Monday, 27 June 2011


Official portrait of President Barack Obama, who insists his views on gay marriage are still "evolving" (Photo by official White House photographer Pete Souza)

(June 27) The day New York state legalized same-sex marriage on June 24 will likely be remembered as the turning point for America's same-sex-marriage movement – no thanks to U.S. president Barack Obama.

"We're here, we're queer, we're fabulous, don't fuck with us!" hundreds of gay activists chanted in celebration outside the Stonewall Inn – home of the 1969 Stonewall Riots that kickstarted the global gay-civil-rights-movement – in Greenwich Village, shortly after the New York state senate vote 33-29 to legalize gay marriage in that state.

But just the night before, at a gay and lesbian fundraising gala in Manhattan that raised $750,000, Obama told 600 guests – who paid up to $35,800 each to see the president speak at his first fundraiser geared specifically to the gay community –  “I believe that gay couples deserve the same legal rights as every other couple in this country.”

Obama still refused to endorse gay marriage – saying his views are "evolving" – and insisted yet again the issue should be left to individual states to decide.

As New York Times pundit Maureen Dowd wrote afterwards, "Obama is “evolving” on the issue of gay marriage, which, as any girl will tell you, is the first sign of a commitment-phobe."

Obama is no LBJ
Dowd also notes, "Obama’s reluctance to come out for gay marriage seems hugely and willfully inconsistent with what we know about his progressive worldview. And it is odd that the first black president is letting [New York governor] Andrew Cuomo, who pushed through a gay-marriage bill in Albany on [June 24], go down in history as the leader on the front lines of the civil rights issue of our time... As with “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” Obama is not leading the public, he’s following. And worse, the young, hip black president who was swept in on a gust of change, audacity and hope is lagging behind a couple of old, white conservatives — Dick Cheney and Ted Olson."

After over two years in the Oval Office, do I believe Obama thinks gay people deserve 100 per cent full equality?

Yes, I do, without a doubt.

But I’ve also been screaming about Obama and his cronies ever since Obama realized he really could be the first black president of America – as long as he played his cards right.

So Team Obama ripped a page straight from the Bush campaign playbook with his October 2007 "Embrace the Change" barnstorming tour of black churches to shore up African-American votes in South Carolina. That tour featured rabidly homophobic, Grammy-winning "ex-gay" gospel singer Donnie McClurkin, a deliberate anti-gay wink from Obama to homophobic black churchgoers and voters.

If a white politician hired someone who denigrated blacks the way McClurkin trashes gay people, they’d be crucified, and rightly so.

Then America’s first "black" president – Obama is really a person of mixed race, like me, since his parents are also a zebra couple – added insult to injury when he chose the virulently anti-gay Rev. Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration.

Empire State building lit up
 in Rainbow colours last week

When the gay community went ballistic, Obama invited an openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson, to give the invocation at the Jan. 17, 2009, inaugural concert at the Lincoln Memorial. Except no one heard Robinson’s invocation because his microphone wasn’t turned on.

Not that it mattered because the guests of honour, the Obamas and the Bidens, arrived 10 minutes after Robinson’s invocation – as scheduled.

I’m telling you, while African-Americans were sent to the back of the bus during the days of segregation, on this day gays were thrown underneath the damn bus.

Over the coming months Obama was led kicking and screaming by public opinion when it came to Proposition 8 in California (Obama DoJ lawyers in court even compared same-sex marriage to pederasty) and later the U.S. military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy. Now, when it comes to gay marriage, Obama says he is "evolving."

Well, Mr President, evolve already.

What this all really boils down to is, unlike U.S. president Lyndon B. Johnson – when he gave America the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – Obama won’t do anything about it if it costs him any political capital.

So let me remind you what a president is supposed to do: The Democrats lost their grip on the South beginning in 1964 after LBJ rammed through the Civil Rights Act – and he did it despite the looming presidential election that year. From the beginning, LBJ knew that he was on the right side of history, the election be damned.

"It was the right thing to do," he said.

Ironically, it was LBJ – who also rammed through the Voting Rights Act of 1965 – who helped lay the groundwork for candidates like Obama to run for office. But will Obama himself do the right thing and legislate gay civil rights in America?

"I think it’s pretty clear where the trend lines are going, the arc of history," Obama told gay reporters in the White House during last November's mid-term elections.

But then, as now, Obama's public stance on the civil rights issue of our time is nothing short of disgraceful. Quite frankly, at the end of the day, the only thing Obama has in common with LBJ is his continuing insistence on fighting an impossible foreign war. And he’ll lose that too.


  1. But is it fair to use that comparison? LBJ was basically only finishing what the Kennedy Administration had already started. And, fact is, he knew there was little chance he was going to lose the election that year after JFK got shot. Not that I agree with his tactics, Obama does have to tread carefully. Nevertheless, I do agree with your point, and I do think that Obama has certainly let many people down.

  2. I just find it deeply offensive that Obama, a former constitutional law professor and the child of an interracial marriage, invokes arguments once used to defend segregation