Obama courts LGBT vote

The president has launched a new website and video touting his "evolution" on gay marriage

Topics: 2012 Elections, Barack Obama,

After a long “evolution” on marriage equality, the Obama campaign is moving to take full ownership over LGBT rights as a political issue today, rolling out a new website and video narrated by Glee’s Jane Lynch.

Lynch, who married her partner in 2010 after New York legalized same-sex marriage, praises Obama in the video, calling him “a leader who not only acknowledged the LGBT community, but who embraced us.” Lynch ticks off a series of Obama’s accomplishments, saying the president has made “more significant advances on LGBT issues than other president that came before him.”

But on a conference call this morning, campaign officials said the website, called “Obama Pride,” is as much about touting the president’s advances on LGBT rights as it is a means to organize and engage with the LGBT community. “We will run robust LGBT Vote programming to turn out LGBT voters this November,” said National LGBT vote director Jamie Citron.

The five-minute video also features new interview-style footage of Obama, who explains how his view on marriage has changed over time and notes that “we’ve seen a profound cultural shift just over the past decade,”

Indeed, the roll out — timed to coincide with Harvey Milk Day — comes as a new Washington Post/ABC News poll finds opposition to gay marriage at all time low in the wake of Obama’s announcement.

That puts Obama on the right side of history, the campaign said. “[Mitt] Romney’s position on same-sex marriage is also historic but not in the way it should be,” said Obama co-chair Joe Solmonese, the outgoing president of the LGBT advocacy group Human Rights Coalition, who noted that Romney has pledged to push for an anti-marriage equality amendment.

While the marriage reversal carries major political risks, the aggressive PR effort from the deliberate Obama campaign suggests they feel confident that Obama’s stance on gay rights will be a net gain, politically. Already, fundraising is reportedly up as both disillusioned gay Democrats and even some gay Republicans are coming back into the fold. Indeed, the founder of the Log Cabin Republicans, Rich Tafel, told NPR last weekend that he’s considering defecting to Obama in light of the announcement. If the campaign and Jane Lynch have their way, he won’t be the last.

Alex Seitz-Wald

Alex Seitz-Wald is Salon's political reporter. Email him at aseitz-wald@salon.com, and follow him on Twitter @aseitzwald.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Burger King Japan

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.

    Elite Daily/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    McDonald's Black Burger: Because the laws of competition say that once Burger King introduces a black cheeseburger, it's only a matter of time before McDonald's follows suit. You still don't have to eat it.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Arby's Meat Mountain: The viral off-menu product containing eight different types of meat that, on second read, was probably engineered by Arby's all along. Horrific, regardless.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.

    Michele Parente/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Boston Pizza's Pizza Cake: The people's choice winner of a Canadian pizza chain's contest whose real aim, we'd imagine, is to prove that there's no such thing as "too far." Currently in development.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    7-Eleven's Doritos Loaded: "For something decadent and artificial by design," wrote one impassioned reviewer, "it only tasted of the latter."

  • Recent Slide Shows



Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>