In 6 July editorial, LGBT news magazine the Advocate endorsed President Barack Obama.
‘Barack Obama is a leader of undeniable accomplishment, vision, and integrity on LGBT rights,’ the editorial says.
The magazine has not given such an endorsement in many years, and admits it had prolems with Obama’s LGBT equality stategy. However, the Obama way has won many accomplishments for gay and lesbian rights.
‘He has approached many of our challenges with intellect and foresight, though the long game was not often apparent to many, including this publication when we argued for a quicker pace for change. Obama deftly ended the military’s 17-year-long “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, allowing enough military leaders to reject the policy before pushing for repeal so that there was little room for Republican opposition. He has directed the Justice Department to not defend aspects of the extraordinarily discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, calling it unconstitutional and urging its repeal. Now five federal judges have declared parts of DOMA unconstitutional.’
The magazine spends considerable length on Obama’s evolved position on same sex marriage. Although his support of marriage rights is only words, the editorial reminds rhetoric matters because of his unique place in the world stage.
‘While he is our president at home, globally he’s an icon, a symbol of the promise of America, of the promise of equality. Obama may be the most prominent man on the planet ever, given the pervasiveness of modern media and his anomalous and historic nature as the first black American president; he is surely the single most recognizable head of state on the globe. By virtue of his unique position, his endorsement of marriage equality is not merely rhetoric. His words constitute action. On the very face of it, his statement is enormous, and has the power to move millions in a way that a statement from no other person could have.’
While Obama is praised, Mitt Romney is taken to task. The prime issue seems to be the Republican challenger has, over the years, uttered pro and anti-LGBT talking points.
‘Obama can easily be contrasted with his opponent, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who as a businessman candidate for U.S. Senate in 1994 declared that he’d be “better than Ted Kennedy” on gay rights. He made similar statements in his 2002 gubernatorial run. Yet in 2005, at a Republican rally in South Carolina, journalist Chris Matthews asked, “Do you think there’s any difference, really, between a gay marriage and something called a civil union?” Romney replied, “Well, I would rather have neither, to tell you the truth.” In 2004 he decried LGBTs “actually having children.” His distaste for LGBTs was palpable.’
According to recent polls, Obama will need as much support as possible to win the November election. In the most recent Gallup tracking poll the president has a slim lead over his challenger, 48 percent to 43.