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."