It all started with a slip in the tongue from the vice president saying he thinks gay people should be allowed to marry. Now President Obama is on the airwaves saying that he also believes marriage should not be defined only as a heterosexual union, and the media is eating it up like it’s the last container of Ben and Jerry’s in the world. My fellow gay friends are cheering about it, and I think I spotted one of two musical numbers busting out on Facebook.
I wish I could be happy about it. The only problem is that there isn’t a grand master plan that would make gay marriage legal on a national scale. We just lost another state in the union to the constitutional amendment bandwagon defining marriage between a man and a woman—North Carolina. In the same breath that he said he would support my marriage to another man, he said it should still remain a decision of individual states whether gay marriage should be legal or not.
To have this revelation come during an election year makes it all the more discouraging because it is being used as a weapon to gain votes. That’s what politics is all about, but as those commercials from my childhood said, “Where’s the beef?”
Promises are all well and good for the politicians, but there are very few of them who carry them out once the people have put them in power. Everyone is so excited that the president favors gay marriage, but how many people are asking, “How is this going to become a reality?”
Obama is interested in leaving it to the states. I wonder how different our country would be today if other civil rights issues had been left to the states. Would interracial marriage be legal in every state? Would women be able to vote or be considered more than property? Why should gay marriage be any different?
Right now, the president is floundering on other issues as he faces a fight for a second term in office. The issue of gay marriage is a gamble—a big one. He’s hoping to sway people to his side and maybe bring out some people who might be considering sitting this one out because it’s the choice between him and Mitt Romney. Unfortunately, the gamble is that people who are on the fence might also clutch their pearls at the mere thought of the leader of the free world thinking two guys or two gals tying the knot and figure it’s time for the Republicans to have their turn in the White House again.
With that said, I hope the president plans to do more than attend a few gay weddings if he’s elected to a second term. I hope this is finally the time when we put the issue to rest once and for all, but I’m not putting my life on hold to see if it happens.
A friend of mine from high school, Randall Gossman, posted on my Facebook page shortly after the news broke on Obama. I’m not sure why he was calling me Gary, but you got to love his optimism.
“Well, Gary! At least we finally had a president with the balls to endorse gay marriage. Seems as silly as the days when women couldn’t vote but it looks like there may be progress for you folks. Unless of course you live in NC. Those morons may never get it. I’m confident that in our lifetime people will look back and think that it was crazy that it was ever an issue. Some progress is better than nothing ey, Gary?”
Yes, Randall, some progress is a good thing. Let’s hope progress is what we get.