Commentary Magazine


Obama, Friend of the Gays Only at Fundraisers?

Last year, at a fundraiser for the Human Rights Campaign (a lobbying organization for LGBT Americans) President Obama said: 

“We don’t believe in a small America. We don’t believe in the kind of smallness that says it’s okay for a stage full of political leaders — one of whom could end up being the president of the United States — being silent when an American soldier is booed. We don’t believe in that. We don’t believe in standing silent when that happens. We don’t believe in them being silent since. You want to be commander-in-chief? You can start by standing up for the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States, even when it’s not politically convenient.”

Despite these remarks, Obama has remained silent on his position on gay marriage, claiming that it is still “evolving.”

Two months ago, Obama cashed in on good will in the gay community, making more than $1.4 million at a fundraiser held at the home of two D.C.-area lesbians. At the fundraiser, he reportedly “promised to ‘keep on pushing’ for equal rights but did not discuss gay marriage.” U.S. News reported that the president remarked, 

“The work that we’ve done with the LGBT community, I think, is just profoundly American,” Obama said. “You should be judged on the merits. That’s at the heart of the American dream. That’s how you should be judged, not by what you look like, not by how you worship, not by where you come from, not by who you love.”

Eight weeks later, it seems the president doesn’t really care about gay Americans being judged on their merits as employees of the federal government. As Alana discussed earlier, the New York Times reports that the president has refused to sign a new executive order banning discrimination against gay, bisexual and transgender people working for or seeking employment from federal contractors. Statements from the Human Rights Campaign and the Center for American Progress made clear that the gay community’s disappointment is palpable enough to be aired publicly.

While Obama has touted his repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” it appears that he is only willing to fight for the right of LGBT Americans to fight and die for their country, not work for it. The president’s refusal to support same-sex marriage has plagued his relationship with the far Left, which apparently held the hope that Obama wasn’t the politician he has shown himself to be. Inexplicably, his silence on human rights abuses against gays worldwide hasn’t been a source of trouble for an Obama campaign relying heavily on gay donor support. This latest refusal to take a stand for “gay rights” outside of fundraisers could (and should) seriously impact the president’s appeal to a far Left base that campaigned and fundraised heavily for him during the 2008 cycle.