President Barack Obama will be hosting LGBT leaders at a White House reception tonight in honor of Gay Pride Month.
With marriage equality won in New York last week, the president was asked about his position on same-sex marriage at a news conference today and he said: “I’m not going to make news on that today. I’ll keep giving you the same answer until I give you a different one. And that won’t be today.”
Let’s face it, the president is simply not going to support same-sex marriage with an election coming up next year to give ammunition to his opponents with so many battleground states key to his reelection.
It’s a pity though because with the civil rights battle of our time in full swing, it’s such an opportunity for the president to speak out for full equality.
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Instead, he retreated to the states argument: “I think it is important for us to work through these issues – because each community is going to be different and each state’s going to be different – to work through them.”
He said he believe that ultimately the principle of equality will “win out.”
“It’s not going to be perfectly smooth,” the president said. “And it turns out that the president – I discovered since I’ve been in this office – can’t dictate precisely how this process moves. But I think we’re moving in a direction of greater equality, and I think that’s a good thing.”
He defended his administration’s overall record on equality: “This administration, under my direction, has consistently said we cannot discriminate as a country against people on the basis of sexual orientation,” Mr. Obama said. “We have done more in the two and a half years that I been in here than the previous 43 presidents to uphold that principle, whether it’s ending ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ making sure that gay and lesbian partners can visit each other in hospitals, making sure that federal benefits can be provided to same-sex couples, across the board – hate crimes – we have made sure that that is a central principle of this administration because I think it’s a central principle of America.”