President Obama's "evolution" on gay marriage may be on hold but he has a message to LGBT supporters: I've been pretty good to you.
Last week, the president angered parts of his base by refusing to issue an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT people. Journalist and author Charles Kaiser said the decision was "baffling and disturbing." The New York TImes editorial board called it a "sin of omission" and The Human Rights campaign was reportedly "shocked" by the decision.
Possibly to smooth over the backlash to the decision, President Obama's staff jumped on twitter earlier today with this message:
What three years of progress for the LGBT community looks like: OFA.BO/SLTsxT— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 20, 2012
The link takes you to the Obama-Biden website, where a glossy infographic of a rainbow road from 2009 to present day presents his track record on LGBT issues. It's not all that different from the timeline we drafted last week (Of course, the administration included more minor initiatives to fill it out). What you'll notice in today's timeline that we noticed in our own last week, is there's a measurable slow down on LGBT activity once the 2012 calendar year begins.
Sure, you're seeing some activity but some of these are rather innocuous or vague gestures, like February 13's entry: "Proposed a 2013 federal budget for an economy built to last including providing security for the LGBT community." What does that even mean? Also, the final entry which doesn't have a date associated with it says the administration "ensured" that transgender vets would receive "respectful care." How did it "ensure" this?
Obviously, the elephant in the room is gay marriage. Is the president just signaling—be patient, I'll take care of it after the election—or is this more of a You should be happy with what you've got statement? Whatever the case is, signs show this "evolution" process is becoming frustrating to the gay community. Note the tweets piling up in the president's "@" box:
@BarackObama Uh, you don't even believe gays/lesbians should be allowed to marry. Hypocrite!— Julie Betts Piskula (@JulieLvsPACKERS) April 20, 2012
@BarackObama except you've been silent on full civil equality for the LGBT community.— Matt Rabatin (@mattyrab) April 20, 2012
@BarackObama It'd look even better if you supported same-sex marriage.— Hemant Mehta (@hemantmehta) April 20, 2012