Author Tracy Baim Presents Book Analyzing Obama's GLBTQ Policy
By Robert Schroeder
Has President Barack Obama been too aggressive on issue involving the gay community (GLBTQ), or has his approach left more to be desired?
Tracy Baim, co-founder of Chicago’s first GLBTQ publication, Windy City Times, says even the GLBTQ community in America can’t decide.
“Even though [Obama] is a great communicator, he hasn’t communicated effectively,” Baim said. “I just wanted to get information out, get people informed, and let them make up their own minds.”
Baim presented her book “Obama and the Gays: A Political Marriage” at National Louis University’s Chicago campus and to an online audience. The text chronicles Obama’s evolving stances on GLBTQ issues from his days as an Illinois State Senator through his rise to the presidency. The event was sponsored by the GLBTQA Connection at National Louis University.
While the reversal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and the debate over gay marriage dominate the headlines, Baim said several initiatives launched by the Obama administration have gone largely unnoticed. She said that while Obama of the past may have been more supportive of GLBTQ issues, like any other president, he is balancing policy and politics.
“I believe the GLBTQ community is close to his heart, but he’s just a practical man,” Baim said. “We’re in 2011, and the bar is a lot higher, and he’s helped set that bar higher.”
On the issue of gay marriage, Baim analyzed that the final decision will probably rest with the Supreme Court. She cited legal battles in Massachusetts and California as key factors in the current direction of policy. However, Baim said that the GLBTQ community itself remains divided on whether marriage should be the central advocacy issue.
“Some GLBTQ members don’t think the government should even be involved in marriage,” Baim said. “But at its core, marriage is a matter of economic justice.”
The GLBTQA Connection at National Louis University works to address professional behavior towards GLBTQA community members and to increase knowledge, resources and training. Contact connection chair Gerri Spinella, Ed.D., for more information.