White House spokesman: Obama is ‘the most progressive president ever’ on gay rights

By Sahil Kapur
Friday, June 17, 2011 13:54 EDT
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White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer told a liberal crowd Friday that Barack Obama has been “the most progressive president” America has ever had on the issue of gay rights.

“This president has been the most progressive president on these issues we’ve ever had,” Pfeiffer said during a panel discussion at the annual Netroots Nation conference, as quoted by TPM’s Evan McMorris-Santoro.

The moderator of the panel, DailyKos blogger Kaili Joy Gray, cut Pfeiffer off: “Well, that’s a pretty low bar.”

“I would not begrudge a single person who feels strongly about this for being upset with the president about it,” Pfeiffer, who was grilled on a range of issues, told the panel. “But what I can promise you is, if someone else is president, all the other things I talked about [DADT, same-sex partner benefits, etc] are all going to go away.”

Progressive activists have been discontent with the pace of at which gay rights have advanced during the Obama administration. But they have lauded some of President Obama’s moves, such as repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” and ceasing to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

Obama personally opposes same sex marriage, but says his position on the issue is “evolving.”

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