Friday, January 30, 2009

Does President Obama Have Gay Issues?

by LEO E. LAURENCE • Copyright © 2009 by Leo E. Laurence

As President-elect Barack Obama was being deified by the mainstream news media just before his inauguration, a comic strip published in the San Diego Union-Tribune suggested an explanation for Obama’s troubling selection of a prominent anti-Gay pastor to deliver the inaugural invocation.

And, as many Gays and Lesbians were saying privately, but none on the record that we could find, Obama may have Gay issues.

After all, he appointed no Gay to any prominent position in his new administration. There are a few low-level, inconsequential, “liaison” positions given to token Gays and Lesbians.

Even during the inaugural parade, Obama’s team made no “suggestions” to the TV networks to show any Gays participating.

Indeed, as a Gay unit was approaching the reviewing stand where President Obama was watching, the TV news coverage quickly cut away to another scene. The TV news anchor didn’t even mention the participating Gay unit.

If the Obama team had wanted any TV news exposure to be given to Gay units in his inaugural parade, it would have been done.

Gay Issues?

Does President Barack Obama have unresolved or closeted Gay issues?

Some Gays and Lesbians will deplore even the suggestion.

But consider this: the president is an incredibly handsome man. Photos of him when he was at Harvard Law reveal a very good-looking, muscular man with an attractive smooth chest (so popular in the Gay Community). He had — and still has — brilliant eyes and flat abs.

It seems incredulous that such a hot-looking young man in college would not be cruised, some-where and sometime.

How did he handle it?

How does he cope now with even the suggestion of the issue, as president?

What have been his behind-the-scenes reactions when the possibility, however remote, has been raised?

Comic Strip

The comic strip that raised the issue, albeit subtly, was La Cucaracha.

One of the comic strip’s characters sent a congratulatory cell-phone text message to Obama.

“And, u don’t have to explain y u got dat anti-Gay pastor Rick Warren, blessifying at ur inaug to ME,” the comic strip’s character wrote in his text message to Obama.

“Oh, really,” the president responds.

“It diffuses the talk about your ‘orientation,’” the comic-strip character writes in his return mes-sage to Obama.

“Oh, come on!,” Obama responds in the comic strip.

“Maybe ease up on the rock-hard abs, stud,” the comic strip character concludes.

Sometimes, comic strip characters are more real than our perceived reality.

It is interesting that the “sexual orientation” issue vis-à-vis President-elect Obama (at the time of the comic’s publication) had apparently only been raised in a comic strip, even though he was a hot man as a law student at Harvard.

If the president does have secret Gay issues, then he would do like most closet cases, and do whatever is necessary to diffuse any discussion of sexual orientation — past or present.

And it could all be in the secrecy of his mind, where scrutiny is impossible.

Of course, he may make a casual reference to “Gays and Lesbians” in a speech somewhere, thereby appeasing the Gay community which helped with millions of dollars and thousands of vol-unteer hours in his campaign.

I’ve heard many, many Gays in San Diego raise the “sexual orientation” issue in private discus-sions, but none had the guts to explore it publicly.

If the issue is raised publicly now, perhaps by a bold reporter in the White House press corps; I can hear him saying that he has “known many Gays and Lesbians in the past, and supports their civil rights.”

But does he?

During the campaign, Obama said several times that he was opposed to one of the hottest issues in the Gay community: Gay marriages.

Though he made a pro forma endorsement against Proposition 8 in the November 4 election, he expended no political capital to defeat the initiative. just like the Mormons.

His position as a candidate — that he supported domestic partnerships but not marriage equality for same-sex couples — was the same as that officially taken by the Yes on 8 campaign.

What’s more, as a scholar and former professor of Constitutional law, Obama must know there is a huge difference in the legal rights of the parties in a domestic partnership, as compared with a marriage.

That difference is explored extensively in the California Supreme Court’s Opinion legalizing Gay marriages in May of 2008.

On the major issue of Gay marriage, President Obama is no friend of the Gay community.

On picking a pastor to deliver the invocation at his inauguration, Obama was no friend of the Gay community.

The Gay professionals in the community are coming up with all sorts of rationalizations to excuse president Obama’s positions, which many nonetheless sincerely believe are homophobic.

Hopefully, the issue may somehow penetrate the shell that now surrounds the president.

But don’t hold your breath.