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PostPartisan: Same-sex marriage, the state dinner and the president’s table

A state dinner at the White House is a magical event. A time for the president of the United States to showcase his country and celebrate the descendants from the honored country who now call America home. It’s also a time to send messages. And when it comes to gay men and lesbians and the issue of marriage equality, a consistent message is coming into clearer focus. For a man who maintains that he is “evolving” on the issue of same-sex marriage, President Obama is pretty evolved on the matter already.

As a guest at Wednesday’s state dinner for British Prime Minister David Cameron, I know of at least two legally married same-sex couples in attendance. You’ve probably seen the arrival photo of Daily Beast/Newsweek writer Andrew Sullivan walking hand-in-hand with his husband, Aaron Tone.

As my colleagues at The Reliable Source reported, the Obama administration has “an unspoken tradition” of “seating a same-sex couple at the table.” The honor went to Chad Griffin and Jerome Fallon. That Griffin is the incoming president of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is not remarkable. HRC, the largest civil rights organization for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, has had a good working relationship with Obama (see, repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell”).

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