Despite the adulation that President Obama enjoys in most gay circles, he has refused to address the persecution of our fellows around the world. It is particularly striking that while he has delivered two speeches in the past four days on the Middle East, citing in his speech this past Thursday at the State Department, our promotion of “political reform and human rights in the region“, he did not mention the plight of homosexuals suffering under Islamicist oppression.
Nor had he mentioned their suffering in his June 4, 2009 speech in Cairo.
Perhaps, it’s because on gay issues, he takes his cues from the gay left, all too many who fear losing their sense of solidarity with the broader “progressive” movement for whom alliance with some of America’s enemies is paramount. All too often they lose sight of the individuals who suffer under the rule of anti-American regimes.
Over at Commentary Contentions, Jonathan S. Tobin wonders at “David Kaufman’s bizarre and confused article in Time magazine that focuses on ‘pink washing’—the term used by leftists to describe the discussion of Israel’s stance on gay rights.” Kaufman, Tobin finds, is concerned that some cite Israel’s exemplary record on gays as a “cover to stop people from denouncing Israel for its alleged abuse of the Palestinians”:
The reason why Israel’s gay rights record is relevant to the broader discussion about the conflict in the Middle East is not a matter of mere public relations. The point here is one of understanding the difference between an open society and a culture rooted in fundamentalist Islam and irredentist nationalism, which sees all minorities as objects of hate. The drive to isolate and eradicate the one non-Muslim majority country in the Middle East is rooted in the intolerance that is at the core of the culture of Israel’s foes. The equal rights enjoyed by gays in Israel and the oppression and violence they face in Palestinian society as well as in much of the Arab world is a perfect example of the difference between liberal democracy and intolerant Islam.
Read the whole thing.
If the president is such an ally of gay people, why is he so unwilling to hold up Israel as an exemplar of how a nation in the Middle East should treat gay people? And to encourage its Arab nations to follow that example?