Michael Hamar

Enough Faux Agonizing, Mr. President

Filed By Michael Hamar | December 30, 2010 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Barack Obama, gay marriage, Los Angeles Times, marriage equality

There has been much coverage of Barack Obama's confession that he's "evolving" on the issue of same sex marriage - which in my view is yet another example of Obama trying to have his cake and eat it too by seeking to placate the LGBT portion of the Democratic Party base yet at the same time stroke the fundies like his BFF Rick Warren. As discussed in a recent post, if one is really true to the Bible, then polygamy, not marriage between one man and one woman, is the true form of "Biblical marriage."

Thus, Obama needs to get over the attempts at fence sitting and admit that civil marriage and religious marriage are two utterly separate things and get on board the civil marriage for same sex couples bandwagon. The torturous prevarication is truly growing tiresome.

The editorial board of the Los Angeles Times agrees and has taken Mr. Obama to task. Here are some highlights:

We can't peer into President Obama's soul, but his statement last week that he is "struggling" with whether to endorse same-sex marriage is open to an unedifying interpretation. Given the president's support of gay rights in other contexts, his opposition to marriage equality raises the question of whether the struggle Obama referred to is between politics and principle. If so, we hope principle will prevail.

"As I've [Obama] said, my feelings about this are constantly evolving. I struggle with this. I have friends, I have people who work for me, who are in powerful, strong, long-lasting gay or lesbian unions. And they are extraordinary people, and this is something that means a lot to them and they care deeply about.

The president could spare himself that struggle if he would analyze the issue logically. If he did, he would recognize that it's irrational, once same-sex couples are given the practical advantages of marriage, to deny them married status. Civil unions, while a vast improvement over the absence of any recognition of same-sex relationships, are almost by definition second-class arrangements.

The temptation is to think that Obama knows this, and that his reluctance to endorse marriage equality is more political than personal. When he ran for the presidency in 2008, it was the conventional wisdom that supporting gay marriage would be politically fatal. With shifts in public attitudes, that probably will not be the case in 2012. According to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, 42% of adults now favor same-sex marriage, compared to 37% in 2009. The trend seems clear.

What should determine his position is logic and the fact that same-sex couples across America, not just those in his circle, yearn for recognition of their relationships. Enough agonizing, Mr. President. Support marriage equality.


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John R. Selig | December 30, 2010 4:41 PM

Nobody will convince me that a well-educated African American President, who for political cover supports civil unions over marriage, really believes in "Separate But Equal" as a viable solution. Hogwash! It is time for him to speak truth to the people not hide behind political expediency!

I cannot support any political action on same-sex marriage until after a fully inclusive ENDA has been passed. It is morally and ethically unacceptable to prioritize an issue of social equality over one of life and death.

John R. Selig | December 30, 2010 6:10 PM

One of the biggest mistakes that members of the LGBT community makes is to fault the effort to make progress in one area because they see another issue as being more important. I have seen this continuously. I have seen comments such as "I am not going to get involved in the fight for gays to be able to be Boy Scouts because it isn't as important as (name another issue). I heard the same thing over DADT, etc.

Each of us must get behind any issue that garners public attention. Often the issues come about because of some news story and the issue is chosen not by our community by forces kn society in general. Any advance that we make will expand into other rights. Any setback will hurt our movement as a whole. It is going to be harder to deny gays jobs because of their sexual orientation when we are allowed to serve openly in the military and news stories about brave gays dying make the news.

I agree that ENDA is critical (an inclusive ENDA that includes our transgender brothers and sisters). But an advance in allowing same-sex marriage will also help the fight to pass ENDA.

Public opinion is moving toward more and more support for LGBT equal rights because we are coming out, sharing our stories and fighting to be treated the way other Americans are treated.

Refusing to work hard for one set of rights until another set is granted first is counterproductive and harmful. We need to all pull together and get our friends, families and coworkers to join us in gaining victories wherever we are able to do so.

I agree. Some of you want to marry, all of us need the right to work, have a home & rights to public accomodation. ENDA is a st start, full inclusion civil rights for orientation and gender should be the objective. Equity and Justice FOR ALL would include the special interests of marriage. This needs to be put back into peraspective.

I hope when it does come to a head again that G&L will remember that B&T need our rights too. Don't throw us to the political wolves as concessions again. Equality must be for all, or it is not equality.

I think the real reason Obama was permitted to win the election is that the military/industrial machine was worried that McCain would not be controllable. Tell us again Mr. candidate when you will bring home the troops, please.

Elizabeth Olsen | December 30, 2010 5:12 PM

I am a 56 yr old married (out) transwoman. I am a lifelong registered Democrat, as in, I registered as a Democrat at age 18 & have stayed as such. I have voted in every election, local & national. I cried tears of joy the night Obama won and again as I watched his inauguration. The truth is there is no Republican politician on this planet that has pissed me off as much as Mr. Obama has since taking office. He is managing to talk out of 3 sides of his mouth. Of course, as a transwoman, I am speaking from below the bus that he threw me under.

I am more than a little sick of (mainly white) LGBT activists griping about everything Obama. I was a Hillary delegate and really wanted her to win. She didn't, I got over it. I wish the Gay PUMA'S would get over it as well.

The man just pushed through DADT repeal. That was around for 17 freaking years! He got it done in two. Yet, now, he's pummeled because he's being honest? Get real. Activists ( I am proudly one) are really just starting to sound like a bunch of priviledged little whinybots.

Btw, the last two weeks all of the LGBT activist community has been patting itself on the back about DADT repeal without ever saying thanks to Harry Reid. Without Reid it would not have happened. I have asked Dan Choi where his thank you is and gotten crickets. I'm really perturbed to see people who have talked so much crap haven't the balls to say thanks for helping us achieve our first EVER LGBT victory after 30 years and half a billion dollars have been wasted.

Jeez.

Separate but Equal has been proven to be wrong every time! Why does anyone want to keep saying that is is right?

ENDA is "life and death" -- OH PLEASE!

The moral and ethical issue is that government should first end its own discrimination against gays -- marriage -- before it seeks to impose its views on the private sector -- ENDA.

John R. Selig | December 31, 2010 1:07 PM

Great idea. Let's fight amongst ourselves over which of our denied rights is more important. That's the ticket.

Here is a thought. Rather than trying to figure out which wrong against us is worse,whenever we are faced with being denied rights, we stand up united to fight against the denial (regardless of issue at hand). As I said before, we rarely pick the issue happenstance does.

But no, it is much more fun to fight over whose dick is bigger. If the LGBT didn't have so many people that hate us we would destroy each other. Very sad.

Passing ENDA is critical. So is gaining the right to marry (even if some of us don't work, even if some of us don't want to get married).