The Advocate, considered by many to be the LGBT publication of record, on Friday gave President Obama the magazine’s first endorsement in decades.
“The Advocate’s last endorsement was decades ago, but the president’s statement of May 9, unequivocally in favor of marriage equality, along with his record on LGBT rights, has distinguished him for the ages and has made it clear that he is a transformational leader and our best choice for president,” Editor in Chief Matthew Breen writes. Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage carries real consequences, the editorial continues: “His words constitute action. On the very face of it, his statement is enormous, and has the power to move millions in a way that a statement from no other person could have.”
Breen told TPM he believes it’s the 45-year-old magazine’s first presidential endorsement. “I think you’re seeing a sea change, politically,” Breen said, adding that the announcement has an “enormous impact.” Indeed, polling shows that Obama’s announcement has triggered a dramatic shift in same-sex marriage support among African Americans. “Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law, NAACP President Benjamin Jealous said in a press release after Obama’s statement.
In an editor’s note explaining The Advocate’s endorsement, Breen acknowledges that the magazine often criticizes politicians more than it celebrates them. On gay rights, the magazine has taken Obama to task over the pace of change. In September 2009, it put Obama on the cover with the words “Nope?” in place of “Hope.” Today, Breen told TPM, it was “incumbent on us to update the pronouncement with one we felt was more encouraging.”
David Taintor is TPM’s News Editor. He contributes to TPM’s Livewire coverage, among other areas. David is from Chanhassen, Minnesota, where, yes, it gets very cold. Reach him at taintor [at] talkingpointsmemo.com