Obama and same sex marriageby Don Lacey on May. 22, 2012, under Arizona Families, Campaign 2012, Conservatism vs. Liberalism, Critical Thinking, Ethics, God & Bible, Government, Logic, Reason, Responsible Government, Separation of Church & State
Jim Wilson has some thoughts about President Obama’s evolving view of same sex marriage:
“It doesn’t have ANY effect on your life. What do you care? People try to talk about it like it’s a social issue. Like when you see someone stand up on a talk show and say “How am I supposed to explain to my child that two men are getting married?” …. I dunno,it’s your s****y kid, you f****n’ tell ‘em. Why is that anyone else’s problem? Two guys are in LOVE but they can’t get married because YOU don’t want to talk to your ugly child for f****n ’ five minutes?” -Louis C.K.
”Call me cynical, but I didn’t think his views on marriage could get any gayer.” -Senator Rand Paul
In the not to distant future probably only a few decades from now same-sex marriages will become common place and the people who are part of them will be your friends, family, and neighbors. It will be apparent that their love is just as genuine as any hetero-sexual couple’s is and bigoted attitudes about sexual orientation will be socially unacceptable the same way overt racism is today. This inevitability is what so many religious conservatives fear and a big part of what keeps the movement alive.
This inevitability was hastened by President Obama who earlier this week declared,“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.” Reversing a his previously expressed opposition to same sex marriage, Obama went on to state, “It would have been hard for me, knowing all the friends and family that are gays or lesbians, to say to them, you know, I voted to oppose you having the same kind of rights and responsibilities that I have.”
I share these sentiments and hope that the president’s statement will add to the sense that people who oppose marriage equality are on the wrong side of history. The people who supported racial segregation and laws forbidding people of different races to marry now have to look back on this and acknowledge that they were the bad guys. They were fighting against an increase in personal freedom and their views are now almost universally considered bigoted, reactionary, and at odds with human progress. Similarly, those who are fighting against the freedom for a man to marry another man or a woman to marry another woman will be forced to look back and say, “We were fighting progress.”
Why fear people of different orientations knowing and accepting each other and recognizing that their differences are not to be demonized? Why fear having to tell your children that sometimes, Eric likes Steve and that it is perfectly normal? Society may yet discover that it is really is no one else’s business what consenting adults do in the privacy of their own home. Is the “gay agenda” that is so feared social acceptance of diversity and social rejection of bigotry? I have spent quite a bit of time around friends of all orientations and see no reason to believe there is any more of an agenda than that—just simple human decency and personal freedom for all.
If you oppose gay marriage, don’t get one! It is not a difficult concept. Many people are squicked when they see public displays of affection between members of the same sex. The thought of homosexual activity creates an “ick” factor and unsettling but it is none of their business. I’m sure their children are plenty grossed out imagining them having sex and the thought of what they do in bed is pretty unappealing to the rest of us. It is very possible that heterosexual couples do just about everything gay couples do. What’s the big deal?
There is an overriding fear that if two members of the same sex can marry that it will have a negative impact on others. It may be possible that some of the more boisterous anti-gay individuals are afraid that they might be tempted to come out of the closet if homosexuality becomes more socially accepted. There are those that believe that gay people worship Satan and that they are all out to recruit children, wish to destroy the United States, encourage God to inflict us with natural disasters, or intentionally spread disease. These people are superstitious bigots that need to get out more and interact with people other than their fellow superstitious bigots.
The president has expressed that he favors this as a state level issue and his comments followed on the heels of North Carolina approving a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions The North Carolina ban would prevent, people of all orientations from gaining any of the protections afforded to marriage outside of marriage. There is still cause for excitement for us on the equal rights side of the culture war. This marks the first time the President of the United States has expressed such a position and the fact that he said it during an election year indicates that he anticipates this resonating favorably with the voting public.
Conservative pundits seem to agree, using this as an opportunity to criticize Obama for political opportunism and pandering to his base. This has previously been a major hot button issue, and conservative talking points concerning same sex marriage not so long ago have been rather apocalyptic and warn that it may lead to a complete collapse of the fabric of our society. They fear it will lead to the right to marry multiple people and animals. The fact that this has been toned down in favor of accusations of political opportunism, seems to reflect a change within the population. After all, it would hardly be opportunistic for Obama to support same sex marriage if it would hurt him in November’s election.
The Republican Party favors a constitutional amendment to prevent same sex marriage. They also support the Defense of Marriage act which blocks recognition of same-sex marriage across state borders. However, some Republican politicians agree with Obama’s position including Dick Cheney and pollster Jan van Lohuizen. She has been urging the GOP to support same-sex marriage because a failure to do so hurts the party. Hopefully, support for Gay marriage will become a growing trend among Republicans, who despite claiming to be in favor of smaller government, cannot handle the thought of a government so small that it is no longer, in the business of telling consenting adults they cannot marry.
Obama chose to use the Bible and the Golden Rule to justify his decisions, “We, Michelle and I, are both practicing Christians and obviously this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others. But, you know, when we think about our faith, the thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it’s also the Golden Rule, you know, treat others the way you would want to be treated.” I am bothered by President Obama using Christianity to justify his position. The irony is that the people who argue against his position are also justifying their bigotry with the Bible. However, the Golden Rule is morally superior to the anti-gay hogwash in Leviticus. Bigots quote passages that support their positions but conveniently ignore the fact that same book prohibits eating pork or selfish and forbids making cloths out of multiple types of yarn. The Bible is ambiguous and open to interpretation. Though I dislike the tone, I appreciate the point made in Rand Paul’s comment: “A Biblical goal caused him to be for gay marriage.” I wonder what version of the Bible he is reading. It seems Christians have a long history of using the Bible to justify attacks on positions that other Christians base on the Bible.
I am clear what side of the culture war I am on and I tend to be critical of president Obama on many things but I am in agreement and happy with his evolved position on same sex marriage. I also look forward to seeing the more tolerant, less-bigoted, less-hypocritical, and less superstitious world of tomorrow.