A Different World

Issac Bailey blog: President Obama and Myrtle Beach have something in common: Both are increasing protections for gay people

President Obama is history’s most progressive president, when it concerns gay and lesbian rights. Who knew Myrtle Beach would be praised on the issue as well?

The president ended the discriminatory “don’t ask don’t tell” policy in the military, is set to approve sweeping protections for gays and lesbians in federal contracts, became the first sitting president to publicly endorse the rights of gays and lesbians to marry, and refused to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, which he said was unconstitutional – the Supreme Court eventually agreed – opening up successful legal efforts throughout the country to overturn anti-gay marriage laws.

His actions have forced many people to rethink their views on this issue, particularly many in the black community who had long been opposed to the advancement of civil rights for gay people while supporting the nation’s first black president.

I knew all of that, but didn’t expect to see a report in which Myrtle Beach is being deemed one of the most progressive cities in the state on this issue – especially knowing the controversy that came with former Myrtle Beach Mayor Mark McBride’s stance against a gay pride parade several years ago. New language in the city’s human rights ordinance now specifies equal rights for gays and lesbians.

This should be welcome news to the gay emergency responders and police officers in Myrtle Beach who have contacted me over the years detailing the difficulties they faced in the city for being gay, as well as those who said they’ve lost jobs because of it.

Now, if we can just get the Haley administration to promise not to fight efforts to overturn South Carolina’s anti-gay legislation …

Here’s the link to Obama’s latest move: http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/2014/06/16/4294604/obama-to-sign-order-extending.html?sp=/99/134/253/

Here’s a link to Myrtle Beach’s: http://www.thedigitel.com/s/myrtle-beach/myrtle-beach-approves-far-reaching-gay-rights-140616-265570