Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart makes some prescient observations about Obama’s “evolution” on marriage equality. He points out the prominent role gay and lesbian couples played at the recent White House state dinner:
For a man who maintains that he is “evolving” on the issue of same-sex marriage, President Obama is pretty evolved on the matter already. As a guest at Wednesday’s state dinner for British Prime Minister David Cameron, I know of at least two legally married same-sex couples in attendance. You’ve probably seen the arrival photo of Daily Beast/Newsweek writer Andrew Sullivan walking hand-in-hand with his husband, Aaron Tone.
What you didn’t see — unless you were watching C-SPAN — was Sally Susman, daughter of the U.S. ambassador to Great Britain, walking in hand-in-hand with her wife, Robin Canter. Not only that, Susman proudly introduced Canter as her wife to all they met. Extraordinary occurrences in the people’s house, yet ordinary, as heterosexual couples have done this without shame on countless occasions.
An equally powerful signal was sent from the president’s table.
As my colleagues at The Reliable Source reported, the Obama administration has “an unspoken tradition” of “seating a same-sex couple at the table.” The honor went to Chad Griffin and Jerome Fallon. That Griffin is the incoming president of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is not remarkable. HRC, the largest civil rights organization for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, has had a good working relationship with Obama (see, repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell”).
What makes Griffin’s placement symbolic is what has made him a meteoric leader in LGBT equality. He is the force behind American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), an organization he founded in the wake of California voters passing Proposition 8, the measure that added a ban on same-sex marriage to that state’s constitution.
I had the pleasure of meeting Capehart at a dinner a few years ago in Miami Beach. Aside from being an excellent writer and community representative, he is a very nice guy. If you have not had a chance to follow his work at the Washington Post, please consider doing so.