Pam Spaulding

CNN report 'Gay Issues Closing In On Obama' shows the MSM is noticing the White House silence

Filed By Pam Spaulding | May 08, 2009 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Media
Tags: Don't Ask Don't Tell, LGBT, marriage equality, Obama Administration

When I walked in the door yesterday evening, I caught the last minute or so of a segment on CNN, "Gay Issues Closing In On Obama." This is an interesting breakthrough, because finally, finally, there is recognition by the MSM that this administration has done everything in its power to remain silent on anything g-a-y, even to the point of looking foolish as landmark rulings in state courts and legislative actions have affirmed that gay and lesbian couples are equal under the law and have the right to marry.

It's kind of hard to ignore a report like this; it even includes PressSec Robert Gibbs giving his feeble response the other day to ABC's Jake Tapper when he was asked about the President's reaction to marriage equality in Maine.

The transcript is below the fold.

I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

A very sensitive issue -- the issue of gay rights. President Obama taking a relatively low key stance right now on what's going on.

Let's go to our senior political correspondent, Candy Crowley -- Candy, it's always a sensitive issue for politicians.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. And no less so now. It is completely unclear whether same-sex marriage is an issue who's time is coming. In fact, the polls would argue against that. Regardless, it's an issue that can't be ignored -- or can it?


CROWLEY (voice-over): During the 100 plus days of the Obama administration...


CROWLEY: ...three more states -- Iowa, Vermont, and now Maine -- have sanctioned same-sex marriage.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The legislators understood that this is about families. This is about committed couples.

CROWLEY: But nary a word from President Obama. Think 10 foot pole.

ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, I think the president's position on same-sex marriage is -- has been talked about and discussed.

CROWLEY: The question is, how long can the silence last?

STEVE ELMENDORF, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: The more states approve it, the more pressure will build on federal office holders, including a president, to take a stand on gay marriage.

CROWLEY: Public support for same-sex marriage has slowly grown over the years, still the latest CNN Public Opinion Corporation poll found that 44 percent of Americans support it, while 54 percent are opposed. Broken down by party, Democrats overwhelmingly favor it, Republicans overwhelmingly oppose it, but this is what makes it politically tricky. The majority of independents, largely the voters who decide elections, are opposed.

CROWLEY: So same sex marriage remains a political hot spot, circled carefully by most politicians, including the president. During the campaign, he said that he supported civil unions. Same-sex marriage did not fit his definition of marriage.

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. For me as a Christian it is also a sacred union. CROWLEY: Some in the gay community are also restless that the candidates they saw as sympathetic to their causes has seemed less so in office. He has not as promised pushed for repeals of don't ask don't tell in the military. There are complaints the president has not adequately funded AIDS prevention programs. Openly gay people have been given substantial positions in the administration, but some activists hope for a cabinet seat. And the selection of Rick Warren, an Evangelist who opposes gay marriage, to speak at the inauguration still wrangles some in the gay community. Still there is a willingness to be patient. Washington lobbyists and democratic strategist Steve Elmendorf.

ELMENDORF: I think people are very clear that Barack Obama is the most pro-gay president we've had. He's great on 90 percent of the issues that the gay community cares about. At some point they're going to hope that he changes on the 10 percent.

CROWLEY: Elmendorf adds that the majority in the gay community understand that the president has a lot on his plate right now, there is time.


CROWLEY: In the end, on many of the issues of particular concern to gays, the president is likely to deliver, but given the current political dynamics, his support for gay marriage remains a non- starter. That will take a lot of time. Wolf?

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: All right Candy. Thanks very much.

And there's more; a discussion between Wolf, Mary Matalin and Paul Begala followed that report. Click over for the rest of the transcript.

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sorry, I livew north of the 49th so I don't understand: what's MSM ?

MSM is either men who have sex with men - the politicaly correct term for closet cases, or mainstream media.

I have alway hated the "gay" being used as a noun instead of an adjective. Crowley should realize how offensive that is. I do not like being called "gays". I prefer gay people. It is a subtle dehumanization. I do not like hearing people say "blacks" either. Nobody goes around on CNN saying yada yada yada "whites" yada yada yada "straights" yada yada yada.

Now let's hope they stay on the case and keep Obama's feet to the fire on our behalf...

Gerri Ladene | May 9, 2009 10:12 AM

Where the change comes from will be in Congress, the Prez will follow, even if he makes comments respecting his religious beliefs.

1st Amendment....Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion....

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. For me as a Christian it is also a sacred union.

Christian beliefs are not the only beliefs in this nation but, it is the one that wants to make everyone else believe their way is the only way. Actually the same could be said for the rest! No matter how it's painted, when it comes down to it, religion is biggest deterrent to true freedom. Historically, religion has been the political motivator of some of the harshest, cruelest treatment against its opponents!

Crow-ley is just another talking head!

Marc Paige | May 9, 2009 11:05 AM

With all the problems Obama inherited from Bush, can't we agree to give him 1 year to deal with the economy, the wars, and repairing international relations before we start putting pressure regarding gay issues. Slowly, hate crimes has been moving forward, and i have no doubt Obama intends to pass ENDA, and repeal DADT and DOMA. But NOT IN HIS FIRST YEAR! Give him a little space, and time. Let one year go by, and then let's push our great new President to do what he knows is right for our community and our nation.

beachcomberT | May 9, 2009 3:46 PM

And in Year 2, the excuse will be: we have to put off gay rights so the Republicans don't make inroads in the mid-term elections. And in Year 3, the excuse will be: presidential campaign heating up, wait til the 2nd term.
Hey, Lyndon Johnson had to deal with Vietnam escalation and other big issues, but he found time to push the Civil Rights Act even though it cost the Democratic Party its domination of the South. I'm waiting for similar brave leadership from Obama.
We're not asking for a lot -- just the undoing of the garbage inherited from Bill Clinton (DOMA, DADT) would be a good start.

No, we as a community have been sold down the river by yet one more politician, except this one is from our own camp.

I just wish people would speak of these issues as LGBT issues instead of constantly calling them and printing them as Gay issues. It kind of reminds people that we are a widely varied community and not just HRC poster boys.

I also don't like to be referred to as a "gay" but I'm not wild about LGBT, either; and, to be truly inclusive, the alphabet soup would need to be LGBTATHISTSOAQYe (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, androgynous, transsexual, hermaphrodite, inter-sexed, two-spirited, omnisexual, asexual, questioning youth, etc)

so, I'm one of those who supports reclaiming the Q word and using it as a badge of non-conformist, independent rebellion