Anderson Cooper, Power Gays Take Fire At Obama Administration Over Vague Position On Gay Rights

Anderson Cooper has taken a shot at the Obama administration in the wake of some backtracking on Joe Biden’s strong pro-marriage comments by campaign officials like Jay Carney and David Axelrod. Carney and Axelrod have advanced the proposition that Biden’s position is “precisely” the same as President Obama’s, and that they both support “full legal rights” for LGBT individuals—without naming the m-word, of course.

“Keeping him honest, though, the president’s position on marriage is anything but precise,” counters Anderson Cooper in his “Keeping Them Honest” segment. “But that’s not currently the case, even in states where same-sex marriage is allowed, and it’s certainly not President Obama’s position. There’s no federal recognition of same-sex marriage. Therefore, same-sex couples don’t share all the rights heterosexual couples do.”

Interesting criticism from a news anchor and talk-show host whose stated position on his own sexuality is “anything but precise.” Just “keepin’ ya honest,” Andy. But thanks for defending our community. Perhaps one day you shall decide to join the family!

The White House isn’t just getting nailed by the mainstream media, either—some very wealthy power gays and their allies are withholding donations from Obama because they’re so miffed by the administration’s lack of action on an executive order that would support gays in the workplace.

Reports the Washington Post‘s Greg Sargent:

Some leading gay and progressive donors are so angry over President Obama’s refusal to sign an executive order barring same sex discrimination by federal contractors that they are refusing to give any more money to the pro-Obama super PAC, a top gay fundraiser’s office tells me. In some cases, I’m told, big donations are being withheld.

While it’s doubtful Obama will endorse gay marriage on the federal level before the election, perhaps these power plays will force him to at least acknowledge publicly how far along, precisely, his evolution has come.

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  • Larkin

    I really want to nail Anderson!

  • Jawsch

    Why are people so hung up on this SINGLE issue? Marriage is not the only and/or most important issue. It’s as if people expect him to just outright make Same-Sex Marriage legal and pass sweeping legislation. Sure it sounds fine and dandy but that’s not how things work and that would not only cause MORE problems but would do more harm than good to any furthering of LGBT Equality.

    Obama has done FAR FAR FAR more than any President in the history of our country for the LGBT Community. He has pushed more for us than anyone in history and openly discusses the LGBT Community with respect and addresses us more than any President.

    While I’m NOT an Obama fan, I think it’s time the fundies (on both sides) give it a rest and give credit where credit is due. If you really expect him to come out in favor of Same-Sex Marriage before an election, you’re a moron. If you expect him to pass sweeping legislation without consideration of those who oppose it, you’re a moron.

  • Jawsch

    Withholding donations won’t do anything except that, withhold donations. It won’t make Obama think twice or realize anything that he doesn’t already.

    Go ahead, withhold donations because he’s not bending to your every whim. (Just like those on the opposite side of the aisle get chastised for) When he doesn’t get re-elected, I don’t want to hear any of them bitch and complain.

  • Darling Nikki

    Anderson needs to get off his altar before casting aspersions.

    If one wants their rights to be respected, then he should stop being coy about the obvious concerning himself. It’s hard to take him seriously about any topic let alone ones concerning GLBT concerns from behind the curtain. A reason perhaps CNN has tanked.

    Rachel Maddow hasn’t been hurt by being out, and I take her perspective seriously on these issues as she has called bullshit on those to their face on her show, clearly setting forth that she is a lesbian.

    As for the President, it’s all politics. Does not make it right but his actions makes him the most pro-active, pro GLBT leader ever from the White House. He pushed for the end of DADT and doesn’t prosecute/defend DOMA, policies enacted under President Clinton by the by. There is a lot of room obviously for Obama to improve, and with Romney’s actions of late, do you think the community would fare better under him?

    We all must remember, all politicians (despite their affiliations) are muddied used car-salesmen. They’re main job is the job of re-election/staying in office. Nothing else. As far as the limited choices out there, Obama is head and shoulders above the rest, even within his own party. Remember, there are tons of Dems not exactly pro-GLBT either. Otherwise there would be a ton more states that would already have marriage equality, including California.

  • Drone

    Yes, because we all know that if we don’t get the right to marry—and I mean NOW—then we’ll self-destruct into a vaporous cloud of self-righteousness. Us poor, poor, unmarried homosexuals. I guess it’s a good thing that the real issues facing the country aren’t OUR problems; we just leave that to the breeders and concentrate on how victimized we are because we can’t marry one another. Such noble people, we.

  • SupBubba

    Ok the real Bubba is here. What you all seem to forget is what has happened to me the last year.. Hell I have been messed with in my head so much and IT STILL HASN’T STOPED. COME on FED. I was born in this country and I would die to defend the same freedoms and liberty’s because I still have faith in the system and the Executive Branch. We have the most powerful military in the world and the most advanced equipment. Help me understand how they are stationed at post around thee country when this is the reason they were formed. I am under terrorist attack here in North Carolina. Someone who believes in Democracy START RAISING HELL. I AM THE SMOKING Gun. I have kept quite and OBSERVED and took notice of everything around me. Somebody do the right thing before there’s a Revolution War. I am here lets get a LAW passed to prevent ANYONE else from ever having this happen to them. I will admit without hesitation this has been LIVING H ell and its taking everything in me to rise up and speak out…. Mr. President, Please act swift and help me in fighting these assaults on the Bill of Right and Human Rights.

  • curt

    Anderson Cooper is a moron. A hyporicte who should be disqulaified for discussing gay issues and calling someone else out, when himself hasn’t taken a position. I guess Anderson would rather have Flip flopper Mitt in office huh, AC360 seems to only keep Democrats and Obama “honest” these days. AC could keep Romney honest about in the 1990s, Romney told the Log Cabin Republicans that he’d be better than Ted Kennedy on gay rights. Yet he has signed the National Organization for Marriage anti-gay campaign pledge, calling for a federal amendment outlawing same-sex marriage. AC has seemed to turn a blind eye toward Romney for whatever reason. Maybe it’s the whole wealthy thing they have in common. I don’t know. But he and CNN have turned more into Fox lite this year. Also, Anderson again “Keeping someone else honest” on a gay issue when he won’t even discuss his own sexuality. Instead he chooses to hide. When asked brings up all of the lame and tired excuses on why he won’t answer it. His Ratings show that people aren’t interested in him, (down 200,000 total viewers since the year started)He’s just another T.V. personality whois overrated, overpaid who can’t deliver any type of decent ratings. His daytime show is lame, cliche topics that have been done to death. His average of 1.2 to 1.4 ratings show people aren’t buying that crap too.

    Is Obama perfect, know. But as far as President no one has done more for the gay community than President Obama. At least he’s against discriminations of Gays, unlike AC’s choice Romney who has stated he wants to repeal ALL gay rights.

  • G

    Let’s first get him re-elected. Then we can jump on him about being vague with gay rights. I’m sure you all know that he will be infinitely better for gay rights than the alternative.

  • pedro

    I have absolutely no problem with all and sundry calling Obama out on this issue…However, I still plan to vote for him in the fall, and I pray he gets reelected…Can you imagine what a Mormon presidency would be like for gay people…Just take a look at the gay mormon suicide rate and then get back to me…The Supreme Court is where all equality issues are headed to be resolved, a Romney presidency will doom the movement for a generation…Not just on marriage, but gay and trans rights etc. etc. etc…Suck it up people, and vote for Obama so the SCOTUS isn’t rigged for a generation against us.

  • Michael in Toronto

    As for VAGUE, Anderson. Come out, come out, wherever you are. You’ll be more popular than ever, I guarantee it.

  • Malky

    I’m sure President Obama has no problem with same sex marriage, but he’s made a political decision to keep it vague. Romney on the other hand has no principles and can’t stick with his original position on it and has signed a pledge with NOM. That’s far worse than anything Obama has done. Will Anderson be keeping Romney honest soon?

  • w.e.

    Pot: meet kettle!

  • Ronbo

    Vauge? He said, “God is in the mix” and he has reluctantly followed public opinion only
    when pushed into a corner. Obama refuses to change the status quo – period. In fact, after a judge ruled DADT invalid, President Obama pushed for legislation that could be undone or rendered moot by the next President. Obama is a fierce opponent of gay equality.

  • Seth

    Why doesnt one of his guests point blank as him if he’s gay? He’s never denied it so why not ask?

  • Cam

    @Jawsch: said…

    “Why are people so hung up on this SINGLE issue? Marriage is not the only and/or most important issue.”

    Is that a joke? The one Federal Law on the books that still classifies gays as second class citizens is DOMA.

    All the other laws collapse if that one goes because that is the law that the other states use to justify anti-gay laws.

    Obama is far better for us on gay issues than the GOP, but just because he is much better and deserves our votes, lets not lie and say he is perfect ok?

    As for Anderson Cooper, I will ignore the slight hypocrisy of his being closeted and say good for him on this.

  • Oh, ok

    Wow I really liked Anderson, but this is over the top coming from someone who remains closeted.

    Obama can’t just come in and undo anything he wants to all at once. Anyone who thinks he can doesn’t understand government and should educate themselves on the issue before speaking.

  • pedro

    @Oh, ok: You’re right Obama cannot change the law by himself. However, he is being rather cynical with the evolving b.s…He’s a very smart man who’s had a lot of time to think about this issue…He must have an opinion. What more information does he need to complete his evolution? The truth of course is none…He’s just waiting for the second Wednesday in November and he will miraculously have completed his transformation on this issue. It’s blatant politics, and he should be called on it. Again, I’m still voting for the guy…

  • Polyboy

    Anderson needs to come out of the closet before he tries the firebrand routine.

  • Thomas

    These issues are very important and anybody that says marriage is not is not really getting the point. I am in a relationship with a undocumented person and because of the marriage laws in this country(federal) we can not get married and he can not become a citizen. Now if i was a heterosexual male dating an undocumented woman this would not be the case. My fiance a woman would have the right to become a citizen of this country. THen there is the the myraid of other legal issues that go along with marriage and gay men do not have these. THis is such a crock.

  • LadyL

    @pedro: Completely agree. I wish I had one of those “Evolve Already!” protest buttons LGBT movers and shakers were wearing not long ago… look, I get that overall President Obama is better on LGBT issues than those who came before him and I fully intend to vote for him. But I’m sick and tired of gay equality being a convenient political football for both parties every election year. We deserve better. Gay marriage rights is not a “single” issue, it’s a CENTRAL issue–and if you doubt that, flip the current scenario and ask every hetero you know how they’d feel if their right to fully recognized legal marriage–and all the benefits that come with it–were denied them. Obama’s waffling serves little political purpose anyway since he’s not for a moment fooling anti-gay voters and organizations. (And btw, wasn’t his ending DADT really a peace offering to angry progressives after he caved on the Bush tax cuts?)

    Oh, and AC: Man up already and come out. Your job won’t be any less secure than it is now, honey.

  • Me

    Obama can’t even sign a simple executive order to ban work-place discrimination in federal contracts yet he takes tens of millions of both dollars and votes from the GLBT community. And there are still obot-trolls who believe that it is high treason to call Obama out on it. They sound as lame as someone who is peeved that somebody else doesn’t agree with their screwed-up religion so they must then automatically hate god, little children, and puppies. Grow up!

    Obama is an narcissistic a-hole who screwed over the GLBT community that supported him time after time — even after he defended DADT and DOMA (comparing same-sex marriage to incest) for two years in the federal courts. Only after federal courts struck down his George Bush-style approach to Gay Rights did Obama’s inJustice Department relent. This revelation does not make anyone a Romney supporter who points that out anymore than your ability to spell your own name makes you a genius. Fact are facts.

    Just because Obama’s $hit draws fewer flies than Romney’s $hit that does make Obama less of a $hit. No one is automatically entitled to our votes who hasn’t earned them.

    And soon you forget that it was a Reagan appointee (Justice Anthony Kennedy)to the US Supreme Court who wrote the majority opinion which struck down the sodomy laws in the US, whereas a Democratic appointee (Justice Byron White) had earlier broke a tie vote on the US Supreme Court to uphold sodomy laws in the USA. Face it, some Democrats are worse than Republicans. If not, why is it that when the DEMS had super majorities in 2008-2010 they didn’t even attempt to push for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act which large majorities of voters (both Democrat and Republican) supported as the east “controversial” civil rights bill they could have passed.

    No excuses. As long as the DEMS do not fear any consequences for their apathy and abuses towards us (such as what they would suffer at the polls from any other constituency), then they will continue to use us and give us nothing back. Remember, they serve us…not the other way around.

  • AlanReeser

    Hey Andy… your words would have so much more impact if you would come out of the closet, like the millions of us are. You have the platform, we don’t. If you were to come out, the questions, innuendo, accusations and hounding about your sexuality would stop… unless you like that sort of thing. Before criticizing the President about his stand on gay marriage, you need to publicly criticize yourself for remaining closeted.

  • Rockery

    Sometimes I am ashamed of the stupidity in the gay community, it’s like we are people that gain 50 pounds over a bunch of years and want to lose it in 2 weeks. He has made great strides and can’t undo everything by himself all at once, especially juggling the economy etc. Secondly, I imagine he would like to be re-elected and he can’t play his hands too early – red states will not vote for him if he is too “gay” It’s quite simple

    Anderson, I don’t want to hear anything about “keeping them honest” until you keep YOURSELF honest babygirl. I know AC360 is news, so you got a pass but on you have a talk show now & you STILL have not addressed it.

  • curt

    Whats up with all the calling ac ‘honey’ and ‘babygirl?’ Please stop. I think AC is a log cabin republican who calls out the President on everything but Romney is always giving a pass. AC has been pushing Romney for months. No KTH segments or nothing, tho the man lies everyday. AC is a closeted, overrated, overpaid buffon. His ratings on his shows speak for themselves. Obama supports gay rights, AC on the other hand wont even publicy take an affilation of the glbt demo. AC is a 44 year old who pretends he doesnt date so he can brush off gay rumors. He’s pathetic.. I advise you guys to look into ac’s character he echoes romney.

  • erasure25

    Frankly, there is a huge difference when talking about public policy that affects literally millions of Americans and one persons private life. AC does not have to talk about his sexual orientation. Would the gay community be glad to have him come out, if he is indeed gay? I suspect the answer is yes. But he does not HAVE to when discussing a public policy issue, like marriage equality. And I might add it would be a different case to be closeted and actively working against the gay community. That is very different than dispassionately reporting the news and discussing the issues…..

  • Russ

    @Ronbo: “Fierce opponent?” Were you born three weeks ago? We have partner visitation rights in all hospitals receiving federal dollars (i.e., almost all hospitals). We have hate crimes legislation. And DADT has fallen, a sad remnant of the Clinton administration and a vestige of how freaking homophobic this country was just 20 years ago. Bush pushed a constitutional amendment that would forbid all gay marriage of all kinds in the U.S.

  • Chuck

    Anderson Cooper has no moral standing here whatsoever. A closeted gay man berating a straight president for being ‘vague’ on LGBT issued. Give Obama some credit, we got the Matthew Shepherd Act signed and DADT repealed. Frankly, ENDA, which I believe Obama does support, would improve the lives of more LGBT Americans than Obama firmly supporting marriage anyway. We all know it’s about the black and Latin churches anyway, let’s don’t kill the golden goose, people.

  • n900mixalot

    Ugh I wish he would go away! Closeted or not, what value does he add? And it is funny how conservative talk radio leaves him alone … probably because money talks.

    He reminds me of those Japanese hot springs monkeys.

  • Patsy Stoned

    Right…I’m sure Obama is concerned about being called “vague” by a Queen in a Crystal Closet.

  • Chuck

    I know Anderson Copper is in the closet, but has HE come out in favor of gay marriage? Obama’s response ought to be, “hey AC, I hear the Vanderbilts had some money, and you live in the gayest city in the country with your boyfriend, what’s your excuse, buddy?”

  • arlo

    OMFG!!! A closeted gay man criticizing Obama?!

  • Olive

    a) IDC if you hate Obama (I’m not a fan, but I don’t hate him), but right now, when MITT ROMNEY is the only other option, is the wrong wrong wrong time to try to keep him out of office

    b) Why is Anderson cooper (and the other “power gays” – lol) being praised for stating the same thing that countless other people have already said… oh right, because the media doesn’t care if no celebrities are talking about it (whatever it may be)

  • curt

    AC is an embarssment to openly gay people. He has openly gay friends, has support unlike alot of people but has chose silence and being cowardly. He attacks Obama who has supported gay rights, done things for gay rigths when AC does nothing but sit in a studio and read the teleprompter. AC is an assclown. His motives for this segment was to try to cast doubt and divide gays against Obama. Shameful. AC doesnt care about gay rights, he doesnt give a shit about any of you. All he cares about is his wealth and fame.

  • EvonCook

    This seems so very stupid and poorly timed. Usually our enemies bring it all up just before and election, now gays themselves are going to risk all by lacking patience?

  • Don't Be Used

    What is really shameful is how so many of you Uncle Toms in the GLBT community are too chickenshit to stand up yourselves. Maybe you actually think you are inferior and don’t deserve respect. Don’t you think that Martin Luther King was also told to not be so “uppity” — just like they tell us — by politicos in the so-called “liberal left” in the Democratic Party of 1960s. Thank god he had enough pride to rock the boat when it needed rocking.

    If someone tells you that “the time is not right for your equal rights”, just answer like Dr. King and ask them in return: “If not now when?” You shouldn’t allow any muthafukr to dictate to you when “the time is right” for you to demand to be treated equally like every other goddamn human being.

    IF Obama does not give us his unequivocal support then he doesn’t deserve our unequivocal support. Just like Ron Reagan, Jr. said tonight on MSNBC, the tide of change on GLBT equal rights is inevitable and will move forward with or without Obama. If Obama and the DEMS feel that they have to shove us like a crazy aunt into the attic during this election in order to not piss-off a tiny slice of Democratic homophobes, who if they are such single issue voters against GLBT rights wouldn’t vote for him anyway, then the DEMS are being pathetically moronic to believe that throwing away millions of GLBT votes and millions more in campaign funds are worth it.

    If Obama wins or loses it will not be because of his support for us; most likely other issues, like the economy, will be the deciding factor at the polls, not his support of a key Democratic constituency — the GLBT community, that support should be a given, just like support for racial equality and women’s rights. But one thing is for certain, if Obama cannot show the moral backbone to openly support one of his key voting blocks, who elected him to represent them, then he has already lost the progressive and the youth vote who are finding him increasingly a phony and not the “Hope and Change” agent of a better future he falsely promised to be. Obama’s cowardice and reluctance to stand up on principal for progressive causes might be just enough of a tipping point in a close election that it could be his downfall. The next move is his.

  • Daez

    @Cam: Fact: There are 1400 rights denied gays and lesbians because they are unable to get federal recognition of their marriage.

    Fact: Gays and lesbians need to pay thousands of dollars to highly trained lawyers in order to come close on the financial level to one document that can be signed by straights in Las Vegas, with someone they have known for five minutes, which extends all those 1400 rights that are not allowed to gays and lesbians.

    Fact: That mountain of paperwork that was paid handsomely for does not extend child custody (or even child visitation rights).

    When people make bullshit claims, such as marriage is not the most important right, I think they forget exactly what is at stake. This is not a fight about the right to walk down the aisle and say “I do.”

    Plus, all the other stuff that Cam so rightfully said about DOMA.

  • jason

    The whole thing is a charade. Obama actually WANTS people to attack him for not publicly supporting gay rights. It helps to bolster his image with his conservative black base.

  • cam

    To all of the people saying that the community needs to sit back and shut up…

    Please remember that that is what groups and people like HRC and Barney Frank have been saying for the last decade.

    And what happened two or three years ago when the community stopped listening and told them to go to hell? We got a repeal of DOMA, we got more rights for gay govt. employees, we got the DOJ to stop defending DOMA in court, we got the state of CA. to refuse to defend Prop 8 in court etc… And we have GLAAD getting new leadership, and Joe Solomnase after huge drops in funding leaving HRC, etc…

  • Polyboy

    The community doesn’t need to sit back and shut up, the community needs to get tactical and see the bigger fucking picture and work on state and federal levels.

    We are a MINORITY, composed of members who are minority within minorities, often with closet cases who are our worst enemies.

    Obama is not “vague” on gay rights. That is a lie and the more it’s repeated doesn’t make it true. He favors legislative action. Executive orders are not permanent.

    This is also an election year. And if you’re still lying to yourselves about the fact that this Presidency has been the most pro gay in the history of the nation, then you don’t want to vote for Obama any way and are just poisoning the waters.

  • cam


    But when 67% of the Democrats favor gay marraige, and even higher numbers supported a repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell the White House ISN’T being strategic, it is going against the tide.

    Remember, the White House said there would be NO movement on a DADT repeal, it was grass roots advocacy which forced NAncy Pelosi to force a repeal down the White house’s throat. The first time the White House made no attempt to get teh votes. Then finally after they had their losses, they DID push during the lame duck session and it passed.

    So even though 3/4 of the nation supported a DADT repeal the White House still fought against having to do it. AGain, that isn’t being “Strategic”, that is allowing the old man prejudices of the White House staff to fight against reality.

    That “Strategic” argument was the same one that HRC has used for the past 15 years. The same 15 years that they haven’t even been able to get ENDA passed. Meanwhile Get Equal and the Grass Roots came in and within a year got a DADT Repeal through even though HRC fought against having that as an issue.

  • JayUVA

    I’m more ticked that Obama continued/increased many of Bush’s foreign policy and defense schemes. Granted it would be political suicide to risk appearing weak on defense, but to increase the UAV (drone) killings, signing NDAA, plus the administration’s zealous prosecution of whistleblowers seems like overkill. The obstruction in Congress is unprecedented; his policies can’t be failures if they haven’t been passed. Doubtful that anyone could have expected the relentless racist-based birth certificate/Muslim/Kenyan nonsense to have lasted so long. Obama never campaigned as a super-liberal democrat – just that after eight years of Bush and Congress driving us so far to the right, understandably we hoped Obama would reverse course on many issues.

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