Back when I was in college Candace Bergen appeared in television ads for Sprint. One of the recurring messages Sprint pushed as that they were donating 1% of the profits to charity. She went on to explain that it really didn’t matter why, but that they did it.
A similar theme runs here. A couple of years ago David Patterson, then governor of NY, offerred Kirsten Gillibrand the Senate seat created by the resignation of Hilary Clinton when Clinton became Secretary of State. Reports from Albany told us that Patterson made it clear that he would appoint her but that he wanted her commitment on LGBT rights, including marriage equality.
At the time, a large number of LGBT activists were furious. “She is only changing now because she wants the job,” they charged. Well, duh. Politicians make deals all the time and every major move they make is a political calculation. What is the lesson here? The lesson is not the Patterson caved and appointed some homophobe who switched for political convenience. The lesson here is that we have come so far politically that politicians now know we must be part of the formula when making those calculations.
Why when we wield power do we want to make it seem that we are whining? Politicians need to know: Stand with the gays or you might just get knocked down.
I went on the Ed Show last night to talk about the President and his decision to stand up for LGBT marriage equality. Here’s the clip:
Mike Signorile on Huffington Post:
Last night a tweet from a gay teenager summed it all up and underscored how the president showed the kind of great leadership Americans expect in their presidents: “Going to bed knowing I have the support of the most powerful man in the world. #feelsamazing #equality #itdoesgetbetter.” That is change you can believe in.