Jerame Davis

DNC Chair Responds to Me and Others About LGBT Issues

Filed By Jerame Davis | August 03, 2010 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics, The Movement
Tags: Democrats, DNC, ENDA, LGBT issues, LGBT outreach, Stonewall Democrats, Tim Kaine

This past weekend, I was in Washington, DC to represent Indiana for the National Stonewall Democrats Convention. It was a memorable weekend overall with a great mixture of speeches, tours and learning opportunities.

During one of the plenary sessions, the DNC and Organizing For America spoke about all the things Democrats and the DNC have done for LGBT equality. Part of the presentation was a preview of a video from DNC Chairman Tim Kaine responding to comments solicited from the LGBT community in June during Pride month.

I was surprised and pleased when a comment I had left on the DNC website about passing ENDA was answered by Chairman Kaine - even if he mispronounced my name twice. I wish he would have said more about how and when they're going to pass ENDA though.

Let me know your thoughts. Is the DNC doing enough to reach out to LGBT Americans? Did Chairman Kaine adequately respond to the concerns raised in the questions they chose for this video? What other questions would you like to see the Chairman respond to? Video is after the jump.

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Actually Jerame they posted it on the Facebook page and I commented 3 different times there. The video is frankly horrible and insulting. It is the same things we keep hearing from the Democratic Party. He told us absolutely nothing new. They have no intentions of passing EDNA and even less intentions of repealing DOMA.
It was the normal we feel you pain, give us more money and we'll get around to passing EDNA and repealing DOMA in 15-20 years. Frankly I am sick of my party just giving me lip service than supporting people like Jim Webb, Blanche Lincoln, and Ben Nelson as well as others.

"They have no intentions of passing EDNA and even less intentions of repealing DOMA."

They don't have enough votes in the US Senate. If they did, they would. "Intentions" don't create votes - changing minds does.

You are absolutely right. And the reason we don't have enough votes is because the DNC keeps supporting Blue Dog Democrats like the ones I posted. The same part we have 2 Republicans on our side which would be enough. Sadly it's people like Lincoln, Webb, and Nelson who are stopping it. I agree with Joe the gAyTM is closed to the DNC, DNCC, and DSCC.

I'd like to know a few things:

1. I have received a number of surveys in the mail from the DNC. The surveys asked the respondent to evaluate the importance of DNC issues. Not one survey mentioned gay rights, and I live in San Francisco. I'd like to know why the DNC is ignoring us.

2. I'd like to know why the DNC thinks we should give them money when Obama (whom I won't be voting for again) had Rick Warren do the invocation and didn't televise Gene Robinson doing his invocation.

I think it would be useful if you emphasized to the DNC that the Gay-TM is closed.

This is just more mealy-mouthed, meaningless platitudes with nothing else behind them. Nice to see Jer get a question in, though. At least Kaine's response tells us what we've known all along: The Dems are setting up to fuck us over and dress it up as progress yet again. Get ready everyone, the Democratic Party Bullshit Train has just pulled into the station and Conductor Kaine is trying to entice us all on board.

All talk, no action, that's the Nibbler way.

They could have told you that they picked your question. I can't imagine just sitting in the audience for a sneak peek and seeing my question like that. :)

Ah, the joys of getting thrown under the bus when it's a tight election year.

I have four words for the spineless Democrats: Don't Ask, Don't Give

There is no "political solution" to LGBT Equality.

Of course there isnt. That's why our rights are put to a popular vote.

Man, why didnt we think of that during the 60s??

Chris Daley | August 3, 2010 10:27 PM

It’s surprising to me how poor the Obama administration and the Democratic party messages on LGBT issues are. This video is a good example. Maybe Kaine simply isn’t a good messenger but he comes across here as largely bored by the topic (at least to me).

It’s a shame. Despite the dominant meme in circulation since November ’08 among a small percentage of incredibly vocal lgbt community members, Obama’s administration has delivered -- in less than two years -- more positive change on LGBT issues than the previous 43 administrations combined. My understanding from folks working on these issues is that a ton of federal agencies are looking at changes that they can make that will fundamentally rearrange how the government interacts with us and our families.

However, Kaine barely gives any weight to these efforts (other than nods to HHS and HUD). He didn’t even mention the new passport gender marker policy that (a) provides a universally usable piece of ID for transgender community members that better reflects their identity than all but a handful of state ID policies and (b) creates a new, accessible model for other federal agencies (SSA, immigration, defense, etc) and state and local governments.

(This silence may be a strategic choice to protect the policy from lawsuits by the right but I thought the media attention at the time the policy was announced would have negated that strategy.)

Overall, the administration has been lackluster in highlighting these accomplishments. Of course, when they do make announcements, they seem to only make a blip for a hot second before being subsumed by the harmful cynicism that has gripped too many folks. If you look back, this cynicism broke through the noise literally on November 5, 2008 and has only become more shrill and myopic since. It’s possible that the administration and the party have simply decided that a more robust communications campaign would be unable to gain traction and are focusing their messaging resources elsewhere.

And Jerame, I always read your name the same way Kaine pronounced it until someone told me otherwise. It’s unfortunate but I’m just as guilty and am likely not alone in that transgression among Bilerico readers.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | August 4, 2010 2:08 AM

Obama had the final say on the appointment of Kaine as head of the DNC. Kaine is anti-GLBT, a creationist, anti-choice and a right wing religious nut.

Kaine supervises the CoS of the DNC, Leah Daughtry. She used DNC funds to pay for anti-GLBT anti-choice christian propaganda. She and the DNC settled (lost) a lawsuit by the former head of the DNCs LGBT outreach program who claimed his firing was discriminatory.

Daughtry, who was retained by Obama, is an ordained pentecostal bigot who opposes same sex marriage. So is his campaign director of bigot outreach Joshua Dubois. He successfully pulled a lot the bigot vote back from the Republicans and was rewarded with the job of directing the White House Office for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

Now he does what Rove used to do for Bush, bribe mormon, catholic and evangelical pulpit pimps to instruct their 'believers' to vote Democrat.

Well, Jeraim, this video is ridiculous to those of us in the know about LGBT politics, but it might resonate with people who don't follow politics. "Hey, they're gonna let us go to the hospital, cool!"

Is that first one Lori Jean of the GLC in LA? Spelled the same way. But I don't know about that Jer-aim character.

You gotta love it, though. They didn't want to pass ENDA, which would have gotten us out there voting for them. Instead we get this video. Can I use this video to sue a future employer if I get fired for being gay?

Which congresspersons in particular have initiated a motion for ENDA to be heard? If they haven't done so, I don't want to hear them say a single word about their "trying" and "sorry it won't happen overnight" rhetoric & placation. I'm calling "two faced coward".

Glad that ENDA was brought up at all/selected as a question. Glad that as executives, they are running their states with less discrimination. But making a few agencies here and there post a few guidelines and policies is hardly an achievement for LGBT citizens. A few peanuts don't count.