The HRC had its big gala black tie dinner with all the rich old gays and their hot young escorts. President Obama addressed the gathering. They applauded and cheered and practically promised to support his re-election in 2012.
Meanwhile, the people outside on the streets marched in outrage at the administration's inaction on gay rights issues. The HRC is proud of Obama's vague promise about gays in the military. The real gays outside could care less about the army, they just want to get married. Obama said nothing about marriage, nothing about health insurance, and nothing about the 150,000 angry people who just happen to be gathered on his lawn.
Obama spoke about "the day when no one has to fear being gay in America, when no one has to fear walking down the street holding the hand of the person they like." This is important, of course. What the marchers outside were saying is: we have that. We are not afraid. But we are still disadvantaged. Protecting our bones from bodily harm is important. But it is not enough. It falls short of offering fully equal status.
Anyone who listens to Obama's speech at the dinner cannot help but be wowed by his aura, his delivery, and his seeming commitment, but it still falls short of where we should be.
UPDATE: Actually, the more I listen the more I am wooed by the extent to which he went in his oratory. True, he spoke about most of it in the language of "his beliefs", not in his capacity as President. He told a nice story about the history of PFLAG. But many people have decided it is time to judge him on his record, not his audacity, his hope, his aspirations, or his speeches.
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