There's been plenty of angst lately among progressives regarding how Barack Obama will advance civil rights as President. In particular, the discussion on LGBT rights has been heated since Obama selected known homophobe Rick Warren to speak at the Inauguration. And recently, the discussion has become more complicated with the revelation that Barack Obama may have flip-flopped on marriage equality.
Now I'd rather not dwell upon what Obama should have done in these past decisions. Instead, I want for us to talk about what we must do now to make sure "the homosexual agenda" is advanced on the state and national levels once Obama is inaugurated. We can't dwell upon the past, so we must start planning now to win in the future.
This is what I warned about last month. If anything, the recent fight over Rick Warren and Obama's Inauguration should show us that we can't be complacent in thinking that President Obama and the Democratic Congress will magically pass all the legislation we wants. Pols are pols, so they'll try to find an "easy way out" in delaying votes and/or watering down civil rights legislation.
We can't wait for them to act. Rather, we must act now to push our elected officials to do what we elected them to do. We must tell Obama that words aren't enough, that he needs to use his bully pulpit to push for civil rights. We must tell Congress to pass this legislation and make civil rights a priority. And closer to home, we need to work in the states to repeal marriage bans and end "legalized discrimination".
Obama himself said, "We are the ones we've been waiting for." So really, what are we waiting for? Neither Rick Warren nor Washington "conventional wisdom" can stop us now. We can't allow the politicians to tell us to "wait our turn". The time is now for marriage equality. The time is now for workplace equality. The time is now for immigration equality.
The time is now for equality! So if you can, please take the time now to support good organizations like Courage Campaign and ACLU. And if you're in Southern California, please join me this Sunday as we protest in front of Rick Warren's church. The time is now, so let's stop waiting and start acting.