Obama's Pro-Gay Letter
The gay community in California was handed a golden vote-getting opportunity on a silver platter, pardon my metallic metaphors, when wildly-popular candidate Barack Obama sent a very pro-gay letter to the Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club in June. In part, it read:
As the Democratic nominee for President, I am proud to join with and support the LGBT community in an effort to set our nation on a course that recognizes LGBT Americans with full equality under the law. That is why I support extending fully equal rights and benefits to same sex couples under both state and federal law. ...
And that is why I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states. ...
Finally, I want to congratulate all of you who have shown your love for each other by getting married these last few weeks.
Even to my Green Party eyes, I can see a terrific letter from a Democrat that would definitely help sway voters to oppose Prop 8. But, as we all know, the A-gays who ran No on 8, and the straight political consultants they outsourced the decision-making process to, chose not to use the Obama letter in any campaign materials.
And what exactly was the reason why Steve Smith of DeweySquare, a Sacramento-based consuluting firm affiliated with the Democratic Party, did nothing with Obama's words of support for gay couples?
The answer came from Smith at the February 26 town hall in San Francisco, and was reported on this week in the Bay Area Reporter:
Smith also acknowledged that the campaign should have used then-presidential candidate Barack Obama's stated opposition to Prop 8. Instead, little use was made of Obama's opposition in a letter last June to the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, and right before Election Day the Yes on 8 campaign sent out a mailer featuring Obama's image and quotes that he is opposed to same-sex marriage.
"That was a close call," Smith said. "Maybe we should have."
Smith said that people outside the Bay Area wouldn't know what the Alice Club was, but club Co-Chair Susan Christian spoke up and said that in fact, Obama's letter to the club been widely reported, including in the New York Times.
How nauseating to know that Smith, whose firm received hundreds of thousands of gay dollars for their expertise, is such a lazy thinker.
Instead of touting who the letter was from, all Smith saw was who the Obama was addressed to.
It shouldn't have mattered who received the letter, just that it was from our likely next president and would have done much to influence minority and independent voters to cast no ballots on Prop 8.
The inability of Smith and the No on 8 leaders to take advantage of the letter, and to now blame their inaction on an LGBT Democratic club named after a dead dyke rattles my queer sensibilities.
Someone should demand a refund from Smith and DeweySquare for their political malpractice.