TIME’s John Cloud weighs in on Obama’s HRC speech:
Saturday night President Obama charmingly delivered a rather bleak message to the gay community on the eve of its latest march on Washington. In a speech to the world’s largest gay political group, the Human Rights Campaign, Obama essentially said two things: I’m with you. But I can’t do much for you….
Obama did pledge — as he has before — to end the Pentagon’s don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy. But once again he said nothing specific about how he plans to do that and didn’t acknowledge that he already has the statutory power to instruct the Pentagon that investigating service members’ sexuality is not in the best interest of the armed forces. Also, he said that gay relationships can be “just as real and admirable” as straight relationships, but he did not say gay couples should be treated equally. Obama, after all, still opposes equal marriage rights.