attempts to exclude LGBT organizations from full participation in the international system. We led a global campaign to ensure "sexual orientation" was included in the United Nations resolution on extrajudicial execution -- the only United Nations resolution that specifically mentions LGBT people -- to send the unequivocal message that no matter where it occurs, state-sanctioned killing of gays and lesbians is indefensible. No one should be harmed because of who they are or who they love, and my Administration has mobilized unprecedented public commitments from countries around the world to join in the fight against hate and homophobia.
At home, we are working to address and eliminate violence against LGBT individuals through our enforcement and implementation of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. We are also working to reduce the threat of bullying against young people, including LGBT youth. My Administration is actively engaged with educators and community leaders across America to reduce violence and discrimination in schools. To help dispel the myth that bullying is a harmless or inevitable part of growing up, the First Lady and I hosted the first White House Conference on Bullying Prevention in March. Many senior Administration officials have also joined me in reaching out to LGBT youth who have been bullied by recording "It Gets Better" video messages to assure them they are not alone.
Every generation of Americans has brought our Nation closer to fulfilling its promise of equality. While progress has taken time, our achievements in advancing the rights of LGBT Americans remind us that history is on our side, and that the American people will never stop striving toward liberty and justice for all...
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2011 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of the United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this ... and so on and so forth.
Chris Garnder reports from Metro Weekly: There is no mention of relationship recognition, despite the fact that on Feb. 23, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the president had determined that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. The Department of Justice subsequently ended its defense of that portion of the law in ongoing court challenges. By comparison, in the 2010 proclamation, Obama stated, "That is why we must give committed gay couples the same rights and responsibilities afforded to any married couple, and repeal the Defense of Marriage Act."
Pam Spaulding gives that dog a bath: "Just so everyone is clear that the President, even while calling for legislative repeal of DOMA, is apparently still publicly clinging to his position that "God is in the mix" regarding marriage..."
I suspect Obama and his advisers are convinced that gays and lesbians should be eternally grateful for the few scraps of equality that have been tossed our way. He probably knows that we know he knows WE know that if a Republican was occupying the White House, longtime same-sex couples would have no chance of achieving basic human rights - not in a hundred years. And we do realize that. And so we will work our asses off to re-elect him. But we don't have to mask our disappointment in the man, or pretend to like it.