Everyone — anti-gay, pro-civil rights, pinkos, reactionaries — likely got it this afternoon. The POTUS finally, finally said he, like most Americans polled, favors marriage equality, a.k.a. same-sex marriage.
See and hear his brief ABC News comments below.
I have my take(s) on it. Meanwhile, I'm seeing:
- Winger hope that they can somehow say he's as bad a flip-flopper as Willard Mitt Romney and that he is too fond of gay rights, so we need to dump him in November
- Idle speculation that it was a savvy or stupid campaign gambit that will either ensure his reelection or his defeat
In my SSM-oriented world, I think instead of the much delayed reason and candor. Consider first that Barack Obama is a former professor versed in both law and history. He has been behind flimsy veils of politics, religion, and attorney-ese.
This same Obama has muddled his personal religious doctrine with civil law and civil rights. Specifically on the latter, he has feigned that religious ritual, a.k.a. church wedding ceremony, is somehow what makes a marriage. As a lawyer, he has long known that the state-mandated and sanctioned civil ceremony — at a J.P., in a church, in a town hall or in a public park — and the signed marriage license are the legal essence. The minority of couples who choose to layer that with a religious ritual do so for show and feel. A cleric signing the paper is no more necessary than a sommelier recommending the dinner wine.
To me, this long overdue acknowledgement that SSM is the right path is welcome. Alas, at least in this first statement, he did not say something like, "Damn it! This is a matter of civil rights. Let's be real about that!"
Word is that his campaign is checking their cummerbunds for stray crumbs. Will conservative African-American voters pass out? Will older independents be insulted?
Instead, let's be plain. This is the right attitude and the right declaration. It is at least Christian, as well as in line with other inclusive, loving religion. It is an affirmation of civil rights, as well as individual liberties. In short, it is American.