A video produced by the Obama campaign earlier this year is receiving renewed viral attention as the White House seeks to remind voters of president's commitment to LGBT rights.
On Tuesday, the GOP approved a party platform that is widely considered to be harsher on LGBT rights than previous platforms. The document calls for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and reaffirms the party's support for the Defense of Marriage Act, which forbids federal recognition of same-sex marriages performed in individual states.
The decision came despite the objections of the Log Cab Republicans and the Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry, which ran a full-page ad in the Tampa Tribune Wednesday publicly rebuking party elders.
The conservative path selected by representatives at the Republican National Convention this week throws into sharp contrast the administration's recent attempts to prove that President Barack Obama has reinvented himself as a champion of equal rights, as compared to the anti-gay marriage platform he ran on in 2008.
To this end, a short documentary produced by the Obama campaign in May is garnering attention, as the White House works to highlight the president's support for gay marriage and his work to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
The five-minute video narrated by openly gay television star Jane Lynch charts Obama's progress on LGBT issues throughout the past four years, beginning with his campaign promises and ending with his official support of same-sex marriage.
"In 2008," Lynch begins, "Our country elected a president who not only acknowledged the LGBT community, but embraced it. Who counted us as friends."
Clips of Obama at a Human Rights Campaign event are spliced with video of the president awarding Billy Jean King the Medal of Freedom, footage from various Pride celebrations and scenes from one-on-one interviews.
"The fight for LGBT rights is consistent with that most important part of America's character, which is to constantly expand opportunity and fairness, to everybody," Obama said. "We've seen a profound cultural shift just in the last decade... This isn't a matter of strangers, these are people we love."
Lynch claims that Obama has made more significant advances in gay rights than any other president before him. He's mandated for same-sex visitation rights in hospitals, extended some benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees and repealed DADT, a move Obama said was "one of my proudest moments."
The video ends with a subtle appeal for votes this November: "You're going to need a strong advocate in the White House, I am that strong advocate. We're going to continue to lean forward...It's not just a matter of head, it's a matter of heart, it's who I am, it's what I care about."
So far the YouTube video has racked up more 250,000 views, and the Democratic party has said it will include a plank supporting marriage equality in its official platform at its convention in Charlotte next week.
In an interview with The Advocate, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass), a member of the drafting committee, confirmed the decision was reached without dissent. "The fact is, by every action that should be taken, the Democrats in Washington have repudiated DOMA," he said.
Attitudes on gay marriage do appear to be shifting somewhat, as evidence by an internal memo to Republican operatives suggesting a change in the way the party addresses the issue. The document, obtained by Politico in May, notes a public support swaying toward gay marriage "at an accelerated rate with no sign of slowing down."
Appealing to the LGBT community is not just a vote-getting strategy, however, it is also a lucrative one.
In June, CNN estimated that at least one in every 16 of President Obama's biggest fundraisers, known as bundlers, is openly gay. The Washington Post, however, reports that it's closer to one in every six bundlers.
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