Where to Now?
The 2010 mid-term elections have come and gone, and the surprisingly productive “lame duck” session ended the 111th Congress with a few long-fought-for victories, including, seemingly miraculously, the legislative repeal of DADT, the openly discriminatory military policy of “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell,” signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1993.
In view of the repeal of DADT, maybe I spoke a bit too harshly against the Democratic members of the 111th Congress. In this case they did in fact (after only 17 years) “lift a finger” to support us, and with that finger they voted to toss DADT onto the same slag heap where lie the remains of such policies as racial segregation in the military and the prohibition against women serving in combat roles.
Does that mean that we can relax now, applaud, continue to throw money at the largely “status-symbol” Human Rights Campaign, and just wait for our noble representatives to grant us our full civil rights? Was that a rhetorical question?
Out4Immigration reports that in this newly configured, 112th Congress, there are some signs of hope regarding continued progress on UAFA. Here is the full quote, along with attribution:
“Because Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), who scored a 92 percent rating from HRC in the 111th Congress, is the likely incoming chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, LGBT advocates also hold out hope that action on the Uniting American Families Act – which would offer some recognition of bi-national, same-sex couples – and other LGBT-supportive legislation under her committee purview could advance in the new Congress.”
— Chris Geidner, Metro Weekly, News Analysis: With 2011 barely begun, the year promises ongoing LGBT political action — pro or con — on multiple fronts
That said, I urge anyone in our situation to continue to work for — but not wait for — legislative change regarding equal protection under the law. Sign the petitions; call your representatives; write letters to the editor of your local newspapers; contact town, city, and state legislative bodies for resolutions in support of UAFA. But do not rely on or expect help from the United States government, because you will most likely be disappointed (or will die of old age first). Instead, work your magic privately, among like-minded persons who are in a position to practically help.
I clearly don’t have all the answers, but I do know that the government currently has no solution to our problem, not now nor in the foreseeable future. And I would love to be proven wrong about that.