Exactly how stupid is this? Gay rights leaders and supporters are invited to the White House for a party and some take the time to flip off Ronald Reagan’s portrait, take a picture of the act, and then release the picture to third parties. It is now the rage on the Internet from Drudge to Yahoo to dozens of conservative sites — giving opponents of both Obama and gay rights the perfect photo foil to use against them. It is a disgraceful and contemptible display that is being used to paint an entire movement in the worst possible light. (UPDATE: The White House has rebuked the activists for their actions.)
The disrespectful act occurred at the White House’s first-ever gay pride reception. Philadelphia Gay News publisher Mark Segal (center) is shown opting for a simple (and non-problematic) thumbs up. According to the report below, the man on the left is Matthew “Matty” Hart, the national director of public engagement at Solutions for Progress, and the woman on the right is photographer Zoe Strauss.
Even without releasing the photos to third parties, it is remarkably uncivil and contemptible to flip the bird inside of the White House. No matter what one’s political affiliation or feelings toward Reagan or Bush, this is a revered place and your are a guest in this house. Worse yet, Obama and the gay rights movement are likely to be painted with this obnoxious conduct.