I’m Feeling Disagreeable: It’s Not “Just” About Marriage

obama-and-rick-warren1If you’ve been reading this blog for any time at all, you know that I write about a lot of different topics. And the reason I do that is because I realize that there are many, many important issues in our world today that cry out for attention. And yes, sometimes one issue is more urgent than another. However, I am increasingly fed up with people who tell me to “be patient” with President-elect Barack Obama’s policy decisions on gay rights, because he’s “got a lot on his plate.” I’m fed up because he’s not just ignoring gay (and therefore civil) rights because he’s too busy with other issues. He’s giving a pulpit to people who hate by inviting Rick Warren to deliver the invocation. And here’s why that matters:

Brutal gang rape of lesbian investigated in San Francisco Bay area

A woman in the San Francisco Bay area was jumped by four men, taunted for being a lesbian, repeatedly raped and left naked outside an abandoned apartment building, authorities said Monday.

Detectives say the 28-year-old victim was attacked Dec. 13 after she got out of her car, which bore a rainbow gay pride sticker. The men, who ranged from their late teens to their 30s, made comments indicating they knew her sexual orientation, said Richmond police Lt. Mark Gagan.

This is not about marriage, or Proposition 8. This is about Barack Obama reinforcing that ugly part of our culture that says anyone who is “different” than us is a sinner and must be punished. This is the world of Rick Warren. This is the world of Barack Obama’s  choice to lead off the inaugural ceremony.

Why was this woman targeted?

Authorities are characterizing the attack as a hate crime but declined to reveal why they think the woman was singled out because of her sexual orientation. Gagan would say only that the victim lived openly with a female partner and had a rainbow flag sticker on her car.

Do you have any idea how frightening this is? Do not tell me to wait for Barack Obama to decide that he has the time to address my rights. We could be dead by then.

I cannot believe I am going to quote Richard Cohen here, but when he’s right, he’s right:

I can understand Obama’s desire to embrace constituencies that have rejected him. Evangelicals are in that category and Warren is an important evangelical leader with whom, Obama said, “we’re not going to agree on every single issue.” He went on to say, “We can disagree without being disagreeable and then focus on those things that we hold in common as Americans.” Sounds nice.

But what we do not “hold in common” is the dehumanization of homosexuals. What we do not hold in common is the belief that gays are perverts who have chosen their sexual orientation on some sort of whim. What we do not hold in common is the exaltation of ignorance that has led and will lead to discrimination and violence.

Finally, what we do not hold in common is the categorization of a civil rights issue — the rights of gays to be treated equally — as some sort of cranky cultural difference. For that we need moral leadership, which, on this occasion, Obama has failed to provide. For some people, that’s nothing to celebrate.

Please join me in signing a petition here to tell President-elect Obama that you are disappointed in his selection of Rick Warren to deliver the inaugural invocation. Personally, I think I’ll just stay home on January 20.



  1. Sue J, I totally agree with you – as you know from my post, I am very much against Warren and very disappointed that Obama didn’t seem to understand how this made people feel.

    My hope is that Obama will see the light and realize the harm picking Warren did and do something big to make up for it in terms of policy. If he does not, I will be further disappointed in him. I will not be patient with him once he is actually president and can start taking action that will make a difference in people’s lives.

    As soon as I heard about Change.gov, I sent a note to him asking him to push for gay marriage and urged him to realize that civil unions are not the same because separate is never equal.

    I will immediately go sign the petition. He has to realize the importance of this issue.

  2. I signed the petition. I think narrowing this discussion to just marriage is the wrong approach. I’m glad you addressed this.

    I’m horrified by the gang rape/hate crime. What sickness.

  3. Mauigirl, I know you must be upset about this and I personally appreciate that you took action on this. As a former Clinton supporter, I am not about throwing up my hands and saying “See? I told you he would do this!” I am about moving forward and holding him accountable now that we have elected him. So, thanks.

    DCup, thank you for signing, too. It is horrific, and I almost didn’t write about it because of that. But that is exactly the problem, isn’t it? So, thank you, too.

  4. I received and signed that petition earlier today — and also the news of the horrible crime in San Francisco.

    It’s horrible – no question. I can’t blame Warren or Obama for this crime or their complicity in it.

    Hate crimes do seem to increase as people feel more threatened and threatened because positive change is happening.

    NO not fast enough – not at all. So we keep working for our civil and human rights.

    Warren was a bad, bad choice and I no longer feel like watching a historic moment in American history…that too is sad.

  5. it was all for show on Obama’s part.

    Love for him to sit with the rape victim and explain … face to face.

    I doubt he has the strength to do that.

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