Guests at the White House’s first-ever gay pride reception posed for photographs in front of Ronald Reagan’s portrait while they made an obscene gesture, Philly.com and The Weekly Standard
President Barack Obama hosted the reception at the White House to observe Gay Pride Month and it comes on the heels of Obama's recent declaration of support for gay marriage.
“It’s not a gesture that I would use in the White House when representing our city and our community,” Philadelphia Gay News publisher Mark Segal told Philadelphia magazine.
Segal attended the reception and gave a sarcastic thumbs-up pose in front of the portrait of George W. Bush alongside his peers who made an obscene gesture in front of Reagan's portrait. “I have friends who work in that building,” Segal told Philly.com. “I’m not going to do something that could embarrass them or that could somehow damage a campaign that is so important. ‘Be on your best behavior,’ my staff told me.’ I think they know me too well.”
One of the people making the obscene gesture in front of Reagan’s portrait, Matthew Hart, the national director of public engagement at Solutions for Progress, posted his photo on Facebook with an equally obscene caption about Reagan. In an interview, he told Philadelphia magazine he had no regrets.
That assessment is in sharp contrast to that of former Congressman John LeBoutillier, who wrote in 2004 that “Ronald Reagan was never anti-gay. He and Nancy, as longtime Hollywood insiders, knew many gays and never did or said anything that could be construed as even mildly anti-gay. As governor of California, Ronald Reagan was 'progressive' toward the gay movement.”
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