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President Obama hasn't yet evolved on gay rights says 'barbarian' leader

July 22, 2011 |  1:55 pm


President Obama has consistently said that he believes marriage is between a man and a woman, an opinion based on his religious beliefs, he says. However, he has recently said that because of "very close friends who are married gay and lesbian couples" his feelings are "evolving."

Despite recent developments in the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which should come to an end in a few months, Nick Espinosa, the leader of the activist group known for using glitter as a form of protest, feels that Obama hasn't really evolved yet on the subject of same-sex marriage.

"Unfortunately, President Obama has not 'evolved' yet, and millions of LGBT people continue to be treated like second-class citizens while being denied the basic rights loving couples deserve," Espinosa said in an email to the Ticket. "I do believe he is getting there, and that he has made strides in the right direction, but we have to keep the pressure on him to hold him to his promises so he can be a true champion for full equality."

Espinosa's group dressed up as barbarians Thursday armed with glitter to confront GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann's husband, Marcus, at the couple's Minnesota clinic that has been accused of trying to turn gays and lesbians straight by "praying away the gay."

Marcus Bachmann on a Christian radio talk show last year said of gays and lesbians: "We have to understand: Barbarians need to be educated. They need to be disciplined." This prompted Espinosa and his friends to dress the part, enter Bachmann & Associates demanding to be disciplined. When the group was refused, they sprinkled glitter in the waiting room and chanted, "You can't pray away the gay, baby. I was born this way."

"Marcus Bachmann is blatantly manipulating religion to marginalize a group of people," Espinosa said Friday. "There is nothing scientific about gay 'reparative' therapy -- what Marcus Bachmann is doing is nothing short of thinly-veiled homophobia, and if he and his wife believe that will win them votes, they are sorely mistaken."

This week, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani told CNN, "I think the Republican Party would be well advised to get the heck out of people's bedrooms and let these things get decided by states." 

Although the Republican doesn't personally agree with same-sex marriage, he said the GOP would "be a much more successful political party if we stuck to our economic, conservative roots."

Espinosa agrees, but doesn't think the GOP will take the former mayor's advice.

"If they were smart they would, though I don't expect them to," Espinosa said. "Perhaps it will take a big defeat at the polls in 2012 to make Republicans realize that bigotry doesn't pay, and that public opinion is dramatically shifting towards full equality for the LGBT community -- leaving their barbaric views in the past."

Espinosa says his group is so grass-roots it doesn't even have a name. "Though I did see someone refer to us on Twitter as the rainbow horde. I thought that was pretty fitting," he said, adding that because all it takes is a handful of glitter and a camera (to capture a similar protest), anyone can do it.

"We call anyone who uses glitter for political protest a member of the 'glitterati,' " Espinosa said. "Some people in SF glittered Tim Pawlenty a few weeks after Newt Gingrich, and I wouldn't be surprised to see someone else pick up the tactic again in the coming weeks."


Same-sex marriage: Married but unequal

Rudy Giuliani: If I run again, 'I'd try to win'

Defense of Marriage Act hearing turns comical thanks to Sen. Al Franken

Gay 'barbarians' descend on Marcus and Michele Bachmann's clinic, demand discipline [Video]

-- Tony Pierce

Photo: Barbarians at the gates of the clinic owned by Michele Bachmann and her husband, Marcus. Credit: Robert Erickson via YouTube