Entry: The alternate address Tuesday, January 20, 2009

This is day one of the Barack Obama presidency and the following have not been accomplished:

1. Gay marriages and or civil unions recognized nationally

2. Expansion of hate crimes to include crimes committed against the LGBT community.

3. Removal of "Don't ask, don't tell" and the full acceptance of gays in the military.

4. Adoption rights of the LGBT community.

5. Expansion of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to include the LGBT community.

Five things Obama was in support of during the election cycle and these five things will be what I will hold Barack Obama and the Democratic Party accountable for.

To answer Obama's rhetorical question, "The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified," the LGBT answer is an astounding no. Our family isn't even recognized, if we're outed we stand a chance of getting fired just for who we are, and retirement is not dignified if the person we have spent our lives with has died. It's exactly the opposite.

Just like other rights issues (the right to vote, the right to equality, and many others), it is not a path for the faint-hearted and it is still a journey that continues today. We have fought with the rest of the country for freedom. We fought with the rest of this country to end slavery. We have fought with the rest of this country to allow others to have the same rights that have eluded us. During that time, we have patiently waited. This community has said time and time again, "Soon it will be our turn. One day, we'll be equal." That day has still not come.

The challenges of the LGBT community are not new. They have been in existence for a lot of recorded history. They've been in existence for many difference groups. Yet when we see other people getting exactly the equality that can be given to us, we are left wondering why we're even here. Why are we here in a country that is based on being endowed with "unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness"? How is the current system "...deny(ing) not to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws"?

We continue to brave our icy waters toward equality, and we continue to endure our storms. We continue to be tested, and the future will realize that we didn't give up. The future will know that we never stayed down, but we got right back up and continued our long journey toward equality--an equality for all people for all generations.


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