Pardon me while I feign surprise

So, it appears that Joe Solmonese, president of the questionably-effective Human Rights Campaign, has written a letter to President Obama. At issue is the brief, filed in federal court by the Obama administration, in favor of upholding the Defense of Marriage Act.

From the letter (via Politico):
Dear Mr. President:

I have had the privilege of meeting you on several occasions, when visiting the White House in my capacity as president of the Human Rights Campaign, a civil rights organization representing millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people across this country. You have welcomed me to the White House to express my community’s views on health care, employment discrimination, hate violence, the need for diversity on the bench, and other pressing issues. Last week, when your administration filed a brief defending the constitutionality of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act,”[1] I realized that although I and other LGBT leaders have introduced ourselves to you as policy makers, we clearly have not been heard, and seen, as what we also are: human beings whose lives, loves, and families are equal to yours. I know this because this brief would not have seen the light of day if someone in your administration who truly recognized our humanity and equality had weighed in with you.


I cannot overstate the pain that we feel as human beings and as families when we read an argument, presented in federal court, implying that our own marriages have no more constitutional standing than incestuous ones:

And the courts have widely held that certain marriages, performed elsewhere need not be given effect, because they conflicted with the public policy of the forum. See e.g., Catalano v. Catalano, 170 A.2d 726, 728-29 (Conn. 1961) (marriage of uncle to niece, though valid in Italy under its laws, was not valid in Connecticut because it contravened public policy of th[at] state.” [3]

As an American, a civil rights advocate, and a human being, I hold this administration to a higher standard than this brief. In the course of your campaign, I became convinced—and I still want to believe—that you do, too. I have seen your administration aspire and achieve. Protecting women from employment discrimination. Insuring millions of children. Enabling stem cell research to go forward. These are powerful achievements. And they serve as evidence to me that this brief should not be good enough for you. The question is, Mr. President—do you believe that it’s good enough for us?

I like how John Aravosis over at AmericaBlog puts it:
In politics, sending a letter chastising a friend is a far more significant act than what the letter actually says. It's just not done unless something very big and very bad happens. Usually things happen quietly, behind closed doors (especially with friends). When they go public like this, it means serious trouble is brewing. (I'd also add that HRC is known as the "nice" gay group. They don't get angry at Democrats, and they don't send letters chastising Democratic presidents. When they do, it means something.)
As I said above, I have not been all that impressed with HRC, because I tend to think that they play too nice and expect too little of our elected officials. That they would get pissed off enough to write a public statement of anger at the Obama administration demonstrates that even the most conciliatory of LGBT groups has had enough with the doublespeak.

Repealing DOMA was an Obama campaign promise. It is bad enough that he is spending precisely zero political capital doing so. It is beyond insulting that he is defending it in court, when he doesn't have to.

So, where does that leave Yours Truly? I would sooner vote for a shaved ape than any plausible GOP candidate in 2012. (Not only would they probably be much worse on gay rights, but I would doubtless disagree with them on just about everything else.) So Obama will probably get my vote. But all that door-knocking I did? The days off I spent making phone calls? The cash I shelled out? Forget it. Unless this gets fixed, and right quick, the Prez can look forward to support that barely qualifies as "tepid."