The following is an e-mail I sent to the White House last night:
To quote your recent e-mail to me, Mr. President, I need your voice. You wanted me to speak up in favor of your health plan. Well, Mr. President, I want you to start speaking up on gay rights. You and your staff keep telling me how fierce an advocate you are on gay rights. When were you planning to start proving those repeated assertions? Vermont legalizes gay marriage--you say nothing. Iowa legalizes gay marriage--you say nothing. The Department of Defense fires an Arabic linguist because he's gay--a policy you promised to do away with--and you say nothing. The California Supreme Court twists itself (and the law) into a pretzel to uphold an amendment saying that only marriage between one man and one woman is valid, but the 18,000+ marriages that don't fit that definition and that took place before the amendment was enacted are still valid. And you say nothing.
Are you starting to see a pattern here? I sure am.
Now, I'm not surprised at the shape of that pattern. I was never under the impression that you were a liberal or a gay-rights supporter. But an awful lot of your supporters kept telling me that you were both, and that if I'd only wait a little while longer, you'd show me how wrong I was.
Well, Mr. President, I've been waiting for forty-five years thus far. Just how much longer do you think I'm going to have to wait? Because, as happy as it makes me to be able to rub the noses of those people who told me you'd be a great president for gay rights in your failure to live up to that promise, I would be far happier to have them rubbing my nose in my epic fail after you stepped up to the plate and proved me wrong.
A common excuse that's offered in your defense is that you've just started your term and there are plenty of huge problems on your plate to handle, so gay rights will just have to wait. My answer to those people is one I'm sure you're familiar with, because it's from Martin Luther King's famous "Letter from a Birmingham Jail":We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have never yet engaged in a direct action movement that was "well timed," according to the timetable of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease .... For years now I have heard the words [sic] "Wait!" ...This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see with the distinguished jurist of yesterday that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."
I'm not waiting any longer, Mr. President. And if you expect to keep my vote in 2012, you won't, either. Show me some concrete progress on those issues you campaigned on, and we're OK. But keep putting me off with empty words and insincere promises, and I'll be looking for a better candidate to support in 2012.
I'm not expecting any reply, directly or indirectly. But I'd love to be proven wrong.