Daily Archives: December 22, 2010

Kerry corners Barry with a passel of pertinent questions — that he doesn’t want to answer The one to take away: Does the WWF know about this?

“I’ve been making a lot of news over the last several weeks, I’m not going to make more news today. The sentiment I expressed then is still where I am—which is, like a lot of people, I’m wrestling with this. My attitudes are evolving on this. I have always firmly believed in having a robust civil union that provides the rights and benefits under the law that marriage does. I’ve wrestled with the fact that marriage traditionally has had a different connotation. But I also have a lot of very close friends who are married gay or lesbian couples.”

Really? What a coinkydink! Some of my best friends are breeders.

“And squaring that circle is something that I have not done yet, but I’m continually asking myself this question and I do think that—I will make this observation, that I notice there is a big generational difference. When you talk to people who are in their 20s, they don’t understand what the holdup is on this, regardless of their own sexual orientation. And obviously when you talk to older folks, then there’s greater resistance.”

Yes I’m waiitng for John McCain to buy the farm too. Who isn’t?

McCain 1


McCain 2

“And so this is an issue that I’m still wrestling with, others are still wrestling with. What I know is that at minimum, a baseline is that there has to be a strong, robust civil union available to all gay and lesbian couples.”

Can you imagine a time when you would get there? I mean, you say “evolving,” and that sort of assumes that you get somewhere. Can you imagine a time of getting there?
I’m going to stick with my answer. [Laughter.]

What answer?

“Our changes on hospital visitation is something that didn’t require legislation but has concrete impacts, making a difference in people’s lives as we speak.”


Here’s a blast from the past for you.


That was 2004.

Yes they’re still together and the girls are thriving.

“So I want to continue to look for ways administratively, even if we’re not able to get something through the House of Representatives or the Senate, that advances the causes of equality.

Potentially in the course of your presidency in the next two years?

Well, look, I would distinguish between things that should get done and I fully support but may still be stalled with a Republican-controlled Congress — or Republican-controlled House of Representatives that’s not inclined to go there, versus things that can happen in society at large.”

Translation: “The government is an active impediment to social change. No matter what’s going on in the real world we must be forced to do the right thing at each and every juncture.”

“I have been struck — let me take the former — repealing DOMA, getting [the Employment Non-Discrimination Act] done, those are things that should be done. I think those are natural next steps legislatively. I’ll be frank with you, I think that’s not going to get done in two years. I think that’s — we’re on a three- or four-year time frame unless there’s a real transformation of attitudes within the Republican caucus.”

IOW when Brian Boitano does a Triple-Lutz in the 9th Circle.

“Congress is a complicated place with 535 people that you have to deal with in order to get anything done. And my belief was when I first came in, and it continues to be, that by getting “don’t ask, don’t tell” done, we sent a clear message about the direction, the trajectory of this country in favor of equality for LGBT persons. The next step I think would be legislatively to look at issues like DOMA and ENDA. And I’m going to continue to …”


What about not defending DOMA?
As I said before, I have a whole bunch of really smart lawyers who are looking at a whole range of options. My preference wherever possible is to get things done legislatively because I think it — it gains a legitimacy, even among people who don’t like the change, that is valuable.

So with “don’t ask, don’t tell,” I have such great confidence in the effective implementation of this law because it was repealed.”

“We would have gotten to the same place if the court order had made it happen, but I think it would have engendered resistance. So I’m always looking for a way to get it done, if possible, through our elected representatives. That may not be possible in DOMA’s case. That’s something that I think we have to strategize on over the next several months.”

No defending DOMA sounds like a good strategy to me. But as the estimable George Chauncey points out in this NYT Op-Ed the end of DADT may well signal the end of a whole host of other things keeping the LGBT communities in second-class and last place.

Ahead of the curve as ever, the Divine Miss M sang the Marriage-Military link quite awhile back.