In a move drawing outrage from gay rights leaders and the San Francisco District Attorney, the campaign to eliminate marriage for same-sex couples in California mailed flyers to voters with a picture of Barack Obama -- and Michele -- and a quote: "I'm not in favor of gay marriage." The message "Vote Yes on Prop 8" appears under Obama's image.
But Obama had gone on record AGAINST Prop 8, and the flyer was a blatant attempt to mislead California voters into believing to the contrary.
When National Center for Lesbian Rights legal director Shannon Minter brought this to my attention, I said it was especially infuriating because four days before the election Obama could not afford to publicly disavow it. Well, I was selling short the man I hope will be our next President. In fact, late Friday evening his campaign put out a statement reaffirming his opposition to Prop 8. It gave me a pinch-me-I-must-be-dreaming moment.
In response to the mailer, the Obama campaign released the following statement:
Senators Obama and Biden have made clear their commitment to fighting for equal rights for all Americans whether it's by granting LGBT Americans all the civil rights and benefits available to heterosexual couples, or repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' Senator Obama has already announced that the Obama-Biden ticket opposes Proposition 8 and similar discriminatory constitutional amendments that could roll back the civil rights he and Senator Biden strongly believe should be afforded to all Americans.
When Congress passed DOMA weeks before the 1996 election, President Clinton signed it. It was widely believed that a veto would torpedo his reelection. Obama's response to this one misleading flyer is nowhere near as consequential as vetoing a law passed by Congress, but, still, I expected caution on Obama's part, and therefore silence.
I'm writing tonight from Hampton, Virginia, where I've been working this week on Get Out The Vote. The volunteers range from young people to 92. We work tirelessly. We have fun. We have faith in the future. And tonight my faith just deepened.
Crossposted from Beyond Straight and Gay Marriage