saying hello

Obama Will Speak at HRC’s Pre-March Dinner. Why Now?


He’s been invited, but Barack Obama doesn’t have any firm plans to attend the National Equality March on Oct. 11. But on Oct. 10? At HRC’s annual dinner? He’ll be there.

Say what?

Obama and HRC have a long history together — particularly for a man who’s been in office so briefly.

HRC chief Joe Solmonese boasts about having the White House’s ear, which has led him to treacherous territory before. He’s made demands of Obama one moment, while falling into bed with him and his lack of action the next. You can expect much of the same on Saturday night: Obama will cheer us on, re-up his support for our civil rights, but make no firm declaration about legislation that matters most to us.

But how else to show he’s a fierce advocate than by attending HRC’s fancy gala Saturday night and addressing the crowd? Ben Smith reports “organizers wouldn’t discuss the details of Obama’s planned speech, but gay groups don’t seem to expect a major announcement, but rather an incremental one. Obama could give a date for signing hate crimes legislation — Matthew Shepard’s mother will be among the speakers — or he could come out against a marriage ban in Maine, which gay leaders have been pressing him to do.”

Obama has set the bar so law in his commitment to gay rights, we’re just surprised he’s showing up. Anything else is gravy.