Obama to Rally LGBT Supporters While Hedging on Gay Marriage

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

President Obama Delivers Speech On Mideast And North Africa, May 19, 2011. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

President Barack Obama is holding a LGBT fundraising gala for gay and supporters in New York City Thursday night at a pivotal moment for the same-sex marriage bill in New York.

In the shadow of Albany's deliberations on gay marriage, some 600 supporters from 26 states are expected at the midtown gala hosted by actor Neil Patrick Harris. They're paying at least $1,250 per plate, may be looking for a clearer position on same-sex marriage from the president, whose trying to stoke his base in his quest for a second term.

During his 2008 campaign, Obama ran in support of civil unions, but not gay marriage. The White House has since emphasized that that the president’s position is "evolving."

That hedge has drawn jeers from the likes of Andrew Sullivan ("his politics are evolving is more like it"), Anderson Cooper ("The only thing that has changed is his need for a wider audience to vote for him.") and Equality Matters president Richard Socarides ("Stop trying to have it both ways").

An Obama administration official told The Huffington Post on Tuesday that he considers gay marriage an issue to be decided by the states—and that he supports equal protection under the law for gay couples.

White House spokesman Jay Carney was less precise in a press briefing on Monday.

"He's been very clear on his position on gay marriage. He's been very clear on how that position is evolving," Carney said.

And Carney dismissed the suggestion that Obama would declare a new position at the New York fundraiser: "I don't anticipate that," he said.

The LGBT gala is one of three fundraisers planned during the president's evening swing through New York City.


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Comments [13]

DR in NYC from NYC

Ed from Larchmont's comment it truly beyond belief. Where has he been for the past 25-30 years as cases of heterosexual transmission of AIDS have been documented, publicized and bemoaned around the world. As the saying goes," you are entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts." I think you should edit out comments that have no basis in fact and are just blatantly ignorant and bigoted.

Jun. 23 2011 06:21 PM
Brian from New York, NY


"The issue of gay marriage should have been a rubber stamp a long time ago so that we could move on to issues that actually threaten our health and well being."

Indeed--but it's obviously not that easy, so why are you telling people to shut up prematurely? The articles about this are proliferating precisely because the fight for rights is at a pivotal point.

After gay marriage IS legalized, I guess we can expect a lot of sensationalized stories and fabricated data from conservative folks about its instrumental role in messing up society or causing unemployment or something--at that point I'll probably share your sentiment, but not now..

Jun. 23 2011 04:48 PM

@jj, there will always be people with axes. Anyone who is a minority group with supposedly full rights, knows that the world is never quite equal and without prejudice. But most people have pretty good hearts in my experience. I am not noble. I share the opinion of the majority. Have you seen the stats? Most people approve of gay marriage.

Jun. 23 2011 12:17 PM

i understand the passion,but guess what, we've got a couple of nebraska nukes that could flood over,and make everything, including this,beyond irrelevant.

Jun. 23 2011 12:02 PM
Nancy Meher from Manhattan

On President Obama's speech about leaving Afghanistan. All I can say is, it's about time he's focused on rebuilding this country. We can't keep throwing money at every country in the world while the average American is suffering financially.

Jun. 23 2011 11:22 AM
jj from NYC


Sorry you're so threatened buddy. As I said, you seem like a sad, sad man. I do wish you peace.


Every time we tell people to "move on" about this issue or that, we risk assuming they are ready and that we know what it is they need in order to put down their axes, no matter how irksome to us. Clearly, for many people, there is a need to still fight the good fight. I'm glad you like LGBT people. That's noble. I like them too. But unfortunately neither you nor I get to decide what is "enough" when it comes to awareness or acceptance. To put this debate into perspective, it's helpful to recall Quentin Crisp's observation that gay and lesbian kids are the only kids who are "born orphans": They do not have parents who understand their worlds or automatically speak their language. So they have to wait and wait and wait, unless they are particularly lucky or astute to what is outside their homes, to be understood. (See the "it gets better campaign" on YouTube.)

Sorry if that last bit gave you a heart attack, Ed. Because there was a lot in there that presumes nobody chooses their orientation (why would anyone choose something so fundamental, and that causes such potential difficulty in life??)

Jun. 23 2011 11:11 AM

@daniwitz13 Your ignorance knows no bounds! You are an inspiration for homophobes and general intolerance everywhere.

Jun. 23 2011 10:52 AM
Ed from NYC

JJ from NYC:

"We still live in a culture where the presumption of heterosexuality dominates..." Hate to be the one to give YOU the wake up call - that is every single culture in the world that is and ever will be. Homosexuality is at most 3% of the population and that is consistent across cultural lines through different studies.

It will never be the norm as much as propaganda would have you believe. Gays are in pain because they are at odds with themselves through no fault of their own but they confusedly blame society for their own internal conflict and want everyone else to accept them so that maybe they can accept themselves. It doesn't work that way.

Gays aren't born just like straights aren't born. Its not that simple but gay men and women should not be treated any differently for what is a naturally occurring, consistent aberration. But we shouldn't be changing laws to cater to the suffering who's suffering won't be alleviated by the legal change.

We should accept the right for individuals to be treated the same as other individuals but not the right to be treated as equal in marriage. The propaganda war has told us that gay love and hetero love are the same; they are not. That is where the gay agenda has won the battle but it is a lie. Then again, marriage is breaking down anyway so it makes sense that anything goes.

Jun. 23 2011 08:56 AM

@jj my point was that this is not an issue. It's so much not an issue that gays rights should not be a separate category. If someone is gay so what. They are human and entitled the same rights as everyone else. The issue of gay marriage should have been a rubber stamp a long time ago so that we could move on to issues that actually threaten our health and well being.

I am fully supportive of gay rights. But I am especially supportive of granting those rights and moving on. There is no reason why someone who is gay should have to stand out, any more than someone who is of a different color or gender than their friends or coworkers.

Jun. 23 2011 08:46 AM
jj from nyc

Ed. You are a man in pain. And, likely, have caused great pain to others. I pity you. People do not choose to be homosexual any more than they choose to be heterosexual. And as for 'behavior,' I find it mind-boggling (and sad) that the same institution that decries "homosexual behavior" more vehemently than any other in western culture, namely the Catholic Church, found it impossible for decades to decry the truly deviant—and damaging—behavior of its priests molesting young boys (and, at times, girls).

Marie. I am so sorry you are "bored" by people declaring themselves gay. Have you ever walked into a new job and met a colleague, who then asks if you have a husband, if you are married, if you have a boyfriend. We still live in a culture where the presumption of heterosexuality dominates, in spite of progress made. And don't even get me STARTED on parents and their kids. Wake up, dear.

Jun. 23 2011 08:32 AM

I am bored. I am bored when people announce that they are gay. In the same way I would be bored if someone announced that they were heterosexual. Life is too short and we have many, many more important things to be thinking about. Hey let's all focus on stopping nuclear proliferation, drug addiction, getting our kids educated so that they and we as a country can thrive in the future. And that's just a very short list of what doesn't bore me.

Jun. 23 2011 08:15 AM
Ed from Larchmont

One would have thought that AIDS would have been enough to turn people away from homosexual activity.

Jun. 23 2011 07:29 AM
daniwitz13 from hawaii

When people say things, we want real proof to believe. Like Pres. Obama, he had to show paper work and a real birth certificate for all to see. So if one is to ask a Gay to show proof that he IS Gay, can they do it? Can a blood test do it? Can a X-RAY do it? What about a DNA? Or a MRI brain scan? A gay birth certificate? A Gay compass? A Gay sex finding machine? There MUST be a way otherwise how can Legislatures make laws of an unknown. Can they obtain a legitimate certificate stating that they ARE TRULY GAY? They claim to look no different. Gays do get Married and have Children. Do one just take their word for it? Go into their bed rooms? How do they have standing in Court if they cannot be defined? Unless they can show REAL proof that they are Gay, how can laws be made for them, and how can they have standing in Courts. We should all demand proof, like for Obama.

Jun. 23 2011 04:16 AM

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