President Barack Obama is being urged
to use his Saturday appearance at the 15th annual Human
Rights Campaign (HRC) National Dinner to address gay marriage fights.
Obama is expected to address the annual
fundraiser being held at the Washington Convention Center in
Washington D.C. at 7PM. Obama keynoted the fundraiser in 2009.
The president is being urged to weigh
in on several debates on the issue taking place throughout the
“One thing that would be incredibly
helpful would be for the president and the administration to look out
across the electoral landscape next year, understand where it is that
we're engaged in marriage fights – whether overturning the ban in
Oregon, or fighting a ban in Minnesota or North Carolina – and have
something to say about that,” Joe Solmonese, president of the Human
Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay rights group, told ABC
“I think that will be important,
particularly in North Carolina, where the legislature just passed a
bill that would put a marriage ban on the ballot next year and where
the president will find himself for the Democratic National
Convention,” he said.
Obama has said he opposes gay marriage
bans – just this week, he
reiterated his support for repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act
(DOMA) – but he's not in the habit of becoming involved in
state-level battles on the issue.
And while gay groups continue to call
on the president to endorse gay marriage – Obama says he
supports civil unions for gay couples and is “evolving” on
marriage – Solmonese played down the possibility that he would do
that on Saturday.
“He came into office opposed to [gay]
marriage, and an administration that was defending DOMA. He now says
he's evolving on marriage, and he and the administration have
determined that DOMA is unconstitutional and not worthy of defense.
And that is light-years from where any president prior to him has
ever been,” Solmonese said. “So where we find ourselves as a
community is kind of reading between the lines and making his
statements what we will and interpreting them as each of us might.”
to Untied Nations: “We must stand up for the rights of gays and