by Max Brantley
Frank Rich notes that President Obama will observe the 40th anniversary of the watershed riots that followed a New York police raid of a gay bar in Greenwich Village. It's a sop for the president's reticence on gay rights, a cause he championed to no ill effect during the campaign. The country is moving faster than the politicians, Rich says, and he observes:
If the country needs any Defense of Marriage Act at this point, it would be to defend heterosexual marriage from the right-wing “family values” trinity of Sanford, Ensign and Vitter.
But neither progress nor nice words absolve Obama from the imperative of action Rich concludes.
It’s a press cliché that “gay supporters” are disappointed with Obama, but we should all be. Gay Americans aren’t just another political special interest group. They are Americans who are actively discriminated against by federal laws. If the president is to properly honor the memory of Stonewall, he should get up to speed on what happened there 40 years ago, when courageous kids who had nothing, not even a public acknowledgment of their existence, stood up to make history happen in the least likely of places.
News coverage in the Times today focuses on slow-moving politicians in a time of changing national sentiment, slow movement that merely empowers the Religious Right.
A weird counterpoint to the serious coverage in today's Times is a feature article musing on whether gay and straight men are able to have friendly relationships without awkwardness. Yes we can, to coin a phrase. Anecdotal lead is on Adam Lambert's crush on winning American Idol contestant Kris Allen and Allen's nonchalant response to same.