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    July 08, 2009

    Steve Hildebrand on Obama

    Posted by: Andoni

    Hildebrand S-Photo (high res headshot)

    Steve Hildebrand may be the closest gay person to Barack Obama. He was deputy national campaign director for Obama's presidential campaign last year. In a remarkable interview with Hildebrand, Rex Wockner gets to the bottom of some of the issues LGBT Americans have been worried about vis a vis President Obama of late. After the the Department of Justice brief defending DOMA, Hildebrand went to the White House and spoke one on one with the president about the anger in the our community, LGBT issues in general and the DOJ brief in particular.

    Two items of particular note in Wockner's interview with Hildebrand are:

    1. "(Barack Obama) has told me, and he has told ... staff in the White House that pressure's a good thing, so people should continue to put pressure on him." --Steve Hildebrand

    2. "(President Obama) did not read the ... pathetic (marriage) brief in advance but he subsequently has read the brief and was not happy at all with both the direction as well as the language that was used." --Steve Hildebrand

    So all the brouhaha the LGBT community created following that "pathetic" brief was appropriate and most likely brought some results. The president thinks pressure is a good thing and apparently repsonds to it. I for one don't believe the White House cocktail party to celebrate Stonewall had been on the books for a long time. I really think the noise we made as a community had results and if we continue the pressure we will get more results. But as Hildebrand notes, we need more pressure on Congress. The president will sign all LGBT legislation that comes to his desk. But as Chris reminds us Congress initiates and passes the laws, not the president.

    Finally, Steve Hildebrand thinks that we gays are not doing as much as we could be doing to advance our cause. That will be a topic of a post in the next few days.

    In the meantime, read the Wockner interview.

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    Comments

    1. tristram on Jul 8, 2009 10:48:49 PM:

      "Steve Hildebrand thinks that we gays are not doing as much as we could be doing to advance our cause. That will be a topic of a post in the next few days."

      An absolute priority for every lgbt person from coast to coast should be to defete the marriage veto referendum in Maine. There's a state where the legislature stepped up to pass the bill and, despite some reservations, the governor signed it. The anti-lgbt forces have apparently got the signatures to put the "peoples' veto" on the ballot this fall, and the wingnuts are mobilizing frantically to pass the veto.

      Maine has a lot of fair-minded people; this is a winnable battle for us. But it will take a tremendous effort and a huge expenditure of effort and money. This is where we show it's not just 'activist judges' and 'bought politicians' who will stand up for fairness. This is where we stuff the line that 'every time the people vote, the gays lose.' This is where we show the political leaders, in Maine and Washington D.C. and across the country, that when they stand up for us, we stand behind them and stand up for ourselves. Or not, it's up to us.

    1. Lorenzo (from Downunder) on Jul 11, 2009 12:46:11 AM:

      Which puts in sharp relief whether "being a good coalition member" is the appropriate strategy for GBLTI lobby groups, or being loud and clear is the better strategy. President Obama apparently gets that the latter is better.

      Tristram is also spot on.

    1. cheap ugg boots on Nov 21, 2010 10:20:27 PM:

      Fuck GM. This is why I drive a Chrysler. Our self esteem as a community has seriously grown. I wouldn't be straight even if I could. I hold hands and kiss guys in public in my very conservative town and no one can do a damn thing about it.

    1. cheap uggs boots on Nov 29, 2010 4:47:29 AM:

      The woman is inarticulate, under-educated, apparently doesn't read regularly, and thought Africa was a country. And she is still a potential GOP presidential candidate? The mind reels

    1. cheap uggs on Nov 29, 2010 5:32:26 AM:

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