President Barack Obama demonstrated his pro-gay credentials last week by having Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett renounce comments  she had made that 15-year-old gay suicide victim Justin Aaberg had been bullied because of a “lifestyle choice” he had made.
The remarks topped off a busy week of fierce advocacy from our Fierce Advocate  for gay rights, coming as it did after Obama’s Justice Department filed a fierce brief appealing  U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro’s overturning of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and an advocatory brief appealing  U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips’ injunction against Pentagon enforcement of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT).
The administration evidently hates DADT so much that it disobeyed  Philips’ injunction and upheld DADT by allowing a Texas recruiting station to refuse  reenlistment to decorated veteran Omar Lopez, who had been ousted after five years of service in the Navy for “homosexual admission.”
Obama has been insisting that DADT “will end on my watch.” Given his actions over the past year-and-a-half, perhaps what he really means is that when someone—anyone—other than him takes steps to repeal it, he’ll be “sure to watch.”
Meanwhile, evidence for the administration’s ludicrous claim that immediate lifting of the ban will have “enormous consequences” for the military has yet to materialize .
In the midst of all this fierce advocacy, the national gay Republican group Log Cabin Republicans (LCR) won an actual victory, in the form of Phillips’ injunction against DADT last Tuesday, the next step in the resolution of the case LCR had successfully filed opposing the policy.
LCR and fellow gay conservative group GOProud also called out New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino for his lunkheaded complaints to a group of conservative orthodox rabbis in the Bronx that homosexuality was not a “successful or valid” option and that schools shouldn’t “brainwash” students into accepting it.
The effect of denouncements by these and other Republican groups was that Paladino almost entirely walked back his comments within 24 hours of being criticized, concluding with this statement  on Tuesday—“I am 100 percent unequivocally pro gay rights, except for one thing: gay marriage”—which, if true, technically puts him on the same place on the political spectrum on gay issues as Obama. (A report late last week that Paladino had once been the landlord  for two popular Buffalo gay clubs, Cobalt and Buddies II, arguably makes him even more fabulous than Obama.)
Paladino remarked , “I’ve been a high supporter of the gay community my entire career and I will continue to be. The Log Cabin people know that. The gay community in Buffalo knows that. They know my nature and they know the way I’ve been. The real message is getting out.”
As regressive as Paladino is in his personal beliefs, he is indisputably more susceptible to moderation on gay issues than his rival Andrew Cuomo is on taxes, government regulation, and state interference in economic matters. Did I miss Cuomo’s public statement asserting, “I’ve been a high supporter of the Constitution and limited government my entire career and I will continue to be. The Tea Party people know that. The conservatives in Albany know that. They know my nature and they know the way I’ve been. The real message is getting out.”
Paladino’s reversal cost  him the endorsement of Rabbi Yehuda Levin, leader of the Orthodox Jewish community to whom Paladino originally made his statements on homosexuality, thus negating the effect of his making the comments in the first place.
Anyway, what role will Paladino actually have in gay issues in his (self-declared) one term as governor, except for vetoing gay marriage should it pass (he has stated he will uphold it if decided in a referendum)? In contrast, is Cuomo as susceptible to withdrawing his support for crippling taxes on high earners, ObamaCare, cap-and-trade, etc., in the 12 terms he’ll serve if voted into office?
Paladino’s lieutenant governor candidate Greg Edwards similarly demonstrated his loathing of gays by attending a Log Cabin political action committee fundraiser at the Soldiers’ Sailors’ Marines’ Coast Guard & Airmen’s Club in Manhattan last Tuesday, the day Paladino apologized for his comments. The event’s speakers included New York Republican State Committee Chairman Ed Cox and two pro-gay marriage Republican New York State Assembly members, as well as Republican minority leader B. Dean Skelos, who promised to bring gay marriage back up for a vote if the GOP becomes the majority party next year and urged all Republicans to feel free to “vote their conscience.”
In other recent Republicans-are-doing-more-for-gays-than-Obama news, Republican-appointed Republican judge Vaughn Walker overturned Prop 8 in California last month. The lawsuit against California was filed by the two lawyers who argued Bush v. Gore in 2000, and the effort was spearheaded in particular by one of them (hint: it was the Republican).
The growing list of prominent Republicans who support same-sex marriage now includes: Dick Cheney, Ted Olson, Laura Bush, Glenn Beck, Cindy McCain, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The list of Democrats who oppose gay marriage still includes: Barack Obama.
For 20 months, the Obama administration has been steadily doing everything it can to bolster the case  that Democratic politicians are no better on gay issues than Republican politicians.