In his first meeting with a single member of the LGBT press since being elected, President Barack Obama dropped this doozy of a message: he’s “evolving” his views on gay marriage. What, no applause from the Human Rights Campaign?
“I have been to this point unwilling to sign on to same-sex marriage primarily because of my understandings of the traditional definitions of marriage,” said Obama this week. “But I also think you’re right that attitudes evolve, including mine. And I think that it is an issue that I wrestle with and think about because I have a whole host of friends who are in gay partnerships. I have staff members who are in committed, monogamous relationships, who are raising children, who are wonderful parents. And I care about them deeply. And so while I’m not prepared to reverse myself here, sitting in the Roosevelt Room at 3:30 in the afternoon, I think it’s fair to say that it’s something that I think a lot about. That’s probably the best you’ll do out of me today.”
Wowza is right. The man who lets Republicans off the hook by letting them say they have the same views on gays getting married (read: don’t let them) as the sitting Democratic president is now testing the waters to see how full support of marriage equality might pan out. And yet, not a peep out of Gay Inc., notes Kerry Eleveld.
The silence from HRC is especially surprising, given Joe Solmonese and David Smith’s willingness to forgive any Democratic misstep, and cheerlead even their smallest and sometimes trivial LGBT “accomplishments.” And given Gay Inc.’s single greatest skill — issuing press releases — you’d expect these groups could at least charge an intern with being like, “Three cheers for Obama! Keep it up!”
But no. Rather than use their (overestimated) abilities to influence public opinion, groups like HRC — which insists its core mission to to enact change on a federal level — are sitting this one out. Surprising? No. Appalling? Pretty much.