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How the Inauguration Team Views “LGBT Interests”

Timothy Kincaid

December 18th, 2008

The Inaugural Committee has sent out talking points on why selecting Rick Warren’s and his message equating gays to pedophiles for the Inaugural Invocation is “inclusive”. They concluded with what they must think is their stongest point:

And for the very first time, there will be a group representing the interests of LGBT Americans participating in the Inaugural Parade.

Ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod, how exciting. I’ll have a representative there at the inauguration representing my interests.

Oh my goodness, who could it be? Perhaps a gay politician, or the leader of a gay rights group, or even someone who has stepped up to speak out against institutionalized inequality in the wake of Proposition 8?

Nope. My representatives to the President-Elect are these guys:

Yes, the representation that gay people will have at the inauguration will be a gay marching band included among the couple dozen bands that will march down Pennsylvania Avenue after the swearing in ceremony.

Well, that’s doesn’t sound very effective. But perhaps they are stellar representatives of my “interests”. So let’s take a look at the goals of the Lesbian and Gay Band Association:

LGBA remains dedicated to its original goals of providing a network of lesbian and gay bands at all stages of development, promoting music as a medium of communication among people, improving the quality of artistic and organizational aspects of member bands, and stimulating public interest in the unique art form of community band music in our culture.


Don’t get me wrong. I love marching bands. And I think it’s wonderful that amoung the dozens of bands participating will be one whose members are recruited from the gay community.

But frankly, I find it offensive that the Inaugural Committee is so incredibly condescending as to think that this group will be “representing the interests of LGBT Americans” just because they happen to be gay.

If this is any indication of the inclusion that gay people will have in the Obama Administration, we can look forward to (at least) four years of patronizing and dismissive gestures. We should all sit up and be thankful that we can march in the band. And maybe if we’re really appreciative maybe we can also do Michelle’s hair and make-up.

That isn’t inclusion. That’s a slap in the face.

I am hoping that this is an aberration, that the Obama administration will be dedicated not only to the reversal of discriminatory policy but also to the inclusion of gay men and women at all levels of government, selected for their abilities to contribute to their nation. But I do not consider the appointments to date or the administration’s response to the Rick Warren controversy to be promising.



Southern Decency
December 18th, 2008 | LINK

The gay marching band is just as inconsequential to gay interests as Rick Warren’s invocation is to evangelical interests. This controversy is a tempest in a teapot.

Jim Burroway
December 18th, 2008 | LINK

But, but, but… They’ll be playing “It’s Raining Men”!

Don’t you see?

December 18th, 2008 | LINK

But all gay people have to be Democrats. To not be is to be a traitor to the cause…

This marching band being our representatives pisses me off alot more than Obama inviting Warren. That doesn’t bother me but insulting me by saying some band in short shorts is my representative… that gets me mad!

Ben in Oakland
December 18th, 2008 | LINK

maybe they can march with the hairdressers, florists, actors, and butch car repair people. i know i’ll be represented that way.

Mark F.
December 18th, 2008 | LINK

Don’t blame me–I voted 3rd party.

December 18th, 2008 | LINK

If this is how Obabma is sensitive to gays I guess I can forget about him getting rid of DOMA or enacting ENDA. For someone who claims to support civil unions for gays this is a profoundly wrong-headed choice.

(And Pomo, really. Those particular shorts are knee-length. Look at the photo. It’s also highly unlikely they wouldn’t be wearing something much more formal, anyway.)

December 18th, 2008 | LINK

after giving some more thought. . .
I find it quite amusing that BHO selected ‘the man behind the curtain’ for now lots of folk will be paying a tad bit more attention to Brother Warren, as he continues to build his faith fortresses(4th largest church in america-wikipedia). And, with Warren as the BHO pick, Prop 8 hit the radar again on a national level.

Bringing together folk is what BHO is all about, and sometimes that is like inviting the relatives from the distant side of the family to the wedding, christining (sp), bar mitzvah, etc. that no one really wants to invite or even see. But after they all get together, well, sometimes more fireworks.

I have only seen Brother Warren in two video clips, like his charisma and admire him not only as a very effective spokesperson, but for his ability to keep his ‘cool’.

But all this aside, before true conversations and dialogues to develop h, folk must be around the table. This is OHB’s hope and tactic for change.

But then again The Godfather once said, ‘Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.’

David C.
December 18th, 2008 | LINK

Here is a scenario to consider:

Rick Warren does in fact appear in his assigned role in the Inauguration. Now, because of this increase in visibility, evangelism as a whole gets more visibility. Following this, more scrutiny begins to fall upon the whole Evangelical Industry so clearly on display in mega-churches and the political clout that obtains from the very effective organization the Evangelism Industry enables. Main Street USA starts to get a little nervous.

Next, people begin to flash-back to the atrocities of the Bush Administration and its way-to-close affiliation with way too many of the right-wing religious ideologues. Mainstream americans and those that actually voted for Obama because they were trying to install a progressive leader in the White House then take notice and actually start to advocate for laws that will protect all citizens from the advancing theocracy. Calls begin to be made for examination of tax-exempt status for some of the evangelical mega-churches that are run more like businesses than churches and are blatantly pushing the envelope or testing the law where it comes to political activism.

The backlash against evangelicals trying to enshrine their iron-age beliefs into law becomes pronounced enough that all members of congress and the President distance themselves from the rabidly right-wing evangelicals. Two slots open on the US Supreme Court and Obama nominates two very moderate justices that are handily confirmed by Congress. Shortly thereafter, the decisive battle in the Culture War takes place when homosexuals are granted full protection and Roe V. Wade is actually strengthened by striking down most state restrictions on abortion and state laws that attempt to exclude homosexuals from marrying or adopting children.

Game over for RIck Warren and his ilk.

Yeah, I know, dream on.

December 18th, 2008 | LINK

Don’t blame me. I not only supported Hillary but pointed out that Obama was kissing up to queer haters like the closet queen Donnie McKlerkin. That he was a neo-lib and the most right wing of all the Democratic Party candidates.

December 18th, 2008 | LINK

But all this aside, before true conversations and dialogues to develop, folk must be around the table. This is OHB’s hope and tactic for change.

Any serious review of Culture War issues shows that this never works. The leaders talk, they disagree, they repeat themselves, they decide it‘s useless to talk any more. Events and resulting defections decide things.

December 19th, 2008 | LINK

Why isn’t that good enough? I thought you people liked parades!

December 19th, 2008 | LINK

Spot on Timothy. And I hope LGBT Americans make their disgust known dusing the ceremony quite frankly.

December 19th, 2008 | LINK

@ David C.: It could work the other way. Obama has an anti-gay man as part of his inauguration ceremony, and the anti-gay idiots (perhaps even the violent ones) are emboldened and step up their obnoxious and dangerous behaviors. Sigh.

I’d love to see the LGBT marching band march silently in protest. I do not think we are overreacting to this issue. Including a pinch of poison in a recipe does not make it “inclusive”, rather it ruins everything.

MR Bill
December 19th, 2008 | LINK

I, for one, hate a parade.
Anytime I see a bunch of people marching in one direction, I have the urge to go the other way.
And if they are running, panicked, I leave tangent to their path..
The choice of Warren hurt. But then, if give Obama cover to actually do something positive for the GLBT community, I guess I can suck it up one more time..
But I ain’t happy.

And what(besides the emails I’ve sent) can we do here? Organize, yeah, but this is being spread in the media “those nasty gays don’t want ‘America’s Preacher’ (registered trademark) to be at Obama’s love in. Warren’s odious conduct in the Prop 8 debacle is just not getting much play.
We’re loosing the public relations war if we play this way it’s been going.

December 19th, 2008 | LINK

I think God is sick of Warren’s hate filled life.

Dennis Veite
December 19th, 2008 | LINK

Hi true colors are showing through brightly!

Dennis Veite
December 19th, 2008 | LINK

@Mark F: Me too. I vote for Hillary in the primaries and there was no way in hell I was voting for Obama. He’s a sleazeball just like McCain.

December 19th, 2008 | LINK

The Obama team is now using this gay marching band to rationalize their false inclusiveness. In light of Obama promoting Warren internationally through the inauguration, this band should pull out of the inauguration. Obama is throwing us under the bus with the calculation that gay voters have nowhere to go. I donated, supported, and voted for Obama. I’m fed up with this Democrats-as-usual treatment of GLBT voters. Monday I switch my affiliation to Independent and urge every GLBT voter, abortion rights voter, etc. to do the same.

December 19th, 2008 | LINK

My main reason for voting for Obama was that I didn’t want an extension of the Bush Administration. I sort of anticipated that Obama would pull this kind of crap, but it’s still disappointed. Anyway, I’ve been a registered independent since I registered to vote at age 18.

December 20th, 2008 | LINK

We were already under the bus as soon as he had Donnie McClurkin sing at his rally in South Carolina. You didn’t know that?

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