November 17, 2009
WHITE HOUSE MUZZLES MELODY BARNES
Melody Barnes, White House Domestic Policy Advisor and the person who oversees the Domestic Policy Council became a victim of a White House gag rule. In the technology age this means instructing the Boston College School Of Law not to release video of her speech. Members of the Gay and Lesbian Community are confronting White House officials where ever they appear. This included the question and answer period of her speech on November 9. So what was the problem?
Paul Sousa, co-founder of the LGBT organization Equal Rep, and the individual who asked Ms. Barnes the question described his question: "I know there isn't much you can say right now because it is your job to defend President Obama even if he is wrong on a domestic policy stance. What I would like to know is - whether or not you support equal civil marriage rights for gay and lesbian Americans and if so, are you speaking or will you speak with President Obama on this civil rights matter?" Sousa stated that in her response, Barnes did state that she personally believes in marriage equality and can appreciate the frustration that our community is feeling. She said she is trying to move the ball forward with other action items.
Another observer who is a law student at Boston College confirmed her answer. "Ms Barnes did express her own personal sympathy with the questioner's position in favor of same sex marriage." The White House immediately came out with a cryptic statement saying she didn't discuss her personal views and that her personal views were irrelevant to her work advancing the President's Agenda.
That may have been the end of it except that the Gay Bloggers wanted the video of her answer to post on their blogs. They were told by Boston College that the White House was not releasing the video.
The White House needs to learn they cannot play games with the Gay Community - we are in no mood and are the most energized section of his political base.
After all it was the strong United Front of all the most popular Gay Blogs that joined together with the "Don't Ask, Don't Give" Campaign. Thousands have pledged to give no money to the Democratic National Committee or the Obama Campaign until he fulfills his campaign pledges. After 6 days the video was released to Boston College, but by that time I am sure thousands more of those pledges were received and passed on to the White House. So the White House sends a message about tightening the muzzles of its Advisors and the Gay Community sends its message, "We are fighting and we will not go away!"