Andrew Sullivan Tears Up On TV, Calling Obama A “Father Figure” To Gay Family

After writing a cover story heralding Barack Obama as the “First Gay President,” conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan went on “The Chris Matthews Show” to talk about what Obama’s personal endorsement of gay marriage meant to him.

A lot, apparently:

“It’s hugely important, and to tell you the truth I didn’t realize how important it would be until it happened. Beforehand, I was kind of steeled. I was like, ‘I don’t care, he’s going to disappoint us again.’ And then I sat down and watched our president tell me that I am his equal, that I’m no longer outside, I’m fully part of this family and to hear the president who is in some ways a father figure speak to that, the tears came down like with many people in our families, to be included.

“I never understood the power of a president’s words until that day, really. I thought, all that matters is the states and the Congress and the Defense of Marriage Act and I had all this in my head and suddenly this man saying, ‘I’m with you, I get it, you’re like me, I’m like you, there is nothing between us, we are the same people and we are equal human beings and I want to treat you the way you treat me.’ That—that was overwhelming. That’s all I can say. I was at a loss for words.”

The general reception from Democrats and LGBT activists has been rather cynical, with a chorus of “it’s just a political decision designed to drum up votes and money, which perhaps will fail spectacularly and end up losing us key swing states in November.” So it’s nice to see someone as influential as Andrew Sullivan take the positive approach on this monumental moment, which, removed from the political spin-game, is culturally groundbreaking.

Yes, perhaps Obama is playing politics. He always is, because he’s the President of the Free World. But he’s also becoming part of our family, and in that way the whole United States of America could be considered our first, second (or distant) cousins.

Which level of proximity you and your gay friends want to take all depends on how often you want the breeders over for dinner with their yappy bratty kids.

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  • Cam

    My god Sullivan is desperate for a daddy/authority figure.

    He spends the last decade defending the Catholic church, and now completely overacts to the announcement from Obama.

    Yes, it was great that he did it, and it is a wonderful time in the gay community. But lets not forget that the White House was not moving until grass roots forced them to, and that Biden was actually the one who first said he supported gay marriage.

    Sullivan is acting like Rachel from Glee would if she’d just met Barbara Streisand.

  • Josh

    Honestly, this guy is just embarrassing. I’m sorry you have daddy issues, but please stop projecting them onto the LGBT community as a whole.

    Also, why is nobody talking about the fact that Obama supports state’s rights to vote on marriage equality? That’s a pretty huge qualifier to his “support” of gay marriage.

  • bystander

    Andrew Sullivan, speak for yourself or just shut up. Don’t claim to speak for other people.

  • Timmeeeyyy!!!

    The entire article is basically of projection of his own beliefs and issues onto Obama.

  • Chuck

    Does that mean Sullivan has gotten over his Sarah Palin obsession and is ready to accept that the Democratic party is better for LGBT people than the Republicans?

  • Nick

    He can change his politics, but he’ll always be an embarrassment to the community.

  • Nick

    @Josh: oops I should read before commenting, still the fact that two of us feel that way pretty much makes it true

  • Ogre Magi

    @Cam: Daddy issues, I think you hit the nail on the head

  • yaph

    @Timmeeeyyy!!!: That is Obama’s greatest strength. He is a giant blank billboard that people project their hopes and dreams onto. In reality he has dragged his feet on all of gay issues because he doesn’t really believe in any of them.

  • Daez

    @yaph: He doesn’t? Sure the hell seems like he does. I did not see GW Bush signing DADT repeal. I did not see GW Bush sticking his neck out for gay Americans at all, now that you mention it.

    It is great that you can tell what he is thinking and feeling, and you seem to think and feel that what he is thinking and feeling goes against everything he is doing. Now, there is some logic.

    As for the state rights part, a great deal of gays would rather see this issue left up to the state where it is much easier to win. If Obama believes that the federal government should completely remove itself from the process of defining a marriage and he is able to convince congress of that and make it law, it is a win for people in the vast majority of this country.

    Sorry to those of you in deeply bigoted states, but I hear with the housing market in the toilet, there has never been a better time to relocate.

  • Marie Cohn

    Ol’ Milky Loads milks the pathos of it all . . .

    (I’m verklempt!)

  • Delius

    NO, NO, NO…Andy Sullivan and Dustin Lance Black do not speak for us.
    No thanks. I don’t look up to these bare backers.
    You can easily find Sullivan’s ads online looking for HIV+ bareback sex.
    Lance Black talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk.
    I am embarrassed that he is Time’s go to “gay”. He is an embarrassment.

  • jeff4justice

    We’ll see if Obama is brave enough to debate any alternative party candidates who would easily expose Obama for the many ways he’s acted as GWB’s third term.

  • Cam


    What a bizarre sex phobic life you lead. This person has nothing to say because they have sex in a way you don’t like. You’re pathetic.

    That said, Andrew Sullivan is a douche, but not because of the reason you stated.

  • jason

    Oh, fuck off, Andrew. You’re a tool. You look like a clone of your boyfriend – just as ugly.

  • Andy

    @Daez: Obama needs more fodder for his cannons.

    In related matters, I don’t see Obama signing the repeal of DOMA since the House is Republican. Where were the Democrats and Obama in 2009 when they had a majority in Congress? They didn’t even try!

  • the other Greg

    Yeah, maybe Daddy Obama can give little Andy the Talk on how to use a condom!

    “So it’s nice to see someone as influential as Andrew Sullivan take the positive approach…” Really, is Andrew Sullivan that influential? He’s a glib talker and a regular on political talk shows, both the serious ones and Bill Maher, but he certainly seems… um, I guess the polite word is idiosyncratic. As a practicing Catholic and off-and-on conservative, he’s hardly typical or representative of the community. I think he’s popular on those shows because they think he’s kind of exotic and always likely to say something out of the ordinary, plus they think anyone with a “posh” English accent must be smart. I don’t like the guy or his politics but am I more likely to watch one of those shows if I know he’ll be on it? Sure, because it’s a safe bet he’ll say something entertainingly odd and bizarre (and I might even agree with it).

    But influential? With who? Gay people? Straight Catholics? Open-minded conservatives (are there any?)? Who exactly?

  • Scott

    Nobody that’s LGBT should take anything that comes out of Andrew “Milky Loads” Sullivan’s mouth. He’s Conservative and not for LGBT rights.

  • Joe

    Some of you are cynical assholes. Something great happens and all half the people on this site can do is bitch and tear down a guy who expresses his honest happiness at the situation. I feel like if total equality were realized tomorrow half of you would complain that Obama hadn’t gotten it done yesterday. Even the editors throw in cynical spin at the ends of many happy stories. NEWSFLASH: We are a tiny minority with limited political clout and there’s a lot else going on. Obama is doing very well for us given the million other things he has to do and the finite resources he has to do them with.

  • Joe's Brain

    @ Joe…

    Well, some of us aren’t toadying assholes like you, apparently. You wouldn’t even have equality if people didn’t bitch about it. The squeaky hinge gets the grease. But then people like you just sit on their asses and complain that people are rocking the boat.
    Guess what? The fucking boat needs rocking sometimes.

    NEWSFLASH: Black people are only 13% of the population and Jews around 5% — GLBTs somewhere in between. But, since when do numbers have to matter when it comes to equal rights anyway? You shouldn’t even go there.

  • iDavid



  • w.e.

    I will always hate him for latching onto this historic announcement and making it all about him. In addition, that cringe-worthy Newsweek cover has trivialized and made a laughing stock of the entire event. I truly wish he would go back to Great Britain or whatever other depressing isle from which he came.

  • No-Obot

    @Joe’s Brain:
    !! DOUBLE BINGO !!

  • Cam


    Oh god, your entire post is the B.S. that HRC was trying to spout a few years ago before they forced themselves into irrelevancy with those attitudes.

    Oh gee, we are a tiny minority and he’s so BUSY! Oh my, if he smiles at us while he flies overhead that is enough, we don’t expect anything better.


  • Blah, bla..huh?

    @Cam: Can we take the truly cynical, disease-brained and cloyingly populist bullshi*t Republicans have been spewing parasitically since Reagan and drown it in a bathtub yet? Let’s start with everything ever uttered by the one sitting in the oval office. I’d like to force Andy to do it himself on pain of having to marry Pat Robertson to Scott Lively on a Carribean cruise. Take your pick, you Catholic tasting online hack.

    We get to join the lame-brained right wing now, with our lives politicized and theologized to the core and zero protections in place. Our equality will depend on the success of Disney style narratives for dirt clods who “just don’t know”, and need “time to evolve”, state to state, forever. At this rate, the Klan would still be on TV and receiving tax free subsidies as district pols, sherriffs, heck, garbage men. All while we dithered over sufferage and ending Jim Crow in the first place. Gawwwd, I hate our “leaders”, evil is too good a word to describe them.

  • Blah, bla..huh?

    @Blah, bla..huh?: Oops, that wasn’t a reply to you Cam. My bad.

Comments are closed.