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Column: Gay Rights Integral To Obama's Platform

This story was written by Cyndi Waite, Daily Nebraskan

According to Barack Obama, gay people are people, too.

I'm not sure where he got these skewed ideas, but it's clear that if he wins, he will implement changes to provide even the gayest of couples the same rights given to the natural-born, in-God's-image, superior heterosexual couples. He'll justify this under the umbrella of "human" rights, making a strong implication that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are humans.

Obviously he hasn't sat through a good Southern Baptist sermon lately.

It's bad enough that Obama promises to make sure that all families have health care coverage, raise the minimum wage for the working class, improve the education system and provide tax incentives for companies who keep their labor in the United States, but now he wants to do all this for gay people, too?

His gay love came out this summer. In late June, Obama wrote a statement that was delivered by Rebecca Prozan as the welcoming speech to a Pride breakfast hosted by the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club. Then, he outdid himself by sending the club a thank-you letter for allowing him to participate in the event.

"I am proud to join with and support the LGBT community in an effort to set our nation on a course that recognizes LGBT Americans with full equality under the law," Obama said in the letter.

Of course you will, Obama, we laugh as we read, fully appreciative of his rhetorical mastery. Make 'em think you care and then shove them back in the closet where they belong.

But he continues.

"I support extending fully equal rights and benefits to same sex couples under both state and federal law. That is why I support repealing the Defense of Marriage Act and the 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' policy and the passage of laws to protect LGBT Americans from hate crimes and employment discrimination."

Protect gay people? Repeal the Defense of Marriage Act? (Isn't that the Bush Doctrine?) Obama may have tried to pull a sly one and trick us with his big words like "federal law" and "employment discrimination," but all good Americans can see through it. We know that he is stating his unconditional support for all things gay people love: polygamy, bestiality, pedophilia and possibly even necrophilia, but we don't want to generalize them.

After sending the letter, we didn't hear much from Obama about his stances on gay marriage and LGBT rights. Those westerners ("hippies," "open-minded," "progressives") couldn't let it go, though, and recently he's been back in the news, more openly than ever spouting off about his gay sensibilities.

In a Sept. 10 interview with Slate, the premiere (more like queermiere) LGBT newspaper in the country, Obama spoke out about gay rights.

While he carefully stepped around the issue of whether he would refuse to nominate a Supreme Court Justice due to anti-gay sentiments, he did say that "someone who has an established record of failing to support equal opportunities for all Americans would not fare well in an Obama-Biden administration."

Now, not only are gay people humans, they're Americans. I can understand the British, but American?

Obama went on to comment that he will fight to have Congress pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), the hate crimes bill and the JUSTICE Act, which will help combat the spread of HIV/AIDS infection in prisons.

On the issue of AIDS, Obama had even more to say.

"As president," he began, "I will continue to confront the stigma -- too often tied to homophobia -- that continues to surround HIV/AIDS."

Obama's beliefs go beyond the political realm of Congress, bill and acts. He ha presented himself as a voice for the LGBT community and its allies. He has spoken out in an effort to galvanize them and to serve and protect them, along with the other Americans he speaks for.

It seems as though in this campaign, politicking has taken on a new level. Not only is Obama reaching out for the working class vote, the minority vote and other traditionally democratic votes, but he is acknowledging that a new group exists and has worked hard over the past four decades to gain respect for their lifestyle and the rights traditional individuals, families and couples have been given under the U.S. Constitution.

We live in a country founded on and steeped in biases, exclusion, the denial of rights and the maintaining of the status quo. And for a long time, we've done a right good job of voting the American way -- the straight and white way.

Now we have a presidential candidate who threatens the sanctity of these judgments and abuses. He threatens to overturn the "social order" and demand equality for all people, for all humans.

"I support these efforts because I know that equality is a moral imperative," he explained to Slate.

I can't help but wonder, is it possible that all our years of fighting for white, heterosexist privilege have defied a greater moral imperative? Could Obama be right? Are homosexuals people, too?

I guess we'll find out this November.