Approximately 12 feet from his grave is the grave of Clyde Tolson, the gay lover of J. Edgar Hoover. Hoover’s grave is about 45 feet away (a discreet and respectable distance) from Tolson’s grave. This very cemetery is a poignant illustration of the terrible cost of silence and fear. Shakespeare said the brave man dies but once, the coward dies a thousand deaths. Think of the many times Hoover and Tolson had to lie about themselves and each other. Think of the self-hatred and pain that ultimately was turned outwards to LGBTQ people like Matlovich. We hate most in others what we hate most in ourselves.
DADT is a codified form of hatred and discrimination against people because of their orientation. It is unjust, it is evil and it is a policy that our President promised us he would end. President Obama asked us at an HRC banquet in 2009 to “hold his feet to the fire.” That is what we are here to do. Mr. President why did you appeal Judge Virginia Phillip’s ruling that DADT is unconstitutional? Why did you seek a stay to her ruling directing the Armed Forces to immediately stop enforcing DADT?
When Judge Walker ruled that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) refused to appeal Walker’s ruling; in fact, Schwarzenegger asked Judge Walker NOT to stay his order. Mr. President why have you perpetuated an evil injustice when all you had to do to end it was nothing. Why did you lack the strength and justice of Gov. Schwarzenegger?
Deeds not words! Justice delayed is justice denied. Mr. President you have betrayed both justice and our community. You have betrayed the many LGBTQ people who worked, donated and voted for your election. You have made a mockery of your campaign slogan “Hope” and your actions have written the word “False” across that noble sentiment.
After the Mid-Term Elections the New Republican Speaker of the House Mr. Boehner said that America had sent a message to President Obama “Change Course.” Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Mr. President it is indeed time to change course, not as the Republicans and the Religious Right to whom your policies have pandered would have you do. It is time for you to remember and keep the promises you made to your base, to us, as a candidate. It is time to do the right thing Mr. President. If you fail us in these next two years, we will not work for you, or donate to you, or vote for you in 2012. It is better to deal with an honest enemy than with a dishonest traitor. It is better to endure a painful reality than to be deluded by a false hope.