First, let's get three things out of the way. (1) I voted for President Obama, and expect to do so again; (2) It is awesome that, for the first time in US history, a sitting president has announced his support for gay marriage; (3) This may be an important step toward building a national consensus.
Still, I felt more annoyed than excited about the President's announcement today. Some sources have portrayed this as an "edgy" or potentially divisive move (as has Obama himself). The President also stated: "I had hesitated on gay marriage in part because I thought civil unions would be sufficient, that that was something that would give people hospital visitation rights and other elements that we take for granted..." As if, after wrestling with the facts, he has finally evolved into a supporter.
I say: bullshit. Like any self-respecting Constitutional law professor and civil rights advocate, Obama supported gay marriage before he became a presidential candidate. Then, once he decided to run, he eschewed these privately-held beliefs. Not coincidentally, the polls at that time showed that a majority of Americans opposed same-sex marriage, too. More recently, the political balance tipped, and a majority of Americans now support same-sex marriage. Then--voila--after testing the waters with VP Biden's announcement yesterday, President Obama suddenly comes out supporting same-sex marriage, too?
The President's open support of same-sex marriage is wonderful, but let's be honest: if most Americans had supported gay marriage in 2008, he would have supported it back then. And if public support hadn't grown, he wouldn't have come out in favor of it now. President Obama is, foremost, a politician. If we pretend that we're that much more to him than another issue, another constituency, another factor in the political calculus, we're kidding ourselves.
5/9/2012 08:03:35 am
:) you are right- that is a very cynical view of it. From a "rest of the world" perspective- we love him- hes the first president in a long time that has not made the rest of the wotld embarrased on your behalf.
5/9/2012 08:10:08 am
THANK YOU! As someone who is "professionally queer", I can't always tell it like i see it. You are so right on. Watching him give the interview I heard and saw all the pauses, the quantifying verbage, and the "toe-in-the-water" aura of it all. Also, if anyone has noticed, the right has been slowly "supporting gays" in the public arena as a way to undercut the democrats stronghold. You think O'Reilly supported Ellen out of the goodness of his...uh..heart??? Not likely. It's to narrow the gap, then they can say, "hey, we supported Ellen and are you better off?" As the GOP chips away at inalienable rights with this hand (thanks North Carolina and Colorado),it is kissing LGBTQ babies with the other.
5/9/2012 08:29:09 am
Yup...sadly, that's how politics have always worked, and likely, always will. Let's just be glad that this very important issue is finally in our favor...right here, right now. The past is the past. There's still work to be done on this issue.
5/9/2012 09:52:05 am
If President Obama came out in 2008, he would never been elected! I'd rather him tow the line and let his actions speak. Repeal DADT, shut down a federal DOMA. I think he is great!!!!
I feel the same way. I think at some point they weighed out the options, and it was causing more damage to be silent on this than not. So far, all I hear are words. When I see actions - real accomplishments (not just "so close, almost there") - I'll celebrate.
5/9/2012 12:00:14 pm
Hello SHUT DOWN OF DADT and DOMA!!
5/9/2012 11:11:58 am
This is just a ploy to get more votes ... if idiots fall for it, and he is re-elected he will quiet down again and nothing will happen with gay marriage ... I suppose I'm basically saying I DONT TRUST HIM
5/10/2012 11:05:34 am
I thought Biden had some balls. Now check out Cory Booker..one of the few politicians that really get it. Booker for president!
5/10/2012 09:41:40 pm
...glad to see that there is people who see past the BS! of Obama! Call it as you see it! I was glad to see him get Presidency. About time! But the 'token gestures' of support for us LGBT is all about his political career...but none the less....good to see a black president since Martin Luther King.
5/11/2012 04:38:25 am
I agree. Awesome pic, now I want Lucky Charms cereal. ugh product placement. lol
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