Posted by: Catherine Lugg | November 6, 2010

Yes, it’s really bad

I’ve been chatting with various friends about Tuesday’s election returns. While no one is surprised by the outcomes given the Obama administration’s fondness for throwing progressives under the political bus while coddling Wall Street, few professional queers (see Humans Rights Campaign, The National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, etc.), are discussing the fact that the policy window has been slammed shut on their fingers. We are going to have to live with DADT, DOMA, as well as NO federal support for queer kids, until at least January 2017.

Here’s the deal: Obama is loathe to stick his neck out for anything or anyone. So, getting the federal hate crimes statute to include queers was easy lifting since it had broad support, and the bill even garnered Republican votes. Getting the stimulus package through Congress was difficult, and according to Paul Krugman and other economists, Obama opted for a far too small package. Political caution meant an inadequate bill, hence the unemployment rate will remain high for the foreseeable future–something that the White House was punished for on Tuesday. The same dynamic held true on the health care bill, where Obama refused to twist political arms until the very last hour. The reason that the US has any comprehensive health care bill has more to do with the political acumen of Nancy Pelosi than Barak Obama. And now, Pelosi is out as speaker.

Furthermore, the incoming speaker, John Boehner, to be blunt, is a nasty piece of work. Not only is he a total corporate tool, Boehner had no problem supporting a wannabee Nazi and Republican Congressional candidate on Tuesday. Case point: Boehner continued to support Rich Iott, the defeated Republican candidate for Ohio’s 9th congressional district, after Iott was outed as someone who likes to dress up as an Waffen SS officer on the weekends. During World War II, the Waffen SS divisions were the extermination units that followed the German Army into conquered territory (Poland, Russia, etc), to kill all Jewish residents, Gypsies [the Roma people], queers, etc. Iott claimed to be merely a “historical reenactorr” to honor a legendary army. Yeah, right, you bet. In-coming House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor promptly withdrew his political support of Iott and denounced him, when Iott’s fondness for the SS was revealed. But Boehner remained steadfast in his support. Fortunately, Marcy Kaptur beat Iott like a drum in the election. But the fact remains that the incoming Speaker of the US House of Representatives actually endorsed and FUNDED an admirer of the SS. Obviously, Boehner serving as Speaker does not bode well for queers (or Jews, or the Roma people, or folks of Slavic descent, or people of color, or….).

So, we will continue to have a White House who will ask queers for political cash and then ignore and even demean our needs. While the US Department of Ed might focus on bullying, it won’t address the outrageous rates of homophobic bullying that occur in US public schools. We have a Senate composed largely of Democratic and Republican homophobes. And now, the “People’s House” will be led by someone who supported a Nazi wannabee despite outrage from his own leadership. Given these political dynamics on the federal level, would someone please explain how things get better, particularly for queer kids in US public schools?



  1. […] There will be NO pro-queer bills in Congress next year. None, nada, zilch, zip. […]

  2. […] month, I blogged about how the political climate had changed to “more hostile” towards queers in light of the Congressional […]

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