Dustin Lance Black, The NY Times & WaPo Can’t Make Obama Support Gay Marriage At Today’s Pride Party

President Obama thinks that all LGBTs deserve equal rights. He also thinks that each state should make its own marriage laws. Those two ideas cannot co-exist, especially when so many states have voted to deny equal marriage rights to LGBT citizens.

Today Prezzy O will hold an LGBT Pride reception at the White House. Get Equal will picket it. Dustin Lance Black has spoken against the President’s views on marriage equality. So has The New York Times. But will any of that get the President to make a public statement finally correcting his incongruent views? Don’t count on it.

But it’s still fun to watch. Let us prance down this enchanted forest of criticism!

In a speech during the San Francisco Pride festival this weekend Academy Award-winning Milk screenwriter Dustin Lance Black said:

Mr. President, consider the LGBTQ children living in Mississippi, Arkansas and in my home state of Texas. Are their lives less worthy of protection than those in New York, Massachusetts and Iowa?

If the civil rights of this country’s minorities are left to the states, then this will become a checkerboard nation where some areas are free and some areas are not free. Where children in some states are told to lift their heads high and others are told they are second class citizens, less than, and that their love and their future families are not worthy of this nation’s protection and admiration.

A state-by-state solution sends a government sanctioned message to the bigots and bullies that in some states in this nation it is okay to treat LGBT people as unequal — as less than human.

Mr. President. This is a civil rights issue, a minority rights issue, a federal issue. How many more lives must we see taken, how many more bullies must be emboldened before you complete what you’ve called your “evolution” toward equality, and protect all of your citizens, old and young, black and brown and white, gay and straight?

No more, Mr. President. You must speak up for all of us, and speak up now.

Keep in mind, several journalists have asked the White House press secretary whether Obama supports Prop 8 seeing as he supports the right of states to define their own marriage laws:

Wall Street Journal: …Does that mean he also respects the outcome of democracy at work in California where voters decided to reject the idea of gay marriage?

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: … I’m not going to put words into his mouth applying to another state. You can analyze that because I haven’t heard him say that. But obviously, the DOMA decision, what he said in New York is about his belief — our belief that this is a matter the states should decide.

The Obama administration has slowly backed away from the President’s prior support for marriage equality, but the New York Times points out that had states retained the right to determine their own marriage laws in all cases, Obama wouldn’t even have been born:

Legal scholars say Mr. Obama is correct; regulating marriage is indeed the province of the states — to a point. Federal courts have at times intervened to declare state marriage laws unconstitutional, as was the case in Loving v. Virginia, the landmark 1967 Supreme Court case that effectively ended all race-based restrictions on marriage.

Even when Obama appeared in New York for a big gay fundraiser he still invoked states’ rights, so don’t expect him to change that view less than a week later. It’s clear that he’s not gonna risk his re-election or any more political capital on this issue.

In the meanwhile, our country and community has a lot of other issues to focus on like the three wars that we’re in, the shitty state of our economy and educational system, our vampiric health care system, our addiction to oil, our neutered press corps, and pathetic LGBT blogging that passes itself off as journalism.

Have a nice day.

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  • SteveC

    Obama is a vile opportunist – claiming to support equality then backing away from showing he supports equality, like the cowardly wretch that he is.

    I eill never vote Rpublican, but I cannot and will not spend a dime or a second supporting Obama’s re-election campaign.

    I’ll probably vote Green.

    Voting for the lesser of 2 evils no longer works for me.

  • Daez

    Would anyone like to explain to me why they feel that in a soon to be election season that Obama would come out for gay marriage? Why would he disenfranchise people that might not agree with that topic when it comes to voting for him when he knows that there is a very high chance that people that do agree with that topic already will vote for him. From a political sense its just nonsense.

  • TMikel

    The last time there was an attempt to let states decide an issue of national importance, we had Bleeding Kansas and the Civil War. Obama is a master at promoting himself above all other matters and will not risk his chances of a second four year term. The sad thing is that there is no viable candidate in sight who can challenge him. I have not given the Democratic Party a dime since they threw the LGBT community under the buss. I agree with Steve C. The lesser of two evils is still evil.

  • disco lives

    Talking about states rights is not always opinion, sometimes it is just historical and legal fact.

    I remember in 2003, presidential candidate Carol Mosely-Bruan said she supported same-sex marriage but added that there is no such thing as a federal marriage certificate.

    It’s great that 52 percent of America now supports gay marriage, but presidents get elected by an electoral college, and in blue-collar must-win states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, this is a killer issue.

  • Elloreigh

    @Daez said: “Why would he disenfranchise people that might not agree with that topic when it comes to voting for him…”

    Why would he disenfranchise people who strongly favor marriage equality at the risk of losing their votes?

    The answer is simple – his position is one based on cold political calculation, not on what is good, right, moral, ethical and decent. Obama believes there are more votes to lose by supporting our equality than votes to be lost from failing to.

    Being correct in his calculations doesn’t inspire me to give him my vote, though. If it’s not politically expedient to support us, I do not think he will hesitate to throw us under the bus. I’m not convinced that he will become our “fierce advocate” just because we help him obtain a second term in office.

    I’m not persuaded that he deserves or has earned my vote.

    Don’t bother playing the Bachmann card. If it’s a choice between the lesser of two evils, I’m inclined to sit this next one out.

  • Craig B

    People who choose to sit out the next election need only look at the horror the Republican controlled states and the U.S. House of Representatives have unleashed.

    Instead of sitting on your butt, it’s better to threaten and force a politician to do your bidding.

    The reality is that in 1996 Obama supported same-sex marriage. It’s only because of national politics that he was forced to alter his position.

    I’m all for slamming Obama but it’s incredibly suicidal and naive to not recognize the real threat that the GOP represents.

    Are people here really ignoring the fact that the Republican controlled House is pushing ultra social conservative policies? What makes you think that if they got control of the presidency, Senate, and House that they wouldn’t introduce federal legislation to end all representation of gay relationships? Look at what the Republicans are doing in Iowa. They forced out the judges who ruled for gay marriage. In Minnesota, they are trying to push for a constitutional amendment to outlaw marriage/civil unions. In Wisconsin, the governor has said he will not enforce domestic partner statutes.

    In 2000, people voted Green for Ralph Nader. That gave us George Bush.

  • ewe

    It is obvious Obama is a liar. It is not ok to say that i support something but i don’t support it personally because if i support it personally then i do not get the votes of bigots. And for a biracial man to attempt this tactical stance is even more applalling and hypocritical. Obama is interested in HIMSELF. And he like so many other bigots are hiding (HIDING) behind religion.

  • ewe

    Remember when he burst onto the national scene at the Democratic Convention? The reason he made such a splash is because of what he said regarding “our gay brothers and sisters” being at the table yada yada yada. He is a fucking liar.

  • missanthrope

    This is a lost cause, he’s never going to support equal marriage because there is nothing in it for him. Keep calm and carry on challenging this on the state level.

  • Matt

    @SteveC: Voting Green is as good as voting Republican. Do you know why we were stuck with Dubya in the first place? Because a small but significant number of people voted for Nader, votes that probably would have almost exclusively gone to Al Gore if Nader hadn’t run. Those votes probably would have tipped the very close election (which Gore technically won) in Gore’s favor, and we would never have had to deal with Dubya at all. As much as I love the ideals, voting Green isn’t supporting the lesser of two evils, it’s ultimately supporting the greater. Don’t do it, for all our sakes.

  • WillBFair

    ‘It’s still fun to watch’? No for me it isn’t. Watching many in our comminity turn us into a wedge issue that could loose another election is no fun. It’s excrutiating.

  • evanb

    I’m done with him, and not just because his record is so dismal on GLBT issues (yeah, better that Bush’s, but that’s a pretty low standard to hold our Fierce Advocate to), but because he’s been a total disaster and/or disappointment across the board. Not only are we still in Iraq, but he doubled-down the Bush policies there and in Afghanistan, plus we’re now in Libya too. His health care reform amount to not much more than lukewarm tinkering around the edges of a disasterous system; he’s shown little skill in negotiating with Congress; the economy is in a shambles and his efforts to fix it have been too little, too late, and misdirected. He behaves more like a moderate Republican than a progressive or even moderately liberal Democrat. Frankly, I’m a lifelong Democratic voter, but I’d rather have an actual moderate Republican (at least I know what I’m getting) than this pathetic masquerade.

  • George412

    Why should our President listen to Dustin Bareback? It is hard to take the man seriously after practicing unsafe sex and having it on the internet. Dustin doesn’t and shouldn’t have pull with the White House.

  • Matt

    @evanb: That’s just depressing.

  • ewe

    @Matt: How wrong you are. To vote for who you want is exercising your right. Your insistence on a duopoly is not your place to impose on others. Your rhetoric has been said for decades. It is the reason we are always in this position.

  • Elloreigh

    @Craig B: It’s called I live in a red state, and “I don’t have mine, so screw you right back!”

    Well, not really on the latter, but it is kind of hard for me to have sympathy for the pursuit of marriage over other civil rights protections, of which there are none in my state for LGBT people, and probably won’t be anytime soon now that the fight has shifted to marriage.

    So why should I inconvenience myself to go cast a vote that won’t make one iota of difference anyway?

  • Elloreigh

    @missanthrope: To true – I’ve been saying for quite some time that the battle front should be the states. It’s not going to happen on a national level until you have a majority of the states on board (no, I don’t have any faith in the SCOTUS to do right by us on this one). In other words, it’s going to take decades, and I’m not optimistic that we’ll have marriage equality in my state in my lifetime.

  • CJ

    Maybe Obama should just read the US Constitution at his next news gathering. Then, say, for all of you who support the Constitution, THIS is what we will follow. We will not follow illegal laws like DOMA, Prop 8, DADT, etc. He needs to read the dang thing!

  • Shannon1981

    It’s either him or one of the evil three Bachmann, Palin, or Gingrich. At least he doesn’t compare our relationships to incest and bestiality, nor does he wish to jail or kill us. Think about that next time you consider voting for the GOP.

  • Shannon1981

    Queerty why you flagging me?

    Anyway, its either Obama or Bachmann(crazy and dangerous), Palin(stupid and dangerous, or Gingrich(crazy, stupid, and dangerous). At least Obama will let us live in peace. The other three actively wish to jail and kill us. They also think what we are is some kind of twisted choice. Think about that before you hit the polls, folks.

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