During his State of the Union address, Bush let down many gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans by making more empty promises and proposing unrealistic solutions.
Over the course of his presidency, Bush has done little at home about HIV and AIDS. What's more, the administration has worked against common sense by demanding that other countries use "abstinence only" education to reduce HIV transmissions. It has also cut all funding to nations that provide educational outreach to prostitutes and gays.
In his speech, Bush signaled that he wants more faith-based charities to handle HIV work. But why should taxpayer money go into the hands of churches that openly discriminate against gays? By funneling HIV-prevention funds to these churches, Bush is inviting the AIDS pandemic to get worse, even though he claims he wants to see a nation of no new infections. It is pure hypocrisy. This is the state of the union.
Bush has a hidden purpose in wiring this money through African-American churches. He knows that the vast majority of African-Americans disapprove of him, so he hopes to buy off some of the leadership in the community with these faith-based grants. This tears down the wall between church and state. It is a bad way to stem the HIV infection. And it is politics at the most crass level.
Bush also paid lip service to the hard right by, once again, taking aim at the judiciary. He attacked so-called activist judges who "legislate from the bench." This is pandering at its worst.
Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans also could not look kindly on Bush's nod to newly confirmed Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. He has made it a career to dismantle the constitutional protections we cherish.
Toward the end of his speech, Bush urged citizens to "show the character of America in our compassion and care for each other."
But as his allies ramp up their hateful campaigns against marriage equality, Bush said not a word about the dignity of all Americans -- whatever their sexual identity.
That would have shown true character.
Sean Kosofsky is director of policy for Triangle Foundation, Michigan's leading civil rights organization for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. He can be reached at email@example.com.