But since then, the president hasn't so much as placed a toe in the arena, much less taken a swing in the ring.
And that, more than anything else, helps explain why Democrats in Congress are making a run for the door when presented with a moment of opportunity to once and for all end "don't ask, don't tell."
Despite the fact that nearly 60 percent of Americans -- conservative and not -- along with various military personnel want the policy to end, it appears the Democrats will stick with cowardice over audaciousness.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the top Democrat and the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee are likely to strip the repeal and other provisions from a broader defense bill.
That leaves the repeal with no legislative vehicle to propel its passing, and its fate will rest with a new Congress with a larger membership of a party already proved to be unhelpful.
Republican obstructionism does make it harder to repeal "don't ask, don't tell," but such a realization only makes it clearer that the fate of this policy rests on the shoulders of the man who pledged to end it.
Speaking to reporters in Australia this week, Defense Secretary Robert Gates shared his wish for the upcoming lame-duck session of Congress: "I would like to see the repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell,' but I'm not sure what the prospects for that are."
In a word: nonexistent.
Obama has repeatedly maintained the position that though he wants to overturn the policy, Congress should handle the matter -- an excuse that has since been questioned by many legal scholars in the wake of a federal district court's ruling (since put on hold) that the ban is unconstitutional.
The administration's refusal to even entertain alternative means of halting "don't ask, don't tell" pending congressional or judicial action makes it hard to believe the president is truly "fighting."
There are triumphs in Obama's record on gay rights, but his schizophrenic record on the movement's two most pertinent issues largely overshadows them.
Publicly, Obama says his view on gay marriage may be evolving (as of now it's simply confusing), but judicially he allowed the Justice Department to compare gay marriage to incest and pedophilia.
And as the fury over whether to repeal or not to repeal rises, he appoints military personnel who defend a policy he vowed to end.
It's no wonder an increasing number of gays have exchanged cheers for chastisement. One example: Despite Obama's unprecedented move to lend his voice to "It Gets Better," the anti-gay bullying campaign, its founder, Dan Savage, sent the following response to the commander in chief: "F--- you."
To that end, Obama does indeed have a choice: make it better or, as Savage writes, "at least have the simple human decency to shut the f--- up."
Mr. President, as much as I love nuance, in this instance can you pick a side and stay there? After that, relay your plan to the people losing faith in you.
If not and your party joins you in continuing to punt on progress, be prepared to be further punished at the polls.