President Obama has done more than any other President to support gay rights and to move gay rights forward. This is one of the reasons the administrations gets very upset when they perceive that he is taking an inordinate hit for simply not coming out and saying he supports gay marriage verbally. Many other politicians have received less scrutiny than this current president on this issue. Many other politicians have been allowed to play politics without receiving the acrimony our president is currently receiving. After-all it was President Clinton who compromised and passed codified hypocrisy in “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.
Click to View PDF Of Obama’s LGBT Accomplishments
While all the above is true, I do think it is time for the President to categorically endorse marriage for all including same sex marriage. Most Americans are not stupid or one issue voters. If they are they were not voting for the president anyway. Most Americans know that any president that has done this much for the gay cause will ultimately come out in favor of gay marriage.
Everyday our President continues to say he is evolving on this issue he opens himself to the charge of waffling, a charge that we must reserve for Mitt Romney. It is well reported that the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) have been working on a strategy to use the gay issue to drive a wedge between blacks and gays, two of the president’s major constituencies. Our own local Harris County Democratic Party has been victim to this cancer causing wedge. Indecision on this issue will placate neither side. Early constructive engagement will.
We know the media will not let up. This issue will dominate leaving other very important issues like wealth and income disparity without coverage. Our Plutocrats would love that since if we are “fighting the gay issue” they are off the hook.
I love the following excerpted speech at the Human Rights Campaign dinner. I want our President to live up to the tone of that speech.
On a personal note:
I do not believe the marriage issue should have involved the government at all. Government should only sanction civil unions for governmental policy purposes. Marriage should be a church issue without any governmental involvement. This would be true separation of church and state.
As a Black Hispanic I straddle two cultures that are generally more homophobic than the population at large. I know these two demographics are in fact major supporters of the president. As such I can understand the president is concerned about the potential downside of verbally supporting what we know he supports intellectually. This is where I think he must use his educator in chief hat. It is incumbent upon him to articulate to these communities that just as they have known the pain of prejudice it is their responsibility to empathize with any other prejudiced community whether they quite understand said community or not, whether they agree with the values of that community or not.
Mary Bell says
Please consider this: The President doesn’t get elected by the country at large. He has to win certain key states and in some of those states the opinions on gay marriage are closely drawn. Also, conservatives have a habit of putting things like abortion, gay marriage and guns on the ballot for the purpose of drawing out their low-information voters. Should he announce support for gay marriage it would be like them putting it on the ballot again. It would incite participation by them more so than it would excite his voters because those who are going to vote for him likely already have that planned. It would not draw out new voters for him. And consider that it’s about as important to take back the House as it is to re elect him. I’m sure he’s thinking of Democrats down ballot and doesn’t want to create any drag for those that are in tight races. We know where he really stands. And we have all the things he accomplished, not just for the LBGT citizens, but for everyone else. It’s imperative that he be re elected. Consider that he appoints the next Supreme Court members. And consider that a rational Court, that follows the Constitution, will dispatch with the inequity of banning gay marriage. That’s why he refused to continue to defend DOMA. We should let this be resolved through those means or through his action in a second term, and not be so intent upon him risking it politically now.
Egberto Willies says
I definitely see your point. In fact it is the point I have held until today. The reason I changed my mind today is that I am starting to see the “evolving” narrative equated to Romney’s waffling. If this get’s into America’s psyche it takes that strong Romney deficiency off the table in many folks minds. This one is touchy but I think it is a least even or slight upside. I think the vice-president was a trial balloon to see GOP reaction and note they are playing possum on the issue.