Obama touts support for gay rights in Jane Lynch-narrated video

Olivier Knox
The Ticket

Jane Lynch narrates. Lady Gaga claps. Barney Frank has a cameo. Same-sex couples embrace. President Barack Obama's reelection campaign released a new ad on Wednesday to court lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) voters.

The video has playful moments. After Lynch says that Obama "counted us as friends," the spot features Obama speaking to the Human Rights Campaign's annual dinner in October 2011, telling them he held "talks with your leader, Lady Gaga. She was wearing 16-inch heels." The pop songstress is shown clapping.

It also has some somber moments. Lynch says that in 2008, "we elected a man who understood our struggles," and the video cuts to Obama's message for the "It Gets Better" anti-bullying campaign, which was a response to the suicides of several teens picked on for being gay.

Obama, the first sitting president to support same-sex marriage, credits "family and friends" for his evolution on gay rights as the video shows a photograph of him talking to Democratic Representative Barney Frank.

"The fight for LGBT rights is consistent with that most important part of America's character, which is to constantly expand opportunity and fairness to everybody," Obama says in the ad. The president abruptly announced his backing for same-sex marriage on May 9 after Vice President Biden declared his support in a television interview a few days earlier. Biden's comments may have forced Obama's hand, but the president has always trumpeted his record on LGBT rights. The ad highlights some of his other achievements: Obama calls the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell "one of my proudest moments." The video also notes actions to expand hospital visitation and consultation rights for same-sex couples, new benefits for the partners of federal employees and legislation punishing hate-crimes.

"Not only to preserve the gains that we've made over the last 3 years, but to make sure that any discrimination is eliminated, you're going to need a strong advocate in the White House. I am that strong advocate," Obama says in his final pitch.

"It's not just a matter of head. It's a matter of heart. It's who I am. It's what I care about."

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