At a star-studded fundraiser at the Beverly Hilton last night, President Barack Obama still avoided talking about the California Supreme Court's ruling on Proposition 8 and full marriage equality. According to Variety's Managing Editor Ted Johnson, Obama made a brief remark about gay rights when he told the celebrity-heavy crowd, referring to one of the gay rights activists protesting outside the hotel: “One of them said, 'Obama, keep your promise,' and I thought, 'That's fair.' I don't know which promise he was talking about.”

According to Johnson and others who attended the event, the remark was met with laughter. For the gay community, who have endured glib remarks by presidents in the past, or have been totally ignored, the quick line was most certainly disappointing.

Also disappointing was the low turnout by gay and straight protestors at a demonstration directly across the street from the Beverly Hilton. News reports described the numbers to be between 200 and 40.

To our eyes, however, there were probably 100 or so demonstrators, although TV news stations showed up in full force. It may be why Obama didn't feel pressed to give one of his inspiring speeches about the promise of America and its true values of “equal justice for all” and how that relates to the gay rights movement.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at

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