This post began as an answer to Melissa's comments on my previous post but it grew...and grew...and grew, so I thought that I'd devote an entire post to it.
The votes for ENDA probably weren't there, but I'd feel a lot less bitter with Barney ''Uncle Tom'' Frank and the rest of the dems if they at least made it appear that they fought the good fight, but they don't even attempt that. Trans gets thrown under the bus every single time, for DADT, for their precious marriage, or whatever the hot cause of the day is for the gay community, while we don't even have the right not to be fired from our jobs or thrown out of our homes, the most basic of rights, just for being trans. I'd realy like to support the dems but until their deeds and actions match their words they're not giving me much reason to. Their failure to deliver on ENDA has at least as much, and maybe more, to do with them looking for political cover as it does with the weird procedural rules of the Senate. One can hardly imagine the civil rights giants of the 60's failing to show courage to act in the face of almost overwelming opposition to racial equality. Today's dems can't even hold a candle to those couragous men and women. RFK must be rolling in his grave!
Repeal of DADT IS good news, I'm just afraid of the unintended and possibly disasterous consequences of the repeal. When the military was desegregated back in the 50's Truman already had the draft, so racist soldiers had no choice but to get over it unless they wanted to face a court martial or dodge the draft. That's not the the situation that we have today. Today, people can choose to enlist or re-enlist... or choose not to. Estimates are that we could loose 25-30 percent of our current service members when DADT is repealed, they just won't re-up. This figure is probably higher among potential recruits, who may never join to begin with. Losing 30 percent without replacement when we're already streached thin with the Afghan war, Iraq, and our other commitments around the world, and the looming probability of military confrontation with North Korea AND Iran is unacceptable. If the draft has to be reinstated to make up for losses you can be sure that the GOP will blame the GLBT for it. That would probably be enough to stall future GLBT legislation and could lead to a lot of Matthew Shepards.
Many have compaired DADT repeal with military desegregation in the 50's but it's not quite the same. I'm sorry, it's just not. We're talking about a whole different dynamic here. For obvious reasons, no one would think that being Black is a choice. Now I know, as do most of you, that being gay, lesbian, or trans isn't a choice, either, but not everyone sees it that way. Many people, and not just homophobes and transphobes, but also some tolerant and otherwise enlightened people, see being G,L,B, or T as a lifestyle choice. The education level just isn't there yet and it'll probably take another generation to turn this preception.