This post isn’t about playing an “I gotcha!” with Valerie Jarrett, who ironically just spoke at HRC’s “No Excuses” dinner. The poor woman, for better or worse, is being used by the White House to show how pro-gay Obama really is. And that’s the problem. The closest voice to the President on gay issues is a straight woman who uses language to describe gays that is not only outdated by nearly 20 years, but it’s also supremely offensive.
If there were any senior advisers to the President who were gay, and to our knowledge there aren’t, they would know not to use phrases like “lifestyle choice,” especially when talking about a kid who killed himself after being bullied – he wasn’t killed because he made a choice (it’s not a choice, thank you) and he didn’t have a lifestyle, he had a life, past tense. (Her use of the phrase is about 4:30 into the video I link to above.)
Again, the point here is not to play “I gotcha” with Valerie Jarrett. It’s to point out the simple fact that the people advising the President are political novices when it comes to gay civil rights (though I have to say, we’d better be hearing something from the White House pronto about how it’s not a choice). And the people he has on staff as unofficial gay liaisons (since they have other non-gay jobs too), aren’t senior enough advisers to make a difference.