Terrance Heath asks Pelosi about family equality

Pam Spaulding of Pam’s
House Blend
and Terrance Heath of the Republic of T (and gay father
extraordinaire!) were two of the several bloggers that got to sit
down with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi for breakfast. You can
read about the breakfast on Terrance’s
blog
, or by reading
this post on Americablog.com
.

Terrance, always being on message with family equality, asked the
speaker a question about the many challenges that we face.

As a working father of a four-year-old, with another on
the way [Ed. Note: At this point the Speaker gave me a big smile
and said “Congratulations!”], and as a gay dad I’d like to hear
more about strengthening families. How do we do it in a way that
strengthens all families, and that recognizes the reality of
diverse families; families where both parents work, families where
parents aren’t married to each other, families where the parents
can’t marry each other, single parents, etc.?

Pelosi “stammered” for a minute according to Terrance, and then
responded with this paraphrasing: “we should already be there, and
we can get there by supporting the current agenda.”

But what exactly does that mean? It means that, according to
Pelosi, someday we’ll be able to legally secure family equality but
we’re just not there yet. Pelosi doesn’t believe that rights we’re
all fighting so hard to obtain are a current possibility. They’re
not on her agenda, but maybe they will be in the future.

Pam’s commentary hits the nail on the head:

The fact of the matter is that too many who should be
in our corner are “not there,” as in “we understand but are not
willing to spend political capital on you — but please open your
wallet for me.” There’s always some political obstacle standing in
the way, and the onus has always been on LGBTs to convince the
general public that we are entitled to civil rights taken for
granted by most Americans. Many of our Democratic “allies” in
office aren’t ready to come along until the public approval ratings
hit the right target number for them to feel comfortable taking
political risks (or, perhaps more accurately, doing the right
thing).

That said, Speaker Pelosi is well-known as an ally for LGBT rights;
she is working to pass the hate crimes bill and the Employment
Non-Discrimination Act. She will be the keynote speaker at HRC’s
annual dinner, where she will receive the 2007 Equality award for
her leadership on LGBT issues. It just shows you how some of these
topics need better framing and more open discussion — we can all
learn more on how to move these issues forward.