Unfortunately, the Obama Administration still doesn't appear to get it when it comes to the rights of the LGBT community. The appointment of Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) to be Secretary of Commerce is a direct slap at those of us struggling for civil rights. Once again our efforts for equality are being set aside for political gain. Somewhere along the line here we are going to need real action that shows that this administration is committed to joining us in our struggle for freedom.
Just look at Senator Gregg's record and you will see that over the last three sessions of Congress he has been with us only 28% of the time. In the 108th Congress, his voting record was only 13%! It is one of the lower rankings in Congress. That is totally unacceptable. Surely the rights and freedoms of an entire group of people under attack around the country should be enough to disqualify someone from a key position in the Obama cabinet.
When President John Kennedy was presented with the opportunity to appoint Senator J.William Fulbright as Secretary of State, who was gifted when it came to foreign policy, he refused to do so because of Fulbright's votes against civil rights legislation for African-Americans. That seems like real leadership to me.
Of course, anyone with an astute political mind knows that Gregg is being appointed so that our chances increase in New Hampshire in 2010. However, does anyone think that after the elections in 2010 that we will have that many more seats then we have now? Give me a break. If with 58 Democratic Senators we can't find real action on LGBT issues then we have to take a hard look at our strategy.
Our national organizations must speak out and say that this man is unacceptable to the LGBT community and our allies should vote against him. No nice private meetings with reassurances that he didn't mean any of his votes. He had years to extend outreach to us and failed to do so.
This isn't about a prayer. It is about real power.
No to Gregg