As a gay American who supported you enthusiastically during your campaign, I am increasingly dismayed by the hollowness of your promise to be a "fierce advocate" for gay rights. Your sparse action on the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell has been hard to abide, but the tenor and fallaciousness of your Justice Department’s likening of same-sex marriage to incest in defending the indefensible Defense of Marriage Act is the last straw. (Quoting the description in today’s New York Times editorial: "In arguing that other states do not have to recognize same-sex marriages under the Constitution’s ‘full faith and credit’ clause, the Justice Department cites decades-old cases ruling that states do not have to recognize marriages between cousins or an uncle and a niece.")
It’s time for you to do some serious soul-searching about your own opposition to gay marriage. How can someone as intelligent as you fail to see that by choosing to keep a central institution of our society closed to a portion of the citizenry, you are fostering second-class citizenship for people who believe in much that you stand for and who want to be your allies?
I supported your candidacy despite your blindness to the injustice of refusing marriage to gay people because you seemed like someone who was reflective enough to listen and learn. But on issues of importance to LGBT people you offer something between lassitude and betrayal. Please go beyond simple efforts to mollify those you are wounding: giving us Bishop Gene Robinson at a concert to make up for Rick Warren at your Inauguration hardly qualifies you as a fierce advocate. Please actually think about these issues, and don’t be afraid to challenge your own habits of thought, just as you are asking the nation to accept change in its own assumptions about other issues on which I support you.
(Presently married in Massachusetts to Ed Sedarbaum
but ineligible for hundreds of Federal benefits
automatically provided to married heterosexuals)