2012 Election | Barack Obama | Dustin Lance Black | Mitt Romney | Mormon | News

Dustin Lance Black Writes About Obama, Romney And Gay Marriage


Filmmaker Dustin Lance Black remains frustrated with President Obama's stagnant "evolution" on gay marriage. In the filmmaker and activist's view, Obama remains "up in the air" on equality, leaving supporters on the ground to hope against hope for some monumental change.

"The problem is, when the president flies, he's on Air Force One, a plane designed to refuel in the air. He can stay up there for as long as it serves him," the Oscar-winning writer of Milk and the play 8 says in The Hollywood Reporter.

Inevitable GOP nominee Mitt Romney's LGBT politics are also in the stratosphere -- even more so, in fact -- and Black traces the trajectory to his and Romney's shared Mormon faith:

For me, the most telling marriage-equality moment thus far was Romney's disclosure of his 2010 and 2011 tax returns, showing that he still pays a full and complete tithe to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

To Mormons, this signals an investment in maintaining his Temple Recommend -- allowing him access to the temples and covenants that are essential to LDS salvation and signifying the recipient is living in strict obedience to the highest laws of the church. I can appreciate that. Much of my family and many friends do the same. But this also reflects a deep investment in core LDS beliefs -- including the promise of an afterlife reserved only for heterosexual Mormons married in an LDS temple. Full tithe and obedience in exchange for his own planet in heaven to send down the spirit children he creates with his heavenly wife. Procreation here and in heaven, that's the LDS view of marriage. Marriages for gay and lesbian families fly in the face of those core beliefs.

I'm not suggesting that Mormons (or others with deeply held religious views) are incapable of separating belief from governing philosophy, but the recent revelation that Romney donated to one of the most anti-gay groups in the nation, the National Organization for Marriage, signed its pledge calling for a constitutional amendment banning equal marriage and subsequently received its full endorsement would indicate he won't. It seems Romney's thinking on the matter is stuck way, way up in the air -- all the way up in the Mormon conception of heaven.

That said, Black says the best bet in this election is Obama's much-touted hope. But the president can't just be given support. He has to start making some real progress.

"Until the president publicly puts his wheels down on the side of full equality, he must be passionately engaged, confronted and protested for maintaining his prejudiced, hurtful public position," Black write "If his evolution continues to fall short, then those interested in equality in this country must abandon their support. Hope should never become delayed disappointment."

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  1. To be completely superficial, I can't believe that color of hair. And I have partly blue hair. That looks awful for someone so usually adorable.

    Anyway, Obama's advisers would never allow him to come out for marriage equality before the election. Remember how we lost the 2004 election? This is such a tired debate.

    Posted by: Paul R | Apr 26, 2012 2:28:28 PM

  2. Either Obama believes in full equality for GLBT people or he doesn't. If he does then he must sign the executive order ending anti-gay discrimination and publicly embrace full marriage equality. If, on the other hand, he is not prepared to do these things then the message his clear: we are still second class citizens in Obama's mind. We must not vote for someone who considers us second class citizens.

    Posted by: Jim Kelly | Apr 26, 2012 2:28:47 PM

  3. really jim kelly?

    then you are voting for romney

    OY that would be like cutting off your balls because you have a sore throat

    Posted by: say what | Apr 26, 2012 2:32:17 PM

  4. @Paul R: tired indeed. No rational actor can seriously claim that the course of action that will most advance the cause of LGBT equality is to withhold our vote from Obama in 2012. Black is right -- we definitely need to protest and confront and so on. But in the mean time, we need to vote with our heads.

    Some people might feel very self-satisfied by punishing Obama for his politically calculated position. But the ones we ultimately hurt are ourselves. I'm not the sort of person who cuts of his nose to spite his face.

    Posted by: Rick | Apr 26, 2012 2:38:52 PM

  5. We've already gotten more from Obama than from any other President in history - and that's just in the first three years. Second terms are where legacies are built - and don't forget whoever's President makes Supreme Court appointments.

    Posted by: Hank | Apr 26, 2012 2:48:37 PM

  6. It is an election year. Seriously, if Obama made a strong stand for gay marriage right now, the GOP would have a classic wedge issue against the incumbent. One more thing they could demonize him about.

    Bet ya if he wins a second term, we'll see some more progress.

    Posted by: asm | Apr 26, 2012 2:52:40 PM

  7. Here we go again. Either way you want this to go the man has to be elected first to make the biggest changes because if you put Romney in he can just reverse the executive order with a pin stroke. Sheesh this frustrates me that they are such harpies about this, at THIS moment. If the man gets reelected the odds are PERMANENT change in our favor, not just an executive order, and I wish these fools would see that bigger picture.

    Posted by: Opinionated | Apr 26, 2012 3:00:49 PM

  8. Oh, my Lord. Rick said something I agree with. Maybe it's not the real Rick.

    "We must not vote for someone who considers us second class citizens"

    Why not? American women have done it for almost 100 years.

    Look, you'd better vote for a president who will put judges on the federal bench who will support your right to marriage equality when the issue comes up before them.

    Such drama. I hope all of y'all fall in love and have the right to marry. Marriage equality won't do me any f.cking good: Blair Underwood is straight and taken...for now.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Apr 26, 2012 3:04:09 PM

  9. Thank you, Dustin. You are a true genius and you get it, but your words are most certainly lost on sycophantic imbeciles. They won't punish Obama because they're afraid of the big bad boogeymen Republicans; rather, they expect us to be. Republicans are losing this fight, and they know it. Only a loud minority scream against it, but for some reason, that is enough to have sycophants give Obama a blank check with them as politics. You have to wonder if they even see themselves as anything except political pawns.

    It's time to leave the sycophants on the ground, worshiping him, while we use our two legs to make real change. It's time for Obama to pay the piper.

    Posted by: Matt | Apr 26, 2012 3:32:50 PM

  10. @MATT you seem to forget that a good majority of the voting population in our country are like children that can easily be swayed for a week a two (or more) based on headline news alone or the like. Similar to a child who has been visited for 3 days by their uncle, spoiled for those trhee days with treats and other things they usually don't get from mommy, and then one day the mother and the uncle calls the child to them at the same time and the child runs to the uncle who has been spoiling her for the past three days instead of the mother that has raised her for her entire life.

    It is VERY easy for something "shiny" to come along and distract the American people from the real hard hitting issues and in turn, many a Republican who we thought could never possible win, have indeed won.

    So we are not sycophants thank you very much we are just cautious and not taking any chances here because the consequences of becoming too certain of "Republican's losing this fight" and then the Democrats losing as a result, FAR outstrips any current complaints about this President's slow evolution.

    Posted by: Opinionated | Apr 26, 2012 3:48:56 PM

  11. Black made more sense doing porn

    Posted by: Marty | Apr 26, 2012 3:50:08 PM

  12. Romney gave cash to NOM, that alone sets him apart from Obama.

    Attempting to equate the two's positions on gay equality is specious at best, dishonest at worst.

    Posted by: Polyboy | Apr 26, 2012 4:07:41 PM

  13. "I'm not suggesting that Mormons (or others with deeply held religious views) are incapable of separating belief from governing philosophy"

    I am.

    Let's be honest. If your deeply held religious views don't affect your governing philosophy, they aren't very deeply held. Eventually, even for the most moderate religions, something will come up that you will need to fight, to be consistent with your religion.

    Posted by: Randy | Apr 26, 2012 4:26:25 PM

  14. Since the electoral college elects the President and we only select our state's electors, the way to safely get the dim party's attention is simple:

    If you live in a swing state then hold your nose and vote for Obama because Romney isn't an acceptable alternative.

    If you live in a solid red (or even solid blue) state where you won't make a difference then don't cast a vote for President (but do vote on down-ballot races and issues). Or cast a protest vote for someone who isn't going to win anyway. Or write-in Judy Garland or "The Ghost of Harvey Milk" if you want (your county is required to report ALL votes cast and yours will appear somewhere in the final tabulation).

    In either case don't give the party a dime -- because they'll just give it to Obama --- and make sure they know why you're not supporting them/him. Contribute to individual down-ballot candidates if they're worthy of your support, but let them know that future support is conditional upon their advancing The Gay Agenda.

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Apr 26, 2012 4:26:50 PM

  15. Absolutely absurd comments coming from Mr. Black.

    Posted by: merle | Apr 26, 2012 5:22:26 PM

  16. This whole "punish Obama" crap is old. Um, lets take a look at Texas, Colorado, and other states where we're hearing stories of hate crimes daily, states like Tennessee and Missouri pushing laws that essentially eliminate homosexuality in schools across those states, lets look at conservative legislators literally saying homosexuality is an illness and going out of their way to denigrate homosexuality, and effectively wipe us out of existence. Let's talk about the facebook page that was created, a story that was just reported on yesterday, by a coalition of religious leaders, conservative legislators, social conservative activists, who basically have made the LGBTQ community their target with the intent to sabotage us publicly.

    And people STILL believe we have a choice here? Obama has to be reelected. There is NO EXCUSE to not vote for Obama. If the gay community plays a hand in voting out Obama, we will have NO-ONE at all. Period. We need to get a grip and understand who our true enemies are. It isn't Obama. Yeah, he's playing political games, not just on gay rights but all "liberal" (the way society sees them) causes. But if those political games get him reelected, then it will be time to hold his feet to the fire. Don't give money to the DNC, don't support DNC fundraisers and initiatives, make sure you categorically say why. But on election day in November, 100% of gay people, straight gay supporters, we better realize what we have to do. If anything, it's not a vote for Obama. But a vote against Romney and a vote against potential DISASTER to our community.

    Posted by: Francis | Apr 26, 2012 5:26:24 PM

  17. The republicans are way, way unhappy with Romney. If we (Obama) give them a wedge issue to work with, they'll play it for all they can. The ain't got anything else.

    Posted by: David R. | Apr 26, 2012 5:37:02 PM

  18. Thank you Francis - the voice of reason.

    Posted by: John Freeman | Apr 26, 2012 5:47:22 PM

  19. What candidate HAS ever supported marriage equality... before or during office?

    And Lance? Read this:


    I find your comment, "He has to start making some real progress." just a tad glib.

    Posted by: JimmyD | Apr 26, 2012 5:49:13 PM

  20. John F. Kennedy--a truly "great President", unlike the GOP's hero, Ronald Reagan, who really only knew how to press the flesh-- stated publicly in 1960 that he wouldn't let Rome dictate his polices. We won't hear that from Mitt Romney, a wholly owned puppet of Salt Lake City. Mitt's policies will be dictated by Thomas Monson in a shadow government. This will be a Mormon dictatorship, I'm certain of that because Mitt is facile, weak and unintelligent.

    Posted by: woodroad34 | Apr 26, 2012 6:01:52 PM

  21. Yes, and this guy, who had unsafe sex on camera should be our spokesperson. Pass.

    Posted by: dms | Apr 26, 2012 6:12:19 PM

  22. Funny how Romney considers his investments income for the purposes of tithing to a bigoted church, but not for his taxes.

    Posted by: ChristopherM | Apr 26, 2012 6:16:13 PM

  23. Until Lance Black can accurately state Romney opposition to civil marriage and civil unions, I suppose Lance Black needs to be publicly protested as well...

    Posted by: BobN | Apr 26, 2012 6:17:30 PM

  24. Dustin is absolutely CORRECT!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by: Wayne | Apr 26, 2012 6:18:08 PM

  25. It's important to remember that Hollywood only hires spin doctors and dingbats as screenwriters. Black is the latter.
    It wasn't bad enough to bareback on video. Now he's comparing Obama to Romney and gay rights? How stupid does it get? Black is exploring the limits for us.
    I also laugh at the self righteous who want to call the shots for politicians. I actually prefer someone who can play the political game. Watching Bill Clinton dodge and weave, while the left were foaming at the mouth, I was singing, 'Go Daddy. Knit me a sweater!'

    Posted by: Wilberforce | Apr 26, 2012 6:55:32 PM

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