Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Split-Screen Struggle Over Gay Rights

by Arianna Huffington

Huffington Post
November 15, 2010

Protesters chaining themselves to the White House gate today, objecting to what they called the "silent homophobia of those who purport to be our friends and do nothing," capped a tumultuous few days in the fight to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" -- and the larger fight for equality.

There was the one step forward represented by the leak of a Pentagon study showing that 70 percent of active-duty and reserve troops surveyed thought lifting DADT wouldn't have a negative impact on America's armed forced. Followed by the two steps back of the Supreme Court's order on Friday allowing the ban on openly gay soldiers to remain in effect while the Obama administration fights a federal appeals court ruling that the policy is unconstitutional, and John McCain -- who has said in the past that he'd be open to repealing DADT -- making it clear that, in fact, he wouldn't. Not now. Not yet.

America finds itself at a real turning point in the struggle for gay rights. And, as during all turning points, it's as if we are watching the struggle unfold on a split screen: progress on one side, setbacks on the other.