Is the Gay Rights Movement—or Are Just Its Leaders—Elated Over Gene Robinson?

Not everyone in the gay community agrees with its leaders about Obama's inaugural choices.


By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country

I'm struck by the angry reactions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender folks to my story this week on the elation of the gay rights movement over President-elect Barack Obama's selection of openly gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson to give the invocation kicking off inaugural week. (I noted separately, on this blog, that some of the elation is born of the Obama transition team's stepped-up its outreach to LGBT leaders.) The gay rights movement is far from elated with Obama, a number of commenters write.

Here's Shane S of Florida:

Gene Robinson??? Who cares??

I'm gay and am not cheering.

I don't even know anyone that belongs to the Human Rights Campaign. They do not speak for me or anyone that I know.

We don't care if Obama got a dreg [sic] queen to give an invocation at this point, if Warren is there, WE (the real gay community) will not support Obama in anything he does.

Ken of California writes:

Somebody needs to inform Dan Gilgoff that [Human Rights Campaign president] Joe Solmonese was never elected to speak on behalf of the GLBTQ community and from the gay rights movement point of view, he has done a terrible job of running the HRC; an Uncle Tom Group that continues to do nothing more than throw fancy parties to raise money to support candidates who look down on us...

Gays are angry as hell. This selection of Rick Warren was incredibly insulting and demoralizing. Rick Warren and his followers did not just take anti-marriage position. They were cruel, encouraged gay bashing, sold their Proposition on nothing but lies and false accusations. They abused Jesus, God and the Bible for their political ambitions. Of all the ministers in the U.S., Rick Warren was perhaps the worst choice Obama could have made. Adding this gay priest to the event does not offset what Obama has done to us, nor does it take the sting off of how badly the Democratic party has treated us.

And Dr. Markus of California expresses his disappointment with Obama:

As the angry comments from both the right and the left seem to indicate, you cannot be all things to all people, Mr. Obama.

Relegating basic rights of an entire people to marry to the status of a 'social issue' was a grave error. The far right fundamentalists who abhor homosexuality will NEVER compromise. It's a hatred of homosexuality couched in 'love the sinner' verbage.

I'm afraid you've been too smart by half: you've done nothing to bring the defense of marriage radicals into your fold, and you've greatly injured and offended the fortunes of those who have been your great allies.

The LGBT community expected to be marginalized by their enemies, not by one they considered a friend.

It's an important question: Who's more representative of the gay rights movement's rank and file on the Obama question, the leaders I talked to for my story or these angry commenters?