WhiteHouse.gov, the official website of the Obama administration, has deleted almost all references to HIV/AIDS. The Civil Rights section of the site has no HIV/AIDS references, although as recently as two days ago it had two long paragraphs of promises.
The Civil Rights section also was the home of all the promises to the LGBT community, which filled half the page. Here’s what currently remains regarding LGBTs:
“President Obama also continues to support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and believes that our anti-discrimination employment laws should be expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity. He supports full civil unions and federal rights for LGBT couples and opposes a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. He supports changing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in a sensible way that strengthens our armed forces and our national security, and also believes that we must ensure adoption rights for all couples and individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation.”
OK, not terrible. However, one thing more than any raised my eyebrows. “He supports changing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell ...” Huh? Previously, “we need to repeal the don’t ask don’t tell policy” was the language. There’s a world of difference between repeal and change.
There are changes throughout the Issues pages on WhiteHouse.gov replacing lists of promises with text highlighting progress. So since there’s been no tangible progress on HIV/AIDS policy yet, it explains why HIV/AIDS was deleted.
It will be a great day when WhiteHouse.gov will be able to update the progress on HIV/AIDS policy by stating the implementation of a national AIDS strategy. Until then, it’s a waiting game and the players are getting restless.
(Click on the image to the right for the complete list of promises for LGBTs and HIV/AIDS on WhiteHouse.gov as of April 23, 2009.)
Hat tip for this story to the LGBT blog Towleroad.