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  • « GNW 5: Pink clothes for homos | Main | The McCain-Manhunt witch hunt (III) »

    August 20, 2008

    LGBT-onics and the Dem platform (II)

    Posted by: Chris

    Baldwintodd_2 Two lesbian elected officials are defending the draft Democratic Party platform they helped write against complaints that it omits the G-word -- along with the L, B and T words. Lesbian Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, who co-chaired the platform committee, whose 15 members also included Alabama state rep Patricia Todd, both both spoke to Ohio's Gay Peoples Chronicle:

    Baldwin explained that the committee made a conscious choice to use more descriptive language that models the wording used in legislation.

    “Most of the wordsmithing,” said Baldwin, “was done purposefully to make the clearest policy statements possible.”

    “There was never any discussion to keep the word ‘gay’ out of the platform or any reluctance to say the word,” Todd said.

    The 2004 platform does refer to “gay” and “lesbian.”

    “The platform is a statement of aspiration,” Baldwin said, “not an implementation plan. It reflects the values of the party.”

    Baldwin's explanation tracks my own reaction to the draft, since gay rights legislation bans discrimination based on "sexual orientation," which includes bias against heterosexuals as well.

    Also, it turns out the most glaring "LGBT" omission, in a reference to gay families that is repeated verbatim from the 2004 without "gay," is apparently be remedied:

    • 2004: We support full inclusion of gay and lesbian families in the life of our nation and seek equal responsibilities, benefits and protections for these families.
    • 2008 draft: We support the full inclusion of all families in the life of our nation, and support equal responsibility, benefits, and protections.
    • 2008 revision: We support the full inclusion of all families, including same-sex couples, in the life of our nation, and support equal responsibility, benefits, and protections.

    Considering the attention paid to the complaints and to precise wording, this supposed revision is a bit odd. For one thing, there's still no LGBT-ish there, though it's easy to understand why considering the political correctness that surrounds LGBT-onics. Changing "same-sex couples" to "gay couples" or "gay and lesbian couples" would still leave out "bisexual couples." That leaves only the clunky "gay, lesbian and bisexual couples," which of course would leave our trans sisters and brothers fuming.

    What's more, using "same-sex couples," implies adult relationships are the extent of our families, with no acknowledgment of those of us who are parents. The 2004 platform, on the other hand, used over-inclusive language, since "gay and lesbian families" implies the kids are gay, too.

    Why not this:

    We support the full inclusion of all families, including those led by same-sex couples, in the life of our nation, and support equal responsibility, benefits, and protections.

    This more accurately describes gay couples as part of families, and recognizes at least impliedly that relationship recognition impacts not just them but their children as well.

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    Comments

    1. Kevin on Aug 21, 2008 9:30:14 AM:

      How about: "We will say we support all sorts of wonderful things for certain kinds of families, but don't expect us to be brave and actually act on what we say."

      At least it would be honest.

    1. JC Allen on Aug 21, 2008 2:46:51 PM:

      I can't help but think that this smacks of internalized homophobia within the Democrat Party...

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Aug 21, 2008 4:32:18 PM:

      Three thoughts:

      -- The FLDS must be ecstatic, since the Democrat Party has publicly and blatantly stated that they support "all families", without qualifications.

      Especially since the gay and lesbian wing has argued that the government has no right to define what a family is or deny anyone family benefits.


      -- The Democrat Party has finally come out of the closet and stated that they believe "all families", regardless of composition or legal status, should have "equal responsibility, benefits, and protections".

      Or, put differently, they think unmarried couples, threesomes, communes, and whatever conjugal combination floats peoples' boats should have exactly the same "responsibility, benefits, and protection" as two married people.


      -- They could have just lifted this and saved the effort.

    1. Tim on Aug 21, 2008 5:52:54 PM:

      gods you hate gay marriage NDT...

      Though I don't understand what you have against the underlying principal of buoyancy

    1. Charlie on Aug 21, 2008 11:40:09 PM:

      I'm actually really curious to know what they were thinking. NDT brings up a good point, that by switching to such vague wording, they leave themselves open to all sorts of interpretations that I imagine they didn't intend. It's like no one even thought it through.

      Not that it really matters. As Baldwin says, "The platform is a statement of aspiration, not an implementation plan." In 2004, the Democratic party platform used much less vague language and they still didn't do much at all for us in the past four years.

    1. Allan on Aug 22, 2008 10:23:37 AM:

      Here's my take on the platform and why I think it represents the next wave thinking that is percolating up through the party under Obama's leadership.

      The 2008 Platform takes LGBT out of the ghetto and integrates us into the community. We're no longer a "special interest group" that must be petted and pampered and thrown a bone or two so we can point to a paragraph and say, "Look! They recognize we exist!"

      Instead, we are interwoven into the Democratic family, and our issues are Democratic issues, not "just" LGBT issues.

      At the platform meeting I hosted in my Republican-leaning suburban community, we articulated something similar to this. I argued that LGBT issues should be incorporated into the Families section of the platform because LGBT people are all part of families. We are your sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, etc., and if you don't want to see any member of your family discriminated against or treated as a second-class citizen, then you support full inclusion of LGBT people into our definition of America.

      The Democrats, independents, and yes, even Republican straight people who attended agreed.

      The Democratic view of national security includes the idea that we should attract and retain the best and the brightest to serve in our military, thus DADT should be repealed as it fails to align with that goal.

      The Democratic view of employee rights includes the idea that no one should be discriminated against in the workplace, so we support ENDA.

      This is an encouraging development and one that makes me proud of my party and its platform.

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Aug 22, 2008 12:50:23 PM:

      The Democratic view of national security includes the idea that we should attract and retain the best and the brightest to serve in our military, thus DADT should be repealed as it fails to align with that goal.

      Which is why, of course, they support and encourage groups that call members of the armed forces "uninvited and unwelcome intruders" and harass said military folk as murderers and baby-killers.


      The Democratic view of employee rights includes the idea that no one should be discriminated against in the workplace, so we support ENDA.

      Which is why, of course, they appoint to leadership positions gay and lesbian people who sexually harass and discriminate against others, and why they support and endorse black leaders who claim that black female detectives "should be ashamed" to ride in a car with a man named White.

    1. Allan on Aug 22, 2008 3:09:34 PM:

      ND30 loves it when he can find examples of individual Democrats saying or doing something he finds disagreeable and using it as proof that the Democrats in their entirety are nasty awful sanctimonious hypocrites. This is a classic logical and rhetorical fallacy.

      Of course, if the Democratic Party sanctioned or expelled those same people, he would use it as proof that the party as a whole is nasty and awful because its leaders are politically-correct left-wing fascists who refuse to tolerate any diversity of thought within the Party.

      Mathew 7:3, baby!

      "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?"

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Aug 22, 2008 6:55:42 PM:

      ND30 loves it when he can find examples of individual Democrats saying or doing something he finds disagreeable

      Note the wording there, "that he finds disagreeable".

      One would think that sexually harassing and discriminating against other people, blatant racism, and calling US military members "uninvited and unwelcome intruders" is something that anyone would find disagreeable, not just me.

      That is, if one were gullible enough to believe that Allan and his fellow Democrats actually believe that which they proclaim to believe.

    1. Strict Scrutiny on Aug 22, 2008 11:52:12 PM:

      I'm actually really curious to know what they were thinking.

      I'll tell you what they were thinking. They were thinking the Democrats haven't been in power for so long that they're willing to erase references to "LGBT" and "same-sex" families in the party platform so as not to alienate more conservative swing voters.

      It's an act of political cowardice. Plain and simple.

    1. John Bisceglia on Aug 26, 2008 11:51:17 AM:

      "Gay" is a bad, bad, dirty word, and until our country grows up about concepts like gender identity and sexual orientation we will continue to be "unmentionable".

      The DNC needs to admit that it is IMMORAL to deny families with and without children the legal rights & protections of civil marriage. More and more in the LGBT community are deciding to withhold tax dollars due to this unjust treatment, and use that withheld money to help pay for all of the extra financial burdens our families face specifically due to legal discrimination. If American Families are having financial challenges now, LGBT families are having those same challenges PLUS the addition of unethical, immoral legal burdens. Why any self-respecting gay person would financially-sanction our government's discrimination is beyond me (gay tax protest).

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