Inquiring Gay Minds Want to Know What Gives?
by Charles Lemos, Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 04:04:36 PM EST
I have to ask the President-elect what gives? This is rather disconcerting and to be frank it reeks of selling out for political gain. I doubt that there is an answer that will satisfy me, other than you were right back in 1996 and wrong now, but many of us in the LGBT community are now rather curious as to how you could go backwards on this issue other than the obvious - that you sold out your principles for political gain as you climbed the ladder of success.
Don't get me wrong, I've never put my gay rights high on my own political agenda. I never expected to even remotely have the chance to marry in my lifetime but now that that opportunity has arisen, I am sure you will understand that I am reluctant to let it go. So Barack, what gives?
A document has emerged suggesting that Obama had taken more public, liberal stands in the past than had been revealed in the digging of reporters and opposition researchers over two years of campaigning, the latest of several pointing to a rightward shift as he moved into national politics.
In a 1996 questionnaire filled out for a Chicago gay and lesbian newspaper, then called Outlines, Obama came out clearly in favor of same-sex marriage, which he has opposed on the public record throughout his short career in national politics.
"I favor legalizing same-sex marriages,and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages," Obama wrote in the typed, signed, statement.
There was no use of "civil unions," and "no compromise whatsoever," the Windy City Times story today notes.
On another questionnaire the same year, Obama said he would support a resolution in support of same-sex marriage.
The editor of the Windy City Times, a successor of Outlines, Tracy Baim, said she hadn't deliberately held onto the news until after Obama's election. Baim, who had been the editor of Outlines at the time, said that just before the election, she ran across the old Outline story saying Obama backed same-sex marriage, but only dug his forgotten questionaire out of an old box this week, having assumed that she'd lost it.
Obama now says he opposes same-sex marriage, though he backs giving gays and lesbians a parallel package of marriage-like rights, and opposes a federal ban on same-sex marriage.
What gives Barack? And how can we get you to change your mind again? You realize that on election night, the Castro here in San Francisco rejoiced at your election. I cried and I was hardly your biggest fan. I can walk down any of the streets in my neighborhood and find Obama signs still in the window. I wonder how many of those will come down once this gets out which it will.
To be honest, I feel really betrayed. I don't just expect better from you, I demand it. Please get it together and honor your principles.