Many of the gay rights activists who will hear President Obama speak at the Human Rights Campaign banquet in Washington, D.C., Saturday worked to get him elected.
They had realistic expectations of what he could do for them if he won, but they have grown impatient with a president who has said nice things but done little more than extend limited rights to federal employees’ same-sex partners.
Obama determined that granting health benefits to same-sex partners was beyond his authority.
“I don’t care what he says Saturday night — I want to see what he does,” Illinois Equality Now founder Rick Garcia said.
This is the second major olive branch Obama has extended to the gay community. He had a White House reception in June at which he tried to reassure his skeptical gay supporters to give him time.
Will Obama have some gay rights legislation or an administrative order in hand when he appears at the gala Saturday night on the eve of the activists’ march on Washington?
Attendees are hoping he has more than just a good speech for the more than 3,000 expected to attend.
Tickets for the gala were quite expensive. This crowd has deep pockets. Others, not lucky or well-off-enough to get in, are expected to protest Obama’s appearance.
Is Obama chasing rainbow money, or will he remember the promises he made to those now protesting in the street?