Friday, December 31, 2010
Reflections on 2010
1. Without a doubt, the biggest news in the US was the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell. That was, as Joe Biden said about the health reform law, a big @#$^#@@## deal. And it was. We shouldn't forget that. But we also shouldn't forget that the United States was way behind over 25 countries in allowing LGBT people to serve their countries. Yes, the repeal of DADT was wonderful. It was also very late.
2. Support for same sex marriage seemed to gaining momentum. Recent polls reflect that the gap between supporters and opponents is closing. (One poll even has supporters in the lead.) This is good news. It's hard to imagine a sea change in the opposite direction. The far right will need to find another adversary to rally their troops and raise cash. I've always felt that the anti-gay hysteria from the right wing was a direct result of the end of the Cold War. They needed to find another enemy to raise money. Enter homosexuals.
3. The liberal wing of the Democratic Party has at times been very vocal in its displeasure about President Obama. This was especially true of those supporting a repeal of DADT. While President Obama and Press Secretary Gibbs were at times offensively dismissive of this activism, it was activist pressure that ultimately changed the policy. What I have learned this past year is that while I am happy that Obama is president, and while I will almost certainly vote for him in 2012, it remains an unfortunate truth that the real movers and shakers of any equality movement are for the most part, the very folks who are seeking equality. An extraordinary exception to this is the remarkable leadership Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has shown in the fight for LGBT rights. Now that Ted Kennedy has passed away, Gov. Patrick is the only straight politician who I trust to defend my right to full citizenship in this country.
I'll post some more thoughts later. For now, Happy New Year to all!