When people say “both political parties are essentially the same,” I just want to cut a bitch. When it comes to LGBTQ people, there is an enormous rift between Democrats and Republicans.
In 1980 — yes, 41 years ago — the Democratic National Committee became the major first party to call for protecting gay and lesbian people:
“We must affirm the dignity of all people and the right of each individual to have equal access to and participation in the institutions and services of our society. All groups must be protected from discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, language, age, sex or sexual orientation.”
You’ll note there’s no mention of gender identity: This statement was a product of its time. Nonetheless, this plank was groundbreaking.
Let’s compare this to the Republican platform — not in 1980, but right now. Last year’s platform (which I believe is recycled from the one four years prior) states: “Traditional marriage and family, based on marriage between one man and one woman, is the foundation for a free society ….” It also says judges are “… wrongly redefining sex discrimination to include sexual orientation or other categories.”
So, one party began to recognize the rights and dignity of LGBTQ people 41 years ago, and the other thinks the Complimentary Spouse and I shouldn’t be married, nor do we deserve legal protections against discrimination.
Now, this isn’t to say the relationship between LGBTQ people and the DNC has always been smooth. It was a Democratic President (Clinton) that gave us DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) and DADT (Don’t Ask Don’t Tell).
But it was also a Democratic President (Obama) that scrapped DOMA and DADT. And Obama was the first president to endorse marriage equality.
And what have Republican Presidents done for us? Reagan ignored the AIDS crisis while thousands died, and W used marriage equality as a wedge issue to energize anti-LGBTQ voters in 2004.
You’ll find a few examples of Democrats hurting the LGBTQ cause, and Republicans helping it, but you’re smart enough to draw a logical conclusion from the facts. Both parties are not the same. Not from where I’m standing.
Hey, since we’re talking Democrats, let’s look at some photos!
I was still in the closet for these two presidential encounters, which may explain why I only owned one tie at the time.