From today's Washington Post article on the supposedly low-profile battle over marriage equality in Maine, comes this portent of the president's upcoming Saturday night speech to the HRC dinner:
Since then, many dependable gay Democratic fundraisers have felt burned -- and decidedly less generous. Plus, progressive lawmakers, worried about the 2010 midterm elections, have shied from the issue. And within the gay leadership in Washington, established politicians and a freshman class of bolder legislators disagree as to whether the Maine campaign should be central to a larger federal push for equality. Those frustrated voices are lobbying Obama to include a reference to the Maine referendum in his speech. Any failure to do so would be the last straw for many gay activists fed up with the small-bore approach of the Obama White House, the Washington-based gay lobby and the Democratic Party's gay elders.
(A Democratic source familiar with the White House's thinking on the speech said Obama will stress incremental advancements as evidence of progress.) [emphasis mine]
Incremental advancements? Like, say, appointing gay ambassadors...just as Clinton did back in the 1990s? Or offering domestic partnership benefits to federal employees...except those aren't actually full benefits because federal law bars providing full benefits to gay and lesbian partners in order to "protect" marriage, and where the hell has the Obama administration been on removing that law as it pledged to do? Or any of the other little micro-initiatives that dot the Obama list of accomplishments on LGBT issues, initiatives that are all super in and of themselves, but do nothing to address the fundamental inequality forced on us by federal legislation and policy?
If that's what we're about to get served up as dinner on Saturday night, we should be sending that dish right back where it came from.