Belinda Carroll on Obama’s Big Gay Legacy

By Belinda Carroll, PQ Monthly

Do you remember the 1992 election? (If you don’t, shut up whippersnapper–grown-ups are talking.) Clinton was like, “Hey LGB people (because he hadn’t even thought of the T), I’m going to treat you right and make all your dreams come true!” So everyone voted for him but then he treated us like an intern with some stolen Cuban cigars with the passing of DOMA (yes, it was Clinton) and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (but we’ll hunt you down anyway).

Well, with those violations it’s no wonder why myself and a bunch of other LGBT people were like “yeah, well whatever” when Obama said he would include us. But he has! I know, part of it is public opinion has changed (mostly) in regard to LGBT people but I feel like he’s really got our back.
Case in point, yesterday he signed an executive order banning discrimination against LGBTQ folks in employment. Sure, it’s only for federal contracts but it’s a step in the right direction and I remember when I came out (at 14) in 1992, we were still illegal in 13 states. I’m hoping this move will lead to other states and corporations following suit.

Before signing the Order, Obama said “America’s federal contracts should not subsidize discrimination against the American people. I’m going to do what I can with the authority I have to act.”

According to the Huffington Post, who obtained a copy of the order, the Order is in two parts. One is that it makes it illegal to harass anyone in the LGBT community based on sexual orientation if they are employees of federal contractors, and it also bans discrimination against transgender employees as well.

Add this to the legacy the Obama-led government  is creating supporting LGBTQ rights, including granting hospital visitation to couples, repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and repealing part 2 of the Defense of Marriage Act. Perhaps the best is yet to come.

Good job sir!