Barack Obama | Bullying | Human Rights Campaign | News | Valerie Jarrett

Watch: Senior White House Adviser Valerie Jarrett Says Gay Bullying Victim Justin Aaberg Made 'Lifestyle Choice'


Senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, in an interview with the Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart, discusses the recent string of suicides related to anti-gay bullying, and describes meeting Minnesota teen Justin Aaberg's family backstage at the Human Rights Campaign dinner, where she recently gave a speech.

She also calls Aaberg's sexuality a "lifestyle choice":

"They were aware that their son was gay. They embraced him. They loved him. They supported his lifestyle choice. But yet when he left the home and he went to school he was tortured by his classmates."

Watch (starts around the 3:45 mark), AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. The Obama White House is clearly full of Fierce Idiots.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Oct 13, 2010 5:49:41 PM

  2. Shame on her - I'm tired of all the apologies after this type of garbage spews from mouths with an international publishing forum. She should resign.

    Posted by: Bill T | Oct 13, 2010 5:50:16 PM

  3. THIS is the Obama Shill Servicemembers United imagined their sincerity would convince the President to reverse his betrayal of gays in the military????

    Posted by: Michael @ | Oct 13, 2010 5:51:36 PM

  4. I hope that all Democrats regret choosing Obama.

    Posted by: Eric | Oct 13, 2010 5:52:20 PM

  5. lifestyle choice? i hope that this woman isn't an advisor on glbt issues.

    Posted by: lk | Oct 13, 2010 5:52:51 PM

  6. Well it's clear that Rahm Emanuel was not the only homophobe in Obama's inner circle.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Oct 13, 2010 5:54:17 PM

  7. She might as well be a Tea Party member with statements like that!

    Posted by: jsb | Oct 13, 2010 5:55:57 PM

  8. I wrote an angry message about how she must never have spoken to a gay person before, but I deleted it because my anger reserves are depleted enough as it is. Mostly I'm just sad how such easily disprovable bullshit persists.

    Valerie: There is not a person on the planet who chose to be LGBT. For a start, why would someone do such a stupid thing, knowing that they would suffer years of discrimination, contempt and second rate treatment from their peers, to constantly have inflammatory and defamatory lies spread about them? Think before you speak. No-one chooses; it's a core aspect of our identity as individuals, not a haircut.

    Posted by: BenB | Oct 13, 2010 5:56:04 PM


    Posted by: Rob | Oct 13, 2010 5:56:38 PM

  10. I am stunned.

    This woman is a disgrace.

    Obama is a disgrace.

    The HRC is a disgrace.

    The Dems have lost my vote.

    Posted by: SteveC | Oct 13, 2010 5:58:11 PM

  11. what a stupid bitch.

    Posted by: wtf | Oct 13, 2010 5:58:52 PM

  12. When, in her embryonic development, did she choose that mocha color look?

    Posted by: Philo | Oct 13, 2010 5:58:59 PM

  13. LOL! Fierce idiots. This is who HRC chose to give a speech at their drinkin' party. She's clearly ignorant, though I'd be hesitant to call her a bigot based on this serious stupidity... I'd say her familiarity with gay people is the movie cruising...or pathetic drunken a-list jellyfish at a fundraiser. She's a longtime close personal/family friend of the obamas, too.

    Posted by: TANK | Oct 13, 2010 5:59:59 PM

  14. What a fucking moron! I think the Obama Administration might be more out of touch with GLBT issues than the George W. Bush Administration. The only difference is that Obama and Co. is not actively working to deny us our civil rights. Oh, wait....

    Posted by: peterparker | Oct 13, 2010 6:00:47 PM

  15. As to Democrats rejecting supporting Obama, well, indeed. Obama has been, on civil rights issues especially those pertaining to LGBT people (as well as many issues besides) an enormous bag of hot air that gradually inflated during his campaign and immediately burst upon inauguration, even effectively redacting his support for gay marriage. But who was the alternative?

    Posted by: BenB | Oct 13, 2010 6:01:43 PM

  16. You can't sustain a political campaign based on "we pretty much suck...but they suck even more!" Lots of dems, including obama (if you'd heard his speech in philadelphia last week), don't seem to understand that.

    Posted by: TANK | Oct 13, 2010 6:04:57 PM

  17. lol @ TANK..!!!

    Posted by: Jeff | Oct 13, 2010 6:05:09 PM

  18. Amazing. Even more so that this is one of Obama's closest "advisors" - and not just on a narrow portfolio - but pretty much anything and everything domestic and/or politically charged.

    I wonder how long memories will be in our community come 2012 when the hat gets passed around for more LGBT $$$.

    Its one thing to vote Democratic - its an entirely other thing to fund it.

    Hopefully the next time around people will actually look to a candidate's record - and not fall victim to rhetoric and mass hysteria.

    Posted by: AERES | Oct 13, 2010 6:05:09 PM

  19. She was clearly speaking in support of bullied gay teenagers. The controversy here is over her not using politically correct language.

    Yes, to refer to being gay as a "lifestyle choice" is inaccurate, but it is not intended (in this case) to be insulting. I've known some very pro-gay heterosexuals and seen them speak out against homophobia when it was inopportune for them to do so -- and they used the word "alternative lifestyle" when doing so. It made me cringe, as it does here, but to them it's considered to be a nice way of saying "gay".

    It's like saying "pro-choice" instead of pro-abortion. The idea is that choice... is good! We should respect the lifestyles of other people. Of course, when a gay person hears that, we say, I didn't choose this! And homophobic types constantly point out that it's a bad choice. But try to understand the context.

    Posted by: Balbo1 | Oct 13, 2010 6:09:14 PM

  20. Lifestyle "choice"? And she was HRC's dinner speaker "choice" to rep our strong advocate who resides in the White House?? The Dems have truly screwed the GLBT community for the two years they've been in complete control of two branches of the Federal government. It's only the third branch - over which they've no direct control - that seems to be siding with us on GLBT civil rights issues. So much for spending GLBT time, dollars and votes on the politicos!

    Posted by: Jaybird89101 | Oct 13, 2010 6:10:12 PM

  21. Valerie Jarrett should be fired immediately. Regarding LGBT issues the Obama Administration is a disgrace.

    Posted by: Andrew D. | Oct 13, 2010 6:10:59 PM

  22. Reminds me of an old high school friend of mine who recently self-published a book and sent me a copy. He was so proud of himself, living in West Virginia as he has for the last twenty or so years, and still maintaining a liberal streak, which included his support of, and I quote: "gays, feminists, Afro-Americans [!], Mexicans [he meant Hispanics!!], Orientals [!!!], Arabs, and everybody else."

    I wrote him back and said that while I appreciated his pride in being "liberal," his West Virginia showed through quite glaringly. I quoted his sentence above and suggested he do a little Googling to find out how much he'd marred his laudible message with retrograde and potentially offensive terminology. I haven't heard back yet, so I think I really confused him.

    Posted by: MrRoboto | Oct 13, 2010 6:16:40 PM

  23. Those calling for her to be fired should chill. It doesn't help anyone's cause to be so reactionary. Her words were ill chosen, but not hate filled. I'm always shocked when people say they won't vote for Democrats again over small gaffes like this. Consider the alternatives. There are people out there who REALLY hate you. Also, for those who post racist comments here, don't you see the irony of what you're saying/doing/thinking?

    Posted by: Nobby54 | Oct 13, 2010 6:20:01 PM

  24. I have stuck up for Obama in the past but Oh My God.

    Posted by: Rowan | Oct 13, 2010 6:22:14 PM

  25. Haven't watched the video, but in the context of the quote, it looks like just a bad choice of words. Really not worth getting that angry about, have you ever use a phrase someone found un-PC without thinking?

    I'm not defending the Obama administration for genuine misgivings, but this is not one of them.

    Posted by: occono | Oct 13, 2010 6:23:08 PM

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