Obama’s Place In Gay History


Jonathan Rauch compares Obama's embrace of marriage equality to LBJ's embrace of the civil rights movement:

Obama has claimed for himself a place in gay history not unlike LBJ’s place in black history. He is the first U.S. president to put the federal government unequivocally on the side of full equality for gay Americans, and he will almost surely be the last Democratic president to have opposed full equality. For his party, for its liberal base, and possibly for the country, there is no going back. He has crossed the bridge from Selma.

Chait dissents:

The Johnson comparison is pretty nuts. Johnson’s primary contribution to the civil-rights cause was to pass a federal law. The need to pass a federal law was the central problem of the civil-rights crusade, and the barriers to passing such a law in Congress had been the main impediment to the cause for two decades. Obama has not passed or even proposed a law.

But he has withdrawn the DOJ's defense of DOMA, the unprecedented federal intrusion into marriage law that Bill Clinton signed. My own view will be in the next Newsweek.

(Image from TNR)