Barack Obama | Gay Marriage | News

Obama Refuses to Give Jann Wenner the Marriage Equality Headline He Wants, in 'Rolling Stone' Interview

In a cover story for Rolling Stone, Jann Wenner asks Obama about his support for marriage equality.

Rs_obamaYou've shied away from demanding marriage equality for all. Are you at least willing to say that you support it on a personal level?

Replies Obama:

I'm not going to make news in this publication. I've made clear that the issue of fairness and justice and equality for the LGBT community is very important to me. And I haven't just talked about it, I've acted on it. You'll recall that the last time you and I had an interview, we were getting beat up about "don't ask, don't tell" in the LGBT community. There was skepticism: "Why's it taking so long? Why doesn't he just do it through executive order?" I described very specifically the process we were going to go through to make sure that there was a buy-in from the military, up and down the chain of command, so that it would be executed in an effective way. And lo and behold, here we are, and it got done.

Ending "don't ask, don't tell" has been the dog that didn't bark. You haven't read a single story about problems in our military as a consequence of the ending of the policy. So whether it's on that, or changing the AIDS travel ban, or hospital visitation rights, or a whole slew of regulations that have made sure that federal workers are treated fairly in the workplace, we've shown the commitment that I have to these issues. And we're going to keep on working in very practical ways to make sure that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters are treated as what they are — full-fledged members of the American family.

Obama should be praised for those achievements. But until he "makes news" on marriage equality, he'll continue to be pressed to do so.

(h/t paul constant)

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  1. Sometimes the interviews and articles are really good in Rolling Stone. I think I'll go out and buy this issue. And Obama is smart to give this interview - he needs the youth vote and the vote of the far left if he wants to win. He still can't bring himself to say the words. I think his advisers must be telling him it would be political suicide.

    Posted by: Brim | Apr 27, 2012 3:22:09 PM

  2. I know it's tempting to want change to come fast & big...but BO is absolutely right in his handling of these issues. I'm not patient by nature...but at 60 I've come to realize that slow & steady is the best way. That's not so easy to swallow at times...but swallow slowly or expect a gag's your choice.

    Posted by: PAUL B. | Apr 27, 2012 3:26:12 PM

  3. What IS the air like with your head so far up his ass, Paul?

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Apr 27, 2012 3:28:25 PM

  4. What IS the air like with your head so far up his ass, Paul?

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Apr 27, 2012 3:28:26 PM

  5. YOU were getting beat up, a@@hole??? What about those of us out here whose families are being threatened and losing our health care. I swear, everytime I think i'm going to vote for this jerk, he goes and opens his mouth again.

    Posted by: gaylib | Apr 27, 2012 3:30:35 PM

  6. I get a little tired of Obama keeping his REAL thoughts on this issue clenched in the palm of his hand. He's as if saying guess what I've got for you!
    President Obama if you get reelected and I hope you up that damn hand!

    Posted by: VDUFFORD | Apr 27, 2012 3:33:12 PM


    Posted by: Mike | Apr 27, 2012 3:38:58 PM

  8. Our farce advocate.

    Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Apr 27, 2012 3:39:11 PM

  9. Completely agree with you Paul B. Rushing to insist on same-sex marriage support by the President would really truly be making the perfect the enemy of the good. He's done some great things for GLBT people and I think if we press this too far it will indeed be political suicide - for us. Imagine life with a President Romney: repeal of DADT repeal, federal support for discriminatory legislation etc. Thanks but no thanks.

    Posted by: antbnyc | Apr 27, 2012 3:41:03 PM

  10. I'm with Paul on this, with one reservation: I expect from him to "come out" thoroughly for marriage equality in his second term and really pushing for an end of all discrimination against the LGBT comunity in this country.

    Posted by: Peter M. | Apr 27, 2012 3:46:45 PM

  11. @ head is fine where it is, thank you for staying civil. If you have a better choice...state it. If not...maybe you should get some meds for that attitude. You take what the world has to offer and do what you can with it...or you get nowhere.
    Anytime you have a viable alternative to BO who can get into the White House...pass it on to the rest of us poor ignorant fools, OK?

    Posted by: PAUL B. | Apr 27, 2012 3:46:46 PM

  12. @Peter M. (typo) community

    Posted by: Peter M. | Apr 27, 2012 3:48:25 PM

  13. As a married man I'm very much with the president. He's done more for gay Americans than was thought possible 5 years ago. No, he hasn't done everything we want but he's done a lot. My marriage is legal in my home state but means almost nothing in practical terms because of DOMA. That's the next big challenge.

    Posted by: jake | Apr 27, 2012 3:52:09 PM

  14. @ Peter M...thanks! I would be more inclined to blow a fuse if he didn't "evolve" more quickly in his second term. Right now, to get it done for us at all, he needs to be in the White House for a second term. The sad thing is that there's not a single viable alternative for us. Someone who is 100% with us and has a shot at the White House. So, if you have nothing to eat but bread & better learn to eat it.

    Posted by: PAUL B. | Apr 27, 2012 3:54:21 PM

  15. I really hope Obama gets re-elected...the other choice seems very scary to me...

    Posted by: George F | Apr 27, 2012 3:56:19 PM

  16. Sounds to me like he's clearly saying "I believe in it, but I can't say it at this time or else we risk losing the presidency". Frustrating, but I'd rather have that than have Romney in office.

    Posted by: Yuki | Apr 27, 2012 3:57:57 PM

  17. A man who spent moe than half his life in the closet and contributed nothing to the gay rights movement when it was most needed has no right to ask anyone anything.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Apr 27, 2012 4:02:15 PM

  18. So...I'm going to put this to rest now since it sounds like most of us are more or less in agreement. But...before I do...does anyone have an alternative that we should consider seriously...that can actually get to the White, not Ellen, not Oprah, not Rachel...not right now anyway!

    Posted by: PAUL B. | Apr 27, 2012 4:05:29 PM

  19. Well the main quibble I have on this issue is that no one seems to be able to answer why he can't sign the executive order AND continue to build human rights legislation. No one has ever answered that. You can do both.

    Posted by: Brim | Apr 27, 2012 4:11:01 PM

  20. "NOW NOW NOW, if I can't have it now I'll have it never!!!!"


    Go ahead then vote for Romney. You thought V for Vendetta was fiction...

    Posted by: Polyboy | Apr 27, 2012 4:11:03 PM

  21. I believe BO's for full equality, and plans on tackling the different facets of it in his second term. At this point, tho, it's all about strategy, and rightly so. The roadmap for repeal of DADT was well thought-out and worked beautifully--the man's no dummy. I also believe that, as a scholar of Constitutional law, he fully believes that DOMA won't stand as cases move thru the courts, and by refusing to defend it, he's making this belief quite clear. He's likely going to press for DOMA to be struck down, and likely has a detailed map ready to implement.

    In my opinion, what BO personally thinks about marriage equality isn't as important as the fact that the subject is being kept alive in the public discourse, and the public is becoming much more comfortable and accepting, and in favor, of it. Think about how it was viewed just 5 years ago! Without public opinion squarely in favor of it, achieving it ain't gonna happen. Those who keep screaming for BO to come out in favor of it, at this point in time, are selfish, short-sighted and myopic.

    Posted by: jim | Apr 27, 2012 4:25:05 PM

  22. @BRIM...I think it's pretty clear that if he took the executive order approach...he wouldn't have a second term to build human rights legislation. And...his executive order would be history with the next Republican president. Back to zero we go.

    Posted by: PAUL B. | Apr 27, 2012 4:26:33 PM

  23. There he goes, using his botched repeal of DADT as an "testament" to his "solidarity" with gays. What he fails to mention is how he defended it in court, and ultimately had Philip's precedent thrown out; in other words, according to Obama, DADT is constitutional. The ONLY reason it was repealed was due to the courts lighting a fire under his ass. Well, at least, NO THANKS TO HIM, even if DADT were to come back, the fact that nothing has happened and the fact that there is a precedence showing it's nonsense to ban gays from the military, at least the courts will have our backs. After all, how can you deny 7+ months of evidence?

    As for the hospital visitation rights, wasn't that preceded by comparing gay relationships to pedophilia and zoophilia? Yeah, I thought so.

    A "slew" of "regulations" to ensure "fair" treatment? What, exactly, is he talking about? Didn't he NOT sign the eXO for workplace protections? He's stupider than he looks if he thinks he can pull the "it happened, even though it really didn't" bull.

    And the AIDS travel ban? Oh yes, Mr. President, all teh gays have teh AIDS; rather, teh GRIDS. Who are you, Reagan? Is this still the 1980s? That's really just insult to injury now.

    To see him defending his stance AGAINST marriage equality, to see him deflect from it, I'm wondering if I'm reading an interview with one of the Republican candidates.
    The more he talks, the less I like him. But by now, the rage has subsided, and all I can come up with is sarcastic little quips. I simply don't have the strength to care anymore.

    Posted by: Matt | Apr 27, 2012 4:29:59 PM

  24. @JIM...thank you for your well thought out post. I couldn't agree with you more.

    Posted by: PAUL B. | Apr 27, 2012 4:31:57 PM

  25. sound upset...ya think?
    You took the time to write all that lovely stuff but not one minute suggesting a alternative to BO. Can you come up with something constructive?

    Posted by: PAUL B. | Apr 27, 2012 4:39:36 PM

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