Obama Opens the Yellow Brick Road

Rob Tisinai

May 9th, 2012

I just sent $100 to President Obama’s campaign fund. Yes, this GayTM has reopened. I guess this means I won’t get yelled at by any more clueless Democratic campaign workers.

My heart sings. It does. In 1980 there was not one openly gay person in my 1600-student high school. In 1989, Denmark was the first nation to introduce civil unions (not even marriage!), and I thought, That will never, never, never happen here. I doubt 20-somethings today can even comprehend what that world was like. And twenty years from now it will boggle kids’ minds to imagine a presidential election with no serious candidate standing up for marriage equality.

Because that time is over!

But a part of me leans back, crosses my arms, frowns, and says: Mm hmm.

I’ve been thinking that the president’s “evolution” resembles the way a lot of people come out. At first, your feelings are secret. You even deny them out loud. But folks start to suspect –your closest friends wonder, and the idea ripples out beyond your inner circle. Still you deny it, and your friends play along, and they get used to the notion, and it’s not even scandalous. They discuss it. They wonder why you don’t just come out with it. They start to view the whole thing as a character flaw — not because of what you’re hiding, but because you keep hiding it! At some point, events catch up with you, and with a hurried epiphany you realize the costs of hiding are worse than the costs of being open. So finally, at long last, to everyone’s relief — even the relief of those who don’t like the fact — you come out of that damn closet.

Is that what happened with Obama? Or perhaps this was all staged. Obama knows that endorsing something will solidify a part of the country against it. (Would those Republican New York State Senators have been able to vote for a marriage equality law that Obama campaigned for?) So Obama, canny politician, deliberately minimized the blowback. He deliberately let it become an open secret, deliberately drained it of its shock value, deliberately let Biden and Duncan force the issue, and finally deliberately announced it after everybody figured it was coming anyway.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. It’s happened Obama can claim another civil rights first. He hasn’t just broken the color barrier — he’s opened the yellow brick road.  He’s giving back, repaying the fighters and activists of previous generations who made his own election possible, so that now, somewhere, in a tiny little no-name corner of the nation, a bright and talented gay kid has suddenly realized: I can be president.

Ben in Oakland

May 9th, 2012

I also sent a contribution today, and one yesterday to the Democraats. I sent my first contribution to a politician in 20 years after DADT went.

Tony

May 9th, 2012

“I just sent $100 to President Obama’s campaign fund.”

I will be doing the same very shortly. I think the DNC could also use a contribution.

Patricia Kayden

May 9th, 2012

I always knew that President Obama, as sensible as he is, supported marriage equality. Very glad that he stopped pretending otherwise. He may lose a few votes, but will gain a lot of respect for taking a principled stance on this important civil rights issue.

DN

May 9th, 2012

GodDAMN that fifth paragraph is a great summary of what coming out was like for me. Nevermind the way you made me guffaw with your opening line.

As always, an on-point analysis from Rob. Great job!

CPT_Doom

May 9th, 2012

As far as timing is concerned, this may be the best for Obama. Had he done this before the NC vote, the fundies would have claimed the vote was a rejection of the President.

jpeckjr

May 9th, 2012

Watched the video clip and just kept saying “Wow.” Over and over again.

I told you people the other day Biden and Duncan were signaling the President’s position and testing the waters for a DNC platform item. Oh, I just love being right! Not that it happens very often.

jpeckjr

May 9th, 2012

We should also send contributions to the MN and ME marriage equality efforts. A vote in favor of marriage equality is necessary for the game to truly change.

Rob Tisinai

May 9th, 2012

jpeckjr, I got a call from the group in Maine a few weeks ago, and he was about 5 seconds into his pitch when I surprised him with, “Yeah, is $20 okay?”

(Hey, I have a mortgage!)

Seriously, anything to break the opposition’s mantra of “Every time it’s been put to a vote by the people…”

And Maine is our best bet for that.

Richard Rush

May 9th, 2012

I also donated to Obama’s campaign fund today. This is the first time I’ve ever donated to a political candidate in my 67 years of life!

CPT_Doom

May 9th, 2012

I dumped $250 into Obama’s re-election today. I had vowed to refrain from contributions until Obama came out for same-sex marriage, therefore believing I would escape without any hit to my bank account this election season. Damn that BHO!

Seriously though, the very fact that the fundies are fuming shows this was the right move.

Reed

May 11th, 2012

Like Ben in Oakland (hello, up there) who I actually knew for a short time a million years ago . . . I’m in with my dollars.

And I’m grinning like an idiot – except at that last sentence, which made me tear up excessively. I shall blame that on allergies.

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required)
(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

 

Latest Posts

Texas Leads A Five-State Lawsuit Over Obamacare Transgender Rules

Wikileaks Outs Saudi Gay Men, Male Rape Victims, People With HIV

Is Australia's Marriage Equality Plebiscite Doomed?

Today's Agenda Is Brought To You By...

Today In History, 1970: New York Times Looks At "Homosexuals In Revolt"

Today In History, 1977: "The Advocate" Reports Another FBI Document Dump On Gay Rights Groups

Today In History, 1977: Houston Klan: "We Endorse and Seek the Execution of All Homosexuals"

Today In History, 1988: Canada's Largest Protestant Church Accepts Gay Ordination

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.