In Washington, Rahm Emanuel engaged in political homophobia. Not homophobic in the traditional definition, but sure thought acting on gay issues was politically dangerous. They’re the people who like the gay money during campaigns, but not doing the gay legislation once they win. As Chief of Staff, Rahm had a 1993 view of equality. And, don’t think people working in advocacy didn’t know this.
Now, as Mayor, Rahm is a supporter of marriage equality:
BLITZER: Is it a big deal or a little deal, from your perspective, that the president, at least so far, refuses to endorse gay marriage?
EMANUEL: Wolf, whatever perspective I have, I’ll share with him. I’m proud that here in the city and the state, let me give one example of why I love — why I think this job is so important.
Illinois passed a civil union. Worked on it as a candidate as well as a mayor-elect, making phone calls to finally pass that. A member of my staff, in fact, in this room, I oversaw the first kind of official thing, one of the first official things of my job, within the first 30 days, actually, a union between — between my senior adviser and his partner.
Later that day, the governor and I went to a ceremony in Millennium Park, where 30 couples and another member of my cabinet was getting married to her partner, getting — going into a civil union.
BLITZER: Is the marriage issue, though, significant?
RAHM: I think it is — it is a significant issue. I would hope that the state would move in that direction. I don’t take — I don’t just drive past the fact that here in Illinois, we have civil union. We have a hate crimes legislation nationally that was passed and signed by President Obama. That he repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Tremendous progress has been made across the country on a value statement. And I think that’s very important.