The Courage Campaign is reporting (sorry, it's mainly a donation link--but it's the only one I've been able to find thus far) that, after 25,000 campaign members contacted the White House to urge the president to endorse the Respect for Marriage Act sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (which would repeal the odious Defense of Marriage Act), his press secretary today announced that he had done so. This comes the day before the Senate begins hearings on the bill. Regrettably, those hearings will include many people who oppose the legislation, including two of the usual suspects, Focus on the Family and the Alliance Defense Fund. Neither of those two groups has yet made the Southern Poverty Law Center's list of recognized hate groups, but they're certainly routinely in bed with at least a couple of them (the Family Research Council and the American Family Association--both of which seem to limit their definition of "family" to one white male heterosexual person, one white female heterosexual person, and their legitimate offspring: everyone else, naturally, is cordially invited to go screw. Or, as sfbob pointed out in the comments, not to screw.).
Thanks, Mr. President. This is the kind of advocacy we hoped for when you promised to be a fierce advocate for our rights--and, unfortunately, it hasn't been on display much since you took office. Keep up the good work, and please recognize that this is just the beginning of the fight. It will not be sufficient simply to have your press secretary announce your support this one time: you'll have to get out there and use your bully pulpit from now until this legislation finally passes. You'll have to twist arms, and take a lot of abuse for doing the right thing--but remember, most of the people who will be flinging that vitriol in your direction have already made it their life's work to get you out of office. They've never liked a single thing you've done, even if the idea originated with them, simply because it was you that did it.
Now is not really the time for the subdued, professorial, back-channel approach that you seem to favor. Now's the time to be loud, out, and proud. Tell the world that you support repealing the odious legislation that condemns thousands of Americans to second-class citizenship, that puts them and their partners at risk of losing homes, benefits, and even the ability to make life decisions for one another--to say nothing of the possibility of being split up by an immigration judge or a consular official.
More like this, please, Mr. President. Your base will thank you.
12:31 PM PT: AMERICAblog and ThinkProgress now have the story as well. What's more, they've got the video clip from today's WH press briefing. (I looked on the White House site, but today's briefing isn't posted yet.) I'm hoping this will work through the update mechanism, but if not, I'll go back and add it manually.