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Andrew Sullivan Holds Back Tears Talking About What Obama's Gay Marriage Endorsement Meant to Him: VIDEO


Andrew Sullivan, whose Newsweek article "The First Gay President" is getting a lot of attention as much for its text as its cover image, appeared on The Chris Matthews Show on Sunday and offered an emotional account of what Obama's announcement meant to him.

Said Sullivan:

It's hugely important and to tell you the truth, i didn't realize how important it would be until it happened. Beforehand, I was kind of steeled. I was like, 'I don't care, he's going to disappoint us again.' And then I sat down and watched our president tell me that I am his equal, that I'm no longer outside, I'm fully part of this family and to hear the president who is in some ways a father figure speak to that, the tears came down like with many people in our families, to be included.

I never understood the power of a president's words until that day, really. I thought, all that matters is the states and the Congress and the Defense of Marriage Act and I had all this in my head and suddenly this man saying, 'I'm with you, I get it, you're like me, I'm like you, there is nothing between us, we are the same people and we are equal human beings and I want to treat you the way you treat me.' That -- that was overwhelming. That's all I can say. I was at a loss for words.


Here's the full segment:

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  1. Wow. I have been a big fan of Andrew Sullivan's marriage equality work for years, and have been involved in pushing for marriage equality myself, since my now-wife and I had our "commitment ceremony" (remember those?) back in the mid 1990s.

    I could not have felt any more different than Mr. Sullivan when President Obama made his announcement. I was moved to SAD tears that he did not stand up for the principle of equality. Yes, he articulated his "evolved" personal opinion, but as this country's chief executive, I would have much rather heard him say that he stands for complete equality across our 50 states, not this "it's up to the states" mealy-mouthed caveat. I know, I know. It's not "practical" or it's "too much." No it isn't. He is a constitutional scholar and he knows darn well that the states' rights argument is a complete non-starter in re: civil rights. Whew. Got that festering opinion off my chest.....

    Posted by: Julie Cason | May 14, 2012 9:09:00 AM

  2. Is he still a republican?

    Posted by: rick scatorum | May 14, 2012 9:57:59 AM

  3. Well said Julie...maybe after the election (if he wins)?

    Posted by: rick scatorum | May 14, 2012 9:59:48 AM

  4. Andrew Sullivan was great!
    To me the cover sucked a rushed photoshop job.It should have been handled by an illustrator with less the obvious solution and more intelligence solution.
    Shame on Tina Brown and the art director for this missed opportunity. A cover could have been created worthy of this historic moment in time for President Obama and the LGBT community!

    Posted by: VDUFFORD | May 14, 2012 10:02:47 AM

  5. One in six Americans think Obama is a Muslim. Great, thanks to Sully and Tina Brown, Americans will think Obama is gay. Fox News and right-wing journos are going to have a field day.

    Posted by: Jymn | May 14, 2012 10:05:40 AM

  6. Careful JYMN, your internalized homophobia is showing.

    Posted by: MARCUS BACHMANN | May 14, 2012 10:29:11 AM

  7. Isn't Andrew Sullivan a republican? If so, take those tears and shove em! Is he even a citizen of the USA?

    Posted by: andrew | May 14, 2012 10:41:25 AM

  8. When Obama says he would leave it up to the states, what I believe he means is that he would leave it up to the states to choose BETWEEN same-sex marriage and civil unions.

    Of course, I suppose fortunately, no one asks him what he means exactly.

    Posted by: BobN | May 14, 2012 10:49:30 AM

  9. It doesn't matter what the President says. What matters is what is in the hearts of the people of this nation, and I don't think Obama's statement changed too many people one way or another.

    Posted by: Jack M | May 14, 2012 11:04:10 AM

  10. "It doesn't matter what the President says." LOL. Nice try, troll.

    Posted by: MARCUS BACHMANN | May 14, 2012 11:06:56 AM

  11. Sullivan has had a long, hard from from being a gay conservative (the type who desperately wanted republicans to believe that, "c'mon, you guys--we're just like you, really! Now please be nice to us. Okay? Okay? Please?") to finding his way as a liberal. And I believe the journey has been a fight with himself every step of the way. Occasionally he writes things that make me think he's had a relapse, but overall he's so much better than he was five years ago that I'll give him a pass on that.

    Posted by: Danny in the East Village | May 14, 2012 11:34:34 AM

  12. typo: "Sullivan has had a LONG HARD ROAD from being a gay conservative..." apologies.

    Posted by: Danny in the East Village | May 14, 2012 11:37:04 AM

  13. I don't know what Sullivan is anymore. I do know that every time I see him in front of a camera, he just fills me with disgust. It's so hard to take him seriously with all his neediness and hypocrisy. I hate that the media have taken him in as an LGT spokesman.

    His story and that f*ucking cover don't help.

    Posted by: Sean | May 14, 2012 11:50:40 AM

  14. AS has been a US citizen for years. Until 2006 or so, he called himself a conservative and had running book battles with anyone who would listen as to what that meant. It was really tilting at windmills. Overall, you can take the lad out of England but not England out of the lad. His crying is part of his politician fixations.

    Posted by: anon | May 14, 2012 12:01:41 PM

  15. I agree with you, Sean, this cover doesn't help anything. It's very clear for me that it's certainty an attack than a help.And what's the real Newsweek concern?

    Posted by: Eduardo Adauto | May 14, 2012 12:26:17 PM

  16. Can gay men not cry? Where are the strong gay men? I'm sick of seeing gay men cry on TV.

    Posted by: Bill | May 14, 2012 12:43:07 PM

  17. What is it about the statement "marriage should be left up to the States" that this egotistical windbag fails to understand? "We are equal human beings", my Black Gay Christian ass! May this f*g-baiting Newsweek cover hang over Andrew Sullivan's head like a dark cloud for the rest of his life! He and Tina Brown f*cking deserve each other.

    Posted by: Stuffed Animal | May 14, 2012 1:17:41 PM

  18. I'm not really sure where all the anti-AS hostility comes from. He's a great, articulate thinker. I don't think he'd call himself a Republican any more, but I do think he's a voice for real conservatism -- the kind that is very libertarian when it comes to social issues. I find a lot of what he writes really interesting, and well-founded.

    Posted by: Mark in Portland | May 14, 2012 2:23:53 PM

  19. I like to think that I stopped caring a long time ago what the status quo thinks of me; however I will never forget the moment I heard Bill Clinton include "gays" in his DNC acceptance speach. I wasn't moved to tears but I suddenly felt included in a way I was unaware of until that moment.
    AS is crying because he will never get that from his political or spiritual leaders. Pity.

    Posted by: Jack | May 14, 2012 3:38:27 PM

  20. Typical Sullivan—in just two paragraphs he mentions himself 13 times. He always seems to be the center of any article he writes.

    Posted by: James Peron | May 14, 2012 3:49:45 PM

  21. He says that he is a conservative, but not a Republican. This happened through his disgust with Bush and the Iraq war and Bush's use of torture. Also his disgust with what he calls the "christianist" evangelical right, although he still considers himself a Catholic. He is a big supporter of Obama, who he considers a pragmatic conservative. I have mixed feelings about AS. I appreciate his intelligence and his ability to speak and argue well in front of the camera. He is also upfront and outspoken about being a pwa. His blog is one of the few that has a consistently intelligent tone and presents many different viewpoints without degenerating into mudslinging. That being said, I think it has taken him an awfully long time to understand what it really means to be a "conservative" in the U.S.. I grew up in rural america, and I understand that "conservative" has ALWAYS meant the evangelical, US-out-of-the-UN, John Birch Society crowd, it has never really been some sort of Oxford Tory-ism. Who knows, if he lives long enough AS may yet become a communist in his old age.

    Posted by: entrepoid | May 14, 2012 6:53:33 PM

  22. I don't know who disgusts me more, getting all emotional over politics like this; or being so needy of affirmation that it matters what the President says at all; or all the people having their usual mindless idiotic partisan hypocritical little fits over Sullivan being a Conservative.

    Posted by: NVTodd | May 15, 2012 9:14:01 AM

  23. Sullivan's melodrama really killed his message. He's always been over the top (usually to the right side of things) but either way it is too much!

    Posted by: pavelb | May 15, 2012 8:09:47 PM

  24. That photograph makes Andrew Sullivan look like a guilty televangelical confessing his crimes. He should be crying because the Time piece was a gift to Obama's enemies and gay enemies. Of course he would never see it that way. It's about him and his ego.
    This is one time I wish someone was straight.

    Posted by: Josh | Jul 23, 2012 5:14:09 PM

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