Paul Gorrell

‘We cannot honestly call this president a fierce advocate of gay rights. I’m afraid that we cannot even call him much of an ally’

SOUNDBITES — “Obama needs to act. Occasionally peppering speeches with platitudes about tolerance toward gay people will do little to bring real change in the ways LGBT people experience discrimination. The proclamation from the president celebrating gay pride month rings hollow and feels meaningless. The benefits extension was weak and should not receive the applause of supposed LGBT leaders. These things are too little, too late. From this president, LGBT people receive very little empathy because it’s not convenient. His words on gay issues offer support on the one hand, and some unpleasantly familiar disdain for LGBT equality on the other. When it comes to action, this administration has gone from indifference to the active promotion of religious opposition to the rights of gay Americans, followed by weak attempts to appease us when we protested with our pocketbooks. At this point, we cannot honestly call this president a fierce advocate of gay rights. I’m afraid that we cannot even call him much of an ally.” —Paul Gorrell, religious scholar and former Catholic priest, on the president’s GLBT in-roads