Rolling Out‘s Terry Shropshire challenges Newsweek’s decision to label President Obama the “first gay president,” pointing out that no one dared call John F. Kennedy or Lyndon B. Johnson the “first black president” because both of them openly supported civil rights.
In his cover story, Sullivan tries to justify his title this way: he writes that Obama went through a similar identity crisis back in his youth. “He had to discover his black identity and then reconcile it with his white family, just as gays discover their homosexual identity and then have to reconcile it with their heterosexual family,” Sullivan writes …
Yes, Sullivan, that sounds nice. But this doesn’t make Obama “the first gay president.” First of all, there is a prerequisite being a gay president: you have to be, in fact, gay. Obama, at last check, is not.
Secondly, I’m not so sure that Obama supports same-sex marriage as much as he was pushed into a corner politically and had to come down one way or another on the issue. Some believe that Obama sold out his principles for votes. Some don’t even think it will have much impact in the general elections in November.
Thirdly, no one dared called Presidents John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson the “first black presidents” because they openly supported civil rights. They didn’t call Robert F. Kennedy the “first black attorney general” because he took steps against segregationists from blocking African Americans who sought to exercise their rights to vote, to go to college and to use any public restroom in the South.
Read Terry Shropshire’s entire piece at Rolling Out.