As we head into the inauguration of Barack Obama, it never occurred to me that I'd feel anything less than ecstatic. The hope that Obama might be president consumed me totally this year, from his epic battle with HRC to his victory speech in Chicago (which I, with tears in my eyes, watched over and over again on YouTube, along with clips of spontaneous street celebrations erupting throughout the country on election night). But with his choosing Rick Warren to do the invocation -- yes, another gay talking about Rick Warren -- I'm feeling blasé; the wind is out of my sails.
All year long, I shouted at the TV when I thought Obama was being treated unfairly by the media (yup, I believed he was mostly treated shabbily by the punditry). I defended him against my Hillary-loving mother, who insisted that Obama was a lightweight with a good smile and a strut he hadn't earned. I contributed, I blogged, I argued. My partner spent an unpaid month volunteering in Philadelphia, working out of a cold office with shared, rented cellphones and no computers. We bought posters and buttons -- a giant, well-designed 'get out the vote' sticker still used as décor in our bathroom, the bumper sticker still prominently displayed on the car. But now this.
What Obama and his folks maybe didn't realize is that this is not the year to antagonize gay people. We're fed up. Ironically, it was because I was so passionately focused on Obama winning the presidency that I paid next to no attention to the Prop 8 battle. It was only afterwards, especially when I realized that certain organizations had mobilized a campaign to target gays, that I woke up. It's of no interest to me whether Rick Warren appears as an empathetic or warmhearted man. What matters is what comes out of Warren's mouth: what he preaches, what he and his church stand for.
I've read about Obama's friends. Is anyone in his close circle gay? Does he have any friends who are gay? Who is his gay adviser? Maybe some of the gay people who so passionately wanted Hillary to win were on to something when they told me that they suspected that Obama didn't really like the gays.
So, of course I'll be watching the inauguration, but if someone blocks my view, I'll be perfectly content to give it up and go to the back of the room -- where apparently Obama thinks I belong anyway.
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Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more information
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General Election: Nov 3, 2020
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