Wed 9 May 2012
President Obama: “I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.”
Obviously this isn’t a hip hop thing, or a fashion thing, or a celeb thing (but isn’t everything connected?)….but it’s a big deal when the President of the United States calls for a last minute TV interview, and tells ABC News that his position on gay marriage has “evolved” from thinking that civil unions were adequate for same-sex partners…to now believing that gay marriage should be legal and recognized. This comes just one day after North Carolina decides that gay marriage is a no-no. And just a few days after his veep Joe Biden said that he fully supports gay marriage because he was enlightened by the sitcom Will and Grace. LOL!
As William Truman and Grace Adler goes, so goes the Nation…
Now, there is some debate about whether Obama was forced into taking a public stance because of Biden’s comments. And there’s some grumbling that Obama tiptoe-ed into the stance when it was safer for him politically.
Meanwhile, others feel like Obama’s actually taking a huge risk because the concept of gay marriage (while it makes total sense to me) is still very contentious and controversial for the many less-open-minded folks in the country. (Pew research reports, via NPR: “46% favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, while 44% are opposed..”)
Sometimes I wonder if opposition to this is more of an age thing…are there still young people who feel like gay marriage is a “threat” to the American way of life? What does that even mean?
Watch the Daily Show recap of Vice-President Joe Biden’s kooky gay-marriage endorsement…
After the jump
Joe Biden, pop culture expert, lol.
NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s response to Obama’s announcement: (via Politicker)
“This is a major turning point in the history of American civil rights. No American president has ever supported a major expansion of civil rights that has not ultimately been adopted by the American people–and I have no doubt that this will be no exception,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “The march of freedom that has sustained our country since the Revolution of 1776 continues, and no matter what setbacks may occur in a given state, freedom will triumph over fear and equality will prevail over exclusion.”