President Obama can’t seem to keep his team on message when it comes to gay issues.
From ABC News’ Jake Tapper
Melody Barnes, the head of President Obama’s Domestic Policy Council, told students at Boston College Law School on Nov. 9 that she disagrees with her boss on the issue of same-sex marriage.
“I really appreciate your frustration and your disappointment with the President’s position on this issue,” said Barnes when asked by a student if she supported equal civil marriage rights for gays and lesbians. “[W]ith regard to my own views, those are my own views, and I come to my experience based on what I’ve learned, based on the relationships I’ve had with friends, and they’re relationships that I respect, and the children that they are raising, and that is something that I support.”
Barnes, who recently became the first woman to join President Obama on the golf course, said that “very robust” policy and constitutional conversations take place at the White House on this topic.
She noted, however, that President Obama “hasn’t articulated a shift in his position”.
Although President Obama continues to oppose same-sex marriage, Barnes said that he is trying to “move the ball forward” for gay, lesbian, and transgendered Americans by wanting to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, encouraging changes to military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, and taking action to combat hate crimes.
Barnes made her remarks in response to a Boston College Law School student who said that he was an Obama primary and general election voter who was deeply disappointed in the religion-based rationale that the president has offered to explain his opposition to civil marriage rights for gays and lesbians.
Based on conversations with people in attendance at the speech, the HuffingtonPost published a second-hand account of Barnes’s remarks earlier this week.
Boston College Law School shot video of Barnes’ speech and Q&A that followed but initially held off on releasing it to the press because it wanted to “give the White House staffers a chance to view the video and give us their thumbs up on making it public.”
A spokesman for Boston College Law School says that he has now received the “thumbs up” from the White House, and the school is planning to post the video — which was first shared with ABC News — on Friday afternoon.
The topic of the Barnes speech was “Law and Domestic Policy in the Obama Administration.”
Obama is struggling to keep his left wing supporters happy while dealing with the general public’s rejection of recognizing gay marriage as he looks toward the 2010 elections. To date Obama has tried to straddle the fence with regard to gay issues leaving the gay community confused and angry at his lack of effort to move their agenda forward in Washington.