Back in August, and by way of Dustin Lance Black, we learned National Equality March organizer Cleve Jones was “in contact with the White House” about getting President Obama to stay in D.C. for the October 11 event. Whether Jones & Co. had actually extended an invitation to 1600 Pennsylvania is anyone’s guess, but he just penned an open letter to Obama inviting him to the event. Nevermind that Jones “compare[s] our National Equality March with the Civil Rights March of 1963” (sure to create plenty of “dialogue” between the gay and black communities), but boy, what a fruitless effort. Don’t you know Mr. Obama is scheduled to play golf that weekend?
“We do not expect to achieve our goal overnight,” writes Jones. “Our struggle for equality has taken many years, and much hard work remains ahead. The nation is preoccupied with economic hardship and war. But you have given us hope that civil rights remain on this nation’s agenda. The time is right for us to call on our fellow Americans, our elected leaders, and you to reaffirm our shared commitment to civil rights. With hope in our hearts, we invite you to join us on the west lawn of the Capitol on October 11th. We ask you to take the microphone and renew our faith that Washington will work with us, and not against us. We urge you to remind the world that we are welcome members of this nation. We invite you to stand with us in pride.”
In all likelihood, he won’t.
Obama, as happens with presidents every other year, was invited to the bi-annual Presidents Cup Golf tournament in San Francisco. Presidents, sitting and former, go to these things like clockwork. And any ounce of planning this march would have revealed this custom was on the books for the Oct. 11 weekend.
So when Obama doesn’t show up? It’s not that he doesn’t love you gays. It’s just that he had a prior engagement on the links, and NEM organizers are just figuring that out.