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Obama Delivers 'Painfully Diplomatic' Speech, Gets Marriage Heckling at NY LGBT Fundraiser: VIDEO

Obamaprotest

Starting at around 5:30 pm yesterday afternoon, protesters from Queer Rising, Get Equal, and Join the Impact gathered outside the New York Sheraton before he arrived at an LGBT fundraiser there.

The protesters focused on Obama's foot-dragging on issues of equality like marriage, as the state legislature in Albany simultaneously worked toward a vote that would make same-sex marriage legal in the Empire State.

Advocates were hoping Obama would address the measure in his remarks inside the hotel.

Obama

Daniel D'Addario at Politicker reports that the speech was marked by "painfully diplomatic statements on the issue of the day.":

“I believe that gay couples deserve the same legal rights as every other couple in this country,” said Obama, who praised New York for democratically debating the issue.

Joy Tomchin was not impressed.

“What about marriage!” Tomchin yelled, rising from her seat.

“Believe it or not, I anticipated this,” said Mr. Obama, before discussing how marriage was best left to the states. He departed shortly thereafter.

Watch a clip of the speech and a clip of the protest, and read Obama's full remarks, AFTER THE JUMP...

And here's what it looked like outside the fundraiser:

 

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT

AT A DNC EVENT

Sheraton Hotel and Towers

New York, New York  

6:59 P.M. EDT 

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, hello, hello!  (Applause.)  Thank you!  Thank you so much.  Hello, New York!  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Thank you, everybody.  Thank you.  Everybody please have a seat.  Thank you.  Thank you so much.  (Applause.)

Thank you, Jonathan, for your service to this country and for continuing to fight for what this country stands for, even after you had to take off the uniform. 

I also want to recognize the extraordinary performance of Audra McDonald.  I like hearing her sing.  (Applause.)  I want to thank our MC for this evening, Neil Patrick Harris.  (Applause.) Everybody knows that Neil is openly terrific.  (Laughter.) 

A couple of other acknowledgments -- Christine Quinn, the New York City Council Speaker, is here.  (Applause.)  A great friend of mine who helped move the process forward to make sure that “don’t ask, don’t tell” got done -- Patrick Murphy is in the house.  (Applause.)  The DNC treasurer, Andy Tobias, is here.  (Applause.)  I think they like you, Andy.  (Applause.)  And I want to thank the co-chairs of the LGBT Leadership Council.  Thank you so much.  This is just an extraordinary event.

It is wonderful to be back in New York.  I see a lot of new faces but also a lot of friends who I have known for a very long time.  Many of you knew me before I had gray hair.  (Laughter.)  Malia and Sasha says it makes me look distinguished.  Michelle says it makes me look old.  (Laughter.)

Now, being here with all of you, I can’t help but think back to election night two and a half years ago.  We were in Grant Park -- some of you were there.  Beautiful night.  Culmination of an extraordinary journey; a campaign that had drawn on the hard work and support of people all across the country –- men and women who believed that change was possible, who believed that we didn’t have to accept politics as usual, who believed that we could once again be a country that lived up to our highest aspirations, not our lowest common denominators.  And it was a perfect night, and we were feeling pretty good, I got to admit. 

But what I said then at Grant Park was that this was not the end of the road; it was just the beginning.  And I said that the journey was going to be long and it was going to be difficult and there were going to be times where we stumble, that the climb was going to be steep.  Now, we didn’t know exactly how steep it was going to be.  (Laughter.)  But we knew that it wasn’t going to be easy to rebuild the middle class after a decade of stagnant incomes and rising costs -– a decade where a lot of Americans felt like that dream was slipping away. 

We knew it wasn’t going to be easy to end two wars and restore America’s leadership around the world.  We knew it wasn’t going to be easy to fix our immigration system; to reform our health care system; to transform our energy policy; to educate our young people for the demands of a global economy.  We did not think it was going to be easy. 

And I said that night I did not run for President to do easy things.  I ran because I believed that as a nation it was time for us to do the hard things.  It was time for us to do the big things -- even if it took time, even if sometimes it was going to be frustrating.  I said I was not going to let politics or the typical Washington games stand in our way because it had held us back for too long.  That's what led to the mess that we were dealing with in the first place. 

So over these past two and a half years, I’ve had some tough calls to make.  I had some tough calls as soon as I took office. We had to prevent a financial system from falling apart and dragging the economy into depression.  We had to pass reforms to stop abuses in the financial system and prevent future crises.  We had to rescue the auto industry.  I did not think it was going to be an auto CEO.  (Laughter.)  Even though there were a lot of people who said, let them go, let more than a million jobs vanish, allow two of America’s iconic companies to be liquidated and sold off for parts, we said no, we’re going to have to step up, we’re going to have to deal with it.

But even as we took these emergency steps, we started tackling all the challenges that we had talked about during the campaign, all the things that were standing in the way of the American Dream.  Because that’s why I ran.  That’s what the campaign was about.  That's why you supported me.  Because we believed in an economy that didn’t just work for those at the top, but worked for everybody -– where prosperity was shared.  (Applause.)  Where prosperity was shared from the machinist on the line to the manager on the floor, to the CEO in the boardroom.

We worked so hard in 2008 because we believed that we have to define our success not just by stock prices or corporate profits, but whether ordinary folks can find a good work, whether they can afford a middle-class life, whether they can pay the mortgage and take care of their kids and save some money for their child’s college education or their own retirement, and maybe have a little left over to go to a movie or dinner or even a play.  (Laughter.)  Since we're in New York.  (Laughter.)   

That’s why we cut taxes for middle-class families, and ended subsidies to the banks for student loans to make college more affordable.  That’s why I was proud to sign a bill to make sure women earn equal pay for equal work -- a basic principle.  (Applause.)  That’s why we’re promoting manufacturing and homegrown American energy -– because that’s what will lead to jobs that pay a decent salary.  That's why we’re standing up a new consumer bureau with just one responsibility -- looking out for ordinary folks in the financial system so they're not cheated.  That's why we passed health reform, so that no one in the richest nation on Earth ever has to go bankrupt because they or somebody in their family get sick.  (Applause.)  That was the right thing to do.  (Applause.) 

We waged that long campaign in 2008 because we believed it was time to end the war in Iraq.  And that is what we are doing  -- ending the war in Iraq.  (Applause.)  We removed 100,000 troops from Iraq already, ended combat missions there.  We’re on track to bring the rest of our troops home by the end of this year. 

I ran for President because I believed we needed to refocus our efforts in Afghanistan -- and we’re doing this, too.  We pummeled al Qaeda.  We took out bin Laden.  (Applause.)  And because of our progress and the extraordinary sacrifices of our troops -- because of the extraordinary sacrifices of our troops, we’re now fulfilling the commitment I made to start reducing our troops this month so that Afghans can take responsibility for their own security.  (Applause.)

I also ran because we now live in a world where America is facing stiff competition for good jobs.  There are rapidly growing nations like China and India -- they're hungry; they're on the move.  And for a long time we were told that the best way to win this competition was to undermine consumer protections, undermine clean air and clean water laws, hand out tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires, and everything would work out just fine.  It did not work out well.  In fact, if you look at our history, you'll see that philosophy has never worked our very well. 

America was built on the hard work of people and the ingenuity of our businesses.  But we also built a system of free public high schools and sent a generation to college on the G.I. Bill.  We constructed railroads and highways that spanned a continent.  We invested in research and technology, and we sent a man to the moon, and we discovered lifesaving medicine.  We launched the Information Age -– creating millions of jobs along the way.  That’s how you build a nation.  That's how you build a strong middle class.  And that’s what we need to do today. 

There is an important debate in Washington right now about cutting the deficit.  And it is absolutely critical that we cut the deficit.  Like families all across America, government has to live within its means.  And I’m prepared to bring down our deficit by trillions of dollars –- that’s "trillions" with a "t."

But I won't reduce our deficit by sacrificing the education of our young people.  (Applause.)

We can’t stop medical research being done by our scientists. (Applause.)  We can’t stop building the infrastructure that made this country great.  I’m not going to sacrifice clean energy at a time when our dependence on foreign oil has caused Americans so much pain at the pump.  (Applause.)  That doesn't make any sense. In other words, I will not sacrifice America’s future. 

What makes America great is not just the scale of our skyscrapers, or our military might, or the size of our GDP.  What makes us great is the character of our people.  Yes, we are rugged individualists and we are self-reliant, and that’s part of what makes us Americans.  We don't like being told what to do.

But what also makes us who we are is we’ve got faith in the future and we recognize that that future is shared -- the notion that I'm my brother’s keeper, I'm my sister’s keeper.  My life is richer and stronger when everybody in the country has some measure of security; everybody has got a fair shot at the American Dream.  That's what makes us great.  That’s our vision for America. 

It’s not a vision of a small America.  It’s a vision of a big America; a compassionate America; and a bold and optimistic America.  And it’s a vision where we’re living within our means, but we’re still investing in our future.  And everybody is making sacrifices, but nobody bears all the burden.  An America where we live up to the idea that no matter who we are, no matter what we look like, we are connected to one another.

That's what led many of us to fight so hard, to knock on so many doors and maybe harangue some of our friends -- this belief that it was up to each of us to perfect this union.  It was our work to make sure that we were living up to a simple American value:  We're all created equal.  We’re all created equal.

Ever since I entered into public life, ever since I have a memory about what my mother taught me, and my grandparents taught me, I believed that discriminating against people was wrong.  I had no choice.  I was born that way.  (Laughter and applause.)  In Hawaii.  (Applause.)  And I believed that discrimination because of somebody’s sexual orientation or gender identity ran counter to who we are as a people, and it’s a violation of the basic tenets on which this nation was founded.  I believe that gay couples deserve the same legal rights as every other couple in this country.  (Applause.)

Now, there was such a good recitation earlier by Neil that I feel bad repeating it, but let me just -- it bears repeating.  (Laughter.)  This is why we’re making sure that hospitals extended visitation rights to gay couples, because nobody should be barred from their bedside their partner -- the beside of their partner in a moment of pain, or a moment of need.  Nobody should have to produce a legal contract to hold the hand of the person that they love. 

It’s why we launched the first comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategy, providing a road map not only to providing treatment and reducing infections -- (applause) -- but also embracing the potential of new, groundbreaking research that will help us bring an end to this pandemic. 

That’s why I ordered federal agencies to extend the same benefits to gay couples that go to straight couples wherever possible.  That's why we’re going to keep fighting until the law no longer -–

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Marriage. 

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Marriage.  Marriage.  Marriage.

THE PRESIDENT:  I heard you guys.  (Laughter.)  Believe it or not, I anticipated that somebody might -- (Laughter and applause.)

Where was I?  (Laughter.)  That's why we’re going to keep on fighting until the law no longer treats committed partners who’ve been together for decades like they’re strangers.

That’s why I have long believed that the so-called Defense of Marriage Act ought to be repealed.  It was wrong.  It was unfair.  (Applause.)  And since I taught constitutional law for a while, I felt like I was in a pretty good position to agree with courts that have ruled that Section 3 of DOMA violates the Constitution.  And that's why we decided, with my attorney general, that we could no longer defend the constitutionality of DOMA in the courts.  (Applause.)

Now, part of the reason that DOMA doesn't make sense is that traditionally marriage has been decided by the states.  And right now I understand there’s a little debate going on here in New York -- (laughter) -- about whether to join five other states and D.C. in allowing civil marriage for gay couples.  And I want to  -- I want to say that under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, with the support of Democrats and Republicans, New York is doing exactly what democracies are supposed to do.  There’s a debate;  there’s deliberation about what it means here in New York to treat people fairly in the eyes of the law.

And that is -- look, that’s the power of our democratic system.  It’s not always pretty.  There are setbacks.  There are frustrations.  But in grappling with tough and, at times, emotional issues in legislatures and in courts and at the ballot box, and, yes, around the dinner table and in the office hallways, and sometimes even in the Oval Office, slowly but surely we find the way forward.  That’s how we will achieve change that is lasting -– change that just a few years ago would have seemed impossible. 

Now, let me just say this.  There were those who doubted that we’d be able to pass a hate crimes law.  Occasionally I got hollered at about that.  After a decades-long fight, we got it done -- bring us closer to the day when nobody is going to be afraid to walk down the street because they’re gay or transgender.  (Applause.)  

There were those said we couldn’t end “don’t ask, don’t tell.”  And I remember having events where folks hollered out at events.  (Laughter.)  But we passed the repeal.  We got it done. We’re now moving forward with implementing it.  (Applause.)  So we’re no longer going to demand brave and patriotic Americans live a lie to serve their country. 

Folks like Captain Jonathan Hopkins, who led a platoon into northern Iraq during the initial invasion, and quelled an ethnic riot, and earned a Bronze Star with valor.  He was discharged, only to receive emails and letters from his soldiers saying if they had known he was gay all along -- that they had known he was gay all along and they still thought he was the best commander they had ever had. 

That’s how progress is being won -- here in New York, around the country.  Day by day, it’s won by ordinary people who are striving and fighting and protesting for change, and who, yes, are keeping the pressure up, including pressure on me.  And by men and women who are setting an example in their own lives -- raising their families, doing their jobs, joining the PTA, singing in church, serving and sacrificing for this country overseas, even as they are not always granted the full rights of citizenship they deserve here at home.

Last year, I received a letter from a teenager growing up in a small town, and he told me he was a senior in high school, and that he was proud to be the captain of a club at his school, and that he was gay.  And he hadn't told his parents.  He hadn’t come out.  He was worried about being mocked or being bullied.  He didn’t think it was safe to, in his words, “openly be myself.” But this 17-year-old also looked towards the day when he didn’t have to be afraid; when he didn’t have to worry about walking down the hallway.  And he closed his letter by saying, “Everyone else is considered equal in this country.  Why shouldn’t we be?” (Applause.) 

So, yes, we have more work to do.  Yes, we have more progress to make.  Yes, I expect continued impatience with me on occasion.  (Laughter.)  But understand this -- look, I think of teenagers like the one who wrote me, and they remind me that there should be impatience when it comes to the fight for basic equality.  We've made enormous advances just in these last two and a half years.  But there are still young people out there looking for us to do more, to help build a world in which they never have to feel afraid or alone to be themselves.  And we know how important that is to not only tell them that it’s going to get better, but to also do everything in our power to ensure that things actually are better.

I’m confident that we will achieve the equality that this young person deserves.  I’m confident that the future is bright for that teenager and others like him, and that he can have the life that he wants and that he imagines. 

There will be setbacks along the way.  There will be times where things aren’t moving as fast as folks would like.  But I know that he’ll look back on his struggles, and the struggles of many in this room, as part of what made change possible; part of what it took to reach the day when every single American, gay or straight or lesbian or bisexual or transgender, was free to live and love as they see fit.  (Applause.)

And we can look at the progress we’ve made in the last two years, to the changes that were led not by Washington, but by folks standing up for themselves, or for their sons or for their daughters, fighting for what’s right.  Not just change on behalf of gay Americans, but for everybody looking to fulfill their version of the American Dream -- whether it’s the students working their way through college, or the workers heading to factories to build American cars again, or the energy entrepreneurs testing bold ideas, the construction crews laying down roads, the small business owners and scientists and inventors and builders and all those Americans who faced hardship and setbacks but who never stopped believing in this country -– it’s capacity to change; who are helping each and every day to rebuild this nation so that we emerge from this period of struggle stronger and more unified than ever before.

And that’s the story of progress in America.  That’s what all of you represent -- of the stubborn refusal to accept anything less than the best that this country can be.  And with your help, if you keep up the fight, and if you will devote your time and your energies to this campaign one more time, I promise you we will write another chapter in that story.  And we are going to leave a new generation with a brighter future and a more hopeful future.  And I’ll be standing there, right there with you. 

Thank you.  God bless you.  (Applause.)  God bless the United States of America.  Thank you, everybody.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

 

                        END           7:24 P.M. EDT

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Comments

  1. I was in Germany at the end of WWII. At that time marriage was a 2 part process. A civil union and if chosen a religious ceremony. I do not understand why, in a nation where there is suppose to be separations of church and state, judges preform a religious function while ministers do the legal thing. The simple thing is to adapt the 2 phase system and put an end to the fighting.

    Posted by: Ray T | Jun 24, 2011 8:27:37 AM


  2. Uh huh. Right Obama. Marriage equality should be left to the States to decide. Except for two things:

    1. Many of the important benefits of marriage are federal-level. Thus the federal government HAS to weigh in on this. Because it is vitally important whether the federal government recognizes gay marriages.

    2. How did "leaving things for the States to decide" work out for civil rights for blacks, Obama? HMMMMMMM? How did that turn out? Oh right! IT WAS FAILING MISERABLY IN ALL THE STATES YOU WOULD EXPECT UNTIL THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT STEPPED IN AND MANDATED CIVIL RIGHTS LEGISLATION. Marriage equality is a basic rights issue. It is something that shouldnt even be up for debate. And like every other right for a minority this is not something that should EVER be voted on for a majority rule.

    So screw you and your pathetic run-around. Skirting the issue like this makes you look weak and no different than the bigoted Republican idiots who try to use that excuse knowing full well that if left to majority rule on a state by state level ALL minority protections would be stripped away in half the states or more in this country.

    So how about this? Leave All other decisions about minority protections and civil rights to state-by-state level, including those for black people, if you are saying this about marriage equality. Let's be consistent here.

    Let's see how well that works out for you.

    Posted by: AedanCRoberts | Jun 24, 2011 9:21:36 AM


  3. To be honest with you, my position on Obama is still "evolving".

    Posted by: Leto | Jun 24, 2011 9:27:49 AM


  4. Ray, there is no religious marriage ceremony in France for example. All marriages must be conducted by the local mayor or other person so designated. Its up to the couple to decide if they want their marriage solemnized in a religious ceremony, optional.

    That said, I don't see that happening our our country. Religion is too well ingrained in the psyche of the country, odd for a country that supposedly has separation of church and state. Or does it, really? I'm not so sure about that, not when its allowed to interfere in the political system and in some cases, influence the outcome of legislation as we're seeing in New York state.

    The problem in our society is that a lot of people are incapble of distinguishing between what is religious and what is civil (secular) especially when it comes to marriage. Religious and civil are two different components, not identical. Religion does NOT control civil marriage as oppononents of marriage equality believe, it never has and it never will. Its the state that controls it and our laws.

    Civil unions at the federal level are not equal to marriage. Try abolishing civil marriage for straights and offer them a substitute in the form of civil unions, or better yet, abandon traditional marriage altogether and replace it with civil unions for all and we'd see civil unrest among the majority of straights. Proof enough that they're not equal.

    Posted by: Robert | Jun 24, 2011 9:31:14 AM


  5. blah, blah, blah ... I don't need to hear or read ANOTHER bs speech from Obama.

    We now see a minority man blocking equality for another minority group. ("I got mine, who cares about you!") In years to come when we look back at how GLBTs attained equality, Obama will be remembered just like Wallace was remembered: as someone who did nothing for equality for all ... or worse yet, a man who was a HOMOPHOBE / BIGOT / HATER of GLBT Americans.

    All the money, time and vote I gave him in 2008 was a total waste. I will not vote for a republiCON for President but neither will I vote for Obama again. Then again I am saying the same thing.

    He comes for our money and vote but wants to do nothing for us. He can talk to the hand!

    With "friends" like this ... who needs enemies!

    Posted by: FunMe | Jun 24, 2011 9:44:02 AM


  6. Guys, seriously. Give him a break. What he said is absolutely right. Change is inevitable. The one thing you absolutely CANNOT BE in the fight for equal rights is in a hurry. Fk the courts, fk the Republicans, fk the right wing Xtian wing nuts. It WILL happen, it's just going to take time and patience. And the people who fought against it are going to be exposed for the liars and the hypocrites that they truly are. Do you want him to rush out and hop up and down about gay marriage right now, get the Xtian weirdos stirred up for the next year and a half, and have some horrid Republican like Michelle Bachman or Mitt Romney end up in the White House because of it? Like I said, change is inevitable. It will happen, slowly but surely.

    Posted by: AJ | Jun 24, 2011 9:51:37 AM


  7. @funme Your comments and expectations are completely outlandish.

    While we all would have loved Obama to step into office and work tirelessly to repeal DOMA, DADT, get ENDA passed, and push for all of the LGBT-inclusive legislation we hope to see passed, to actually expect that to happen is hopelessly naive. Obama has done more in office for the LGBT community than any other president in our nation's history. To expect much more is to ignore how politics function and the social climate in the nation.

    Further -- and this is a life lesson in debate for you -- implicating race in the manner you did is the fastest way to be treated like your opinions are frivolous. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that Obama or his administration have "ignored" gay rights issues because of some sort of righteous, "I got mine" black fervor. Again, suggesting this just makes you look hyperbolic and ignorant.

    Posted by: Mike8787 | Jun 24, 2011 10:07:05 AM


  8. OK. So he's "struggling" with this issue. What is his struggle? He supports full equality in terms of rights, just not calling it marriage? So his struggle must not be economic. It can't be the effect on children, or social impact of different types of families. Is his struggle with the "moral" equivalency of same sex marriage? What else could it be? I don't mean that as a rehtorical question. I'm really curious about what his "struggle" is about, and I wish the media would ask him that question.

    Posted by: darbnyc | Jun 24, 2011 10:08:31 AM


  9. Mike878: you make me laugh! you want to continue to have 2nd class status? You go right ahead. Knock yourself out! Actually even better, just STFU as Obama wants you to and be a good boy/gurl and have your cocktail and caviar.

    In the meantime, step aside while others fight for equality for all.

    Posted by: FunMe | Jun 24, 2011 10:17:54 AM


  10. Okay, okay, I get it.

    I'm supposed to go along with the premise that the President's position is a shrewd political calculation, based on practical considerations, in order for him to be reelected, then it will be “safe” for him to support same-sex marriage.

    But to be honest, this one issue aside, he’s already asked me to have of a lot of faith in what he has said he was going to do during the campaign that hasn't come to fruition and I'm tapped out.

    Obviously nothing will be done on a Federal level on this issue until after the election, IF the President is reelected AND IF the wink-wink-nod-nod-I’ve-got-your-back theory proves true.

    I’ll move on then and examine the President’s first-term record on other line-items, the promises he makes this time around and vote accordingly. Obviously I know “The Other Side” is supposed to, and usually does, scare the hell out of me, but I’ve got no real guarantees from the guy that should be on “My Side” and I’m out of trust. I'm going to consider the economy, the wars, the economy...and do what's best for ME and mine.

    And honestly, something tells me the only real “struggle” the President is focused on is getting reelected and I feel sort of used in the process.

    Posted by: Mike | Jun 24, 2011 10:31:37 AM


  11. @funme I actually currently work and have worked for a number of LGBT non-profit organizations. Where do you work?

    Spouting racist nonsense about Obama in a Towleroad comment thread is not progress or "fighting for equality". Get involved in the movement itself, get some perspective, and you will learn that expecting people to move mountains is not only absurd, but counter productive.

    You need to have reasonable expectations if you want people in power to take you seriously. Cursing out Obama because he only took steps on DOMA, hospital visitation rights, federal employee rights and DADT is a fast track to getting politicians to ignore our interests completely.

    We all want a full roster of perfect rights tomorrow. However, that isn't going to happen. So let's start thinking of ways to get there most efficiently. Griping at a president who has done a considerable amount is a good way for our movement to alienate our supporters and slow down our journey to full equality.

    Posted by: Mike8787 | Jun 24, 2011 10:59:39 AM


  12. Like someone brilliant on here said awhile ago, "Fine I'll vote for him. But no one can tell me that I am not allowed to plug my nose while I do it." "The Other Side" is so much fkng worse it's unbelievable. We are suffering through their ridiculous tyranny right now here in MN. We have an impending state gov't shutdown because they won't approve a budget that includes a tax increase for the top TWO PERCENT of citizens.

    Posted by: AJ | Jun 24, 2011 11:19:46 AM


  13. I agree with Mike @ 10:31:37. The Dems know they have us and can dismiss our concerns and still get our votes and money just because most Republicans are so repugnant. Obama's tepid support is galling and I don't think it's going to improve if he manages to become a lame duck.

    Posted by: mrpeenee | Jun 24, 2011 1:12:34 PM


  14. My translation of that speech: You do all the hard work and I'll take credit for it in the end. Thank you. Checks can be made out to: ...

    Posted by: MrRoboto | Jun 24, 2011 1:12:39 PM


  15. What's truly galling about Obama's New York visit is the fact that he went to two gay fundraisers and collected our money without offering anything in return. No thumbs up for gay marriage. Not even a certification date for gays to serve in the military. Obama is all about political calculation. He'll help us only when his back is to the wall and he has no choice. He is the most cynical of politicians and shame on the gay leaders who buy into his patronizing crap.

    Posted by: Vince | Jun 24, 2011 1:53:13 PM


  16. These protest groups (especially the obsessive publicity whore Queer Rising) are full of sh*t. When election time rolls around, they'll be rationalizing their votes for Obama the same way they always do: It would be awful if the Republican won, so we don't have a choice! That is, those of them that do vote. I bet you some have never set foot inside of a voting booth.

    Posted by: Stuffed Animal | Jun 24, 2011 1:57:17 PM


  17. That's a demonstration?

    Ridiculous. These people could screw up a two-car funeral.

    And a heckler?

    More silliness.

    The President and the DNC got $4 million.

    The protests were ineffective and largely ignored.

    GetEQUAL, Queer Rising and Join The Impace are useless. Their protests are poorly attended and poorly organized.

    It's embarrassing to see them given coverage here. The pictures and videos of one or two dozen people holding signs which mostly promote their groups is sickening.

    The message is not GetEQUAL.

    The message is Equality.

    They need to figure that out.

    Posted by: Josh | Jun 24, 2011 4:07:27 PM


  18. For all the bitching and finger-pointing done on this site about Obama (most of it ludicrous and infantile), it always comes back to the same thing:

    What the f*ck have YOU done? What sign have YOU carried? What protest have YOU organized? What sweat have YOU poured into "the cause?" What has your sorry a$$ done besides expect sh!t to be handed to you on a silver platter?

    If your answer is "bitched and finger-pointed, anonymously, on blogs and forums," then YOU have done LESS than Obama and are living in a glass house. So put the rocks down and shut the f*ck up.

    Posted by: RW | Jun 25, 2011 6:14:25 PM


  19. Obama's "evolution" has been so ridiculed (and rightly so), his campaign realized he needed another way to talk about his position on gay civil rights. So now we have the "states rights" comment. And that is truly shocking. A black president framing civil rights in the language of "states rights" -- which is still the rallying cry of Southern racists! As has been pointed out earlier in this thread, the only cure for the 'states rights' bigotry that plagued this country in Obama's childhood was...? That's right: federal civil rights legislation with the strong and active support of...? That's right: the President of the United States. Obama, what I have read of your mother leads me to believe that she would be utterly ashamed of you. As am I.

    Posted by: Steve Rosenberger | Jun 26, 2011 7:19:30 PM


  20. Steve Rosenberger is absolutely right. All of us would do well to remember history: the argument about states' rights is ludicrous and galling. It also aligns Obama with some of the most conservative, least progressive political thinking of the 18th and 19th centuries. It's chilling to think that a leader of the Democratic party in the 21st century bends toward that line of thought.

    Posted by: Mister | Jun 26, 2011 10:04:24 PM


  21. The idea of equality being voted on at all is so gross and wrong. What a joke. Can we put other's rights up to a vote then?

    Posted by: Jnyca | Jun 27, 2011 8:31:23 AM


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