First line in today’s Washington Post article about Obama’s second-term agenda:
If President Obama wins a second term, he will finally endorse same-sex marriage. Gay rights groups are almost certain.
That really inspires confidence in gay rights groups, huh? How about pushing Obama to support marriage now. And, how is it that our so-called “leaders” are so willing to give him a pass. They’re supposed to be advocates:
For instance: Obama officially opposes same-sex marriage. But, at a gay-pride event in the East Room last June, Obama noted that those in the room were fighting for the rights of parents and students and partners.
He paused, seemingly for emphasis. “ . . . and spouses,” Obama said. He paused again, for the cheers and whoops to subside.
“I have delivered on what I promised,” the president said. “Now, that doesn’t mean our work is done.”
To gay-rights advocates, the meaning is obvious. “It’s the next logical step” for Obama to announce his support of same-sex marriage, said Rebecca Isaacs, executive director of the Equality Federation.
It is the next logical step. So why wait. It’s as if our “leaders” accept the idea that supporting marriage will somehow hurt Obama’s reelection. It’s 2012, not 2004. Every new poll shows better news about the issue.
There’s a disturbing pattern to this. Last October, when Obama was speaking at HRC’s dinner, the organization’s VP, Fred Sainz, also gave Obama a pass:
Fred Sainz, the Human Rights Campaign’s vice president for communications, said he expects Obama to eventually declare his support for gay marriage. And even if that doesn’t happen before next year’s election, he said the president’s other actions on gay rights issued should not be ignored.
I disagreed then:
Joe Sudbay, among a group of bloggers who met with Obama last year, said most gay rights advocates won’t vote against Obama if he stops short of backing gay marriage. But he said they may be less likely to volunteer their time and money to the campaign.
“He might not lose votes, but he won’t gain enthusiasm,” said Sudbay, deputy editor of AmericaBlog.com.
I disagree now.
Let’s fast forward to the fall. When Obama is asked at a debate where he stands on marriage, what will he say? Will he finally evolve – or agree once again with Republicans that marriage is limited to heterosexual couples? Leading GOPers are already using the talking point that they have the same position on marriage as Obama. If Obama stands by his view that we’re still not equal, it’s going to sting. And, it’s not going to motivate people to make that extra contribution or get up early to do another lit drop. And, it’s not going to inspire those young voters that campaign manager Jim Messina is counting on.
Those who advise Obama that it is acceptable to wait until after 2012 to evolve — and that includes some LGBT advocates – are giving him bad political advice.
When I interviewed the President, he also said:
The one thing I will say today is I think it’s pretty clear where the trendlines are going.
That trendline gets clearer every day. The President is behind the trend.