From an account by Michael Kenny, executive director of Florida Together, of a White House meeting last week with state-based equality groups.
Marriage Equality In the meeting’s closing stages, Brian Bond, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement and liaison to the LGBT community, took questions from the audience. Given recent statements reaffirming President Obama’s opposition to same-gender marriage in the wake of a decision striking down California’s Proposition 8, Equality Federation members pressed him on the contradictions posed by the president’s call for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and his support for civil unions instead of full marriage equality.
Bond asserted, “There is still a lot of work to do” before DOMA will be repealed. “Look at the trouble we’re having with ENDA.” he added.But Bond conceded that there are inconsistencies in President Obama’s positions. In response, Morgan Meneses-Sheets, executive director of Equality Maryland, stated, “Respectfully, we need President Obama to push for full inclusion of the LGBT community on ENDA, on marriage- we need the full get, not the lesser get. The highest office in the land sets the tone for the whole country.” Bond agreed, but expressed frustration at the often intense criticism levied, particularly by bloggers, against an administration that is “99 percent supportive of your issues.” [emphasis added]
It’s great that you’re “supportive.” But it’s the same argument gay Republicans used to describe George Bush. He was secretively supportive of us, they’d say, even if he didn’t help us a whole lot legislatively. I’m not saying you’re George Bush, but the empathy thing is wearing thin. We don’t want your support in words, we want you to keep your promises. And you’re not.