Socarides: Will Obama Continue Treating Gays as Second Class?
Richard Socarides, special assistant to President Bill Clinton and senior White House adviser on gay rights from 1997 to 1999, writes on Obama's approaching decisions on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' in the Wall Street Journal:
Many wonder when their president will show the same kind of concern for the constitutional rights of gay American service members as he has for enemy combatants held at Guantanamo Bay. Many wonder what the administration's willingness to treat gay Americans as second-class citizens says to Uganda and other countries that are considering laws that would subject gays to imprisonment and even death.
Gay Americans have been among the president's most ardent supporters. Their enthusiasm, and that of their families and friends, could be crucial in this year's elections. The president's action—or inaction—on Don't Ask Don't Tell will be noticed.
An increasingly frustrated bloc of gay voters—angry over marriage setbacks in California, Maine, New Jersey and New York and emboldened by Ted Olson's and David Boies's high-profile effort to declare unconstitutional laws that prohibit gay marriage—are growing impatient for equality. As Mr. Olson said in federal district court in San Francisco recently, discriminatory laws serve only to "label gay and lesbian persons as different, inferior, unequal and disfavored."
Politico calls Socarides' column "a shot across the administration's bow." Certainly there have been plenty.