Constructive Impatience

Stung by the Warren decision, GLAAD's former executive director Joan Garry offers the Obama transition team some sage advice.  

BY Joan Garry

December 30 2008 1:00 AM ET

I'll admit it. The Rick Warren selection stung. I really tried not to take it personally. I raised many gay dollars (insert funny visual here) for the president-elect. I received more than a handful of e-mails with the subject line "I want my money back."

My 81-year-old mother said it in her own inimitable fashion: "That wasn't very nice of [Obama]. After all you people did for him...." (This may be the only time I have ever laughed heartily when referred to as "you people.")

My partner says she is done. She doesn't want to go to the inauguration or any of those balls with me. I get her point. And it's not because I'm not a very good dancer.

During the primary and general election season, everything was so clear. The president-elect is in the right place in terms of his record and on policy positions on issues facing LGBT Americans. Our community had to work like crazy to get him elected. Many of us did. Conversely, another thing was clear. The gay community's support would not bring him a single electoral vote he needed. And might lose him a few. I get that too. We are, after all, the most effective weapon in the cultural war -- the last and best hope of the religious right. Just ask Rick.

And so like many of us, we look for signals during the transition so that we can continue to believe the promise. And there have been some. LGBT community leaders met with the most senior folks in the transition team. The team members were smart, supportive, and impressive. And yes, we all celebrated the announcement of Nancy Sutley to the chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

But here we are on the cusp of New Year's Eve -- and we've got Nancy Sutley and we've got Rick Warren.

Tags: Politics

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