The Obama campaign is capitalizing on the wave of support for marriage equality after the flood gates were opened with Vice President Joe Biden’s admission earlier this month that he was “absolutely comfortable” with same-sex couples.
On the heels of Harvey Milk Day honoring the trailblazer in gay rights, the campaign on Wednesday launched Obama Pride: LGBT Americans for Obama, in outreach efforts to coalesce the community for the 2012 elections. Jamie Citron, the campaign’s LGBT vote director, discussed a grassroots strategy with reporters over a conference call announcing the launch as organizers pushed a narrative contrasting equal rights advocacy between the president and Mitt Romney.
“The president fights for our equality because he believes we are equal. Mitt Romney would fight against our equality because he believes we do not deserve it,” said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign and Obama surrogate, during the conference call. “We cannot afford to go back.”
Public response to Obama and Biden’s marriage-equality stances appears, thus far, to be in their favor. A Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 54 percent of registered voters felt it should be legal for gay and lesbian couples to get married – up from 32% net approval in 2004. And so with public support growing for marriage equality, and with rank-and-file politicians emerging to voice their solidarity on the issue, the Obama campaign seems well-positioned to convert those sympathetic to LGBT issues into registered voters who go to the polls in November.
“Glee” star and gay-rights advocate Jane Lynch narrated a five-minute mini-documentary for the Obama campaign that outlined the President’s evolution on gay rights and marriage equality.
“I don’t think there’s been a single moment in which LGBT issues became important to me, I think it’s an accumulation of a lifetime of friends and family, people I’ve gotten to know who have helped me understand how the fight for LGBT rights is consistent with that most important part of American’s character which is to constantly expand opportunity and fairness to everybody,” Obama says in the video.