And that was a game changer. The LGBT community no longer had to justify their intentions to make marriage equality part of the national agenda; not just something to be discussed in a handful of progressive states. Public opinion everywhere shifted (and quickly) within days. More importantly the African American community for the first time united behind the concept that the right to marry is a civil right (Obama’s endorsement unites black and gay communities).
After President Obama shared what was essentially a personal opinion, it changed everything (at least for me). Obama set a standard that all future Presidential nominees will now be found wanting if they don’t support marriage equality. Thank you President Obama (President Obama support for same sex marriage is a game changer).
Don’t believe me? A 2014 Washington Post/ABC News poll shows 59% of voters nationwide support the freedom to marry and 50% or more of Americans in every region of the country support the freedom to marry.
I was going to write an emphatic and emotionally charged post in response to President Obama’s speech about gun control but in the middle of my rant I thought “What is the point?” With more than 90% of Americans wanting background checks for people who purchase fire arms – it is tough to understand why US Senate Republicans have said they will filibuster and prevent a vote to take place. The really sad part of this story is that even if these Senators did allow a vote to take place, I don’t actually believe the US Senate (let alone the US Congress) would pass the legislation – to say I’m depressed is an understatement.
President Obama gave an impassioned speech today in Connecticut in favor of passing legislation that would mandate background checks for anyone who wants to buy a gun. If you care about these things, watch the video below.
Year in rewind: BosGuy’s favorite posts from 2012
In May, Obama made history as the first sitting US President to voice his support for marriage equality; for me it solidified my flagging support. I immediately inserted his quote to this photograph and watched proudly as the image went viral on a number of national blogs.
President Obama “came out” in support of same sex marriage yesterday. Why he chose now and how he got to this point is irrelevant to me. What does matter is a sitting President is on record supporting marriage equality, and that is a game changer for three crucial reasons.
First, although his support does not change Federal Law, having the public support of the highest elected official in the country matters (and it matters a lot). When Massachusetts legalized Same Sex Marriage on May 17, 2004 it was only because incremental changes and advancements which had started years before came to fruition. Obama’s support is more than an incremental advancement.
Obama’s standing within the African American, Black and Arabic communities here and abroad is without equal. These communities have long been some of the most vocal opposing same sex marriage. Obama’s endorsement and framing the issue as one of equality and fairness will have significant impact on these communities. No doubt there will be some heated sermons in traditionally black churches this Sunday through out the United States.
Lastly, Obama has set a standard which all future Presidential nominees will now be found wanting if they don’t support marriage equality. While this will fire up those opposed to same sex marriage; I believe this is still a gain for the President and for states currently debating legalizing same sex marriage. Americans love to support winners and the prejudicial arguments to oppose same sex marriage is sounding more and more like a losing argument. Obama’s support is a game changer.
Source: Pete Souza/The White House, Oct. 26, 2012
I know it is nearly Christmas but I love this photograph Time Magazine posted, showing President Obama playing with the son of a White House staffer – otherwise known as Spiderman.
I love this image.
With the national elections now behind us and the results tallied we can go back to a life not consumed by politics. However, I can’t help but wonder what lessons the Republican Party might learn.
Will Tea Party or Christian Conservative elements of the Republican Party emerge or will a more socially progressive wing flex its muscle? One need not be a political scientist to understand the Republican Party is losing ground with increasingly important voting demographics like Women (who made up more than 54% of the electorate) and Latino voters, which is one of the fastest growing demographics in the U.S. (now 10% of the electorate).
Perhaps the best evidence of the Republican Party’s waning influence was seen in the US Senate races. With Democrats defending 23 seats and Republicans defending only 10 seats (and needing to pick up just 4 seats to gain a majority) it was widely believed Democrats would lose control of the Senate. However, across the country Republicans lost in states like MA and CT in the Northeast, WI and IN in the MidWest and even in the South in VA. The lesson from the 2012 election is that you can no longer support programs that marginalize women or minority groups and expect to win (with the possible exception of the South).
My message to Republicans Drop the faith-laced language, the xenophobic hyperbole, your homophobic stereotypes and you will find a receptive audience to your smaller government message. If you cannot, your days as a national party are numbered.
Wanted to revisit a rather important moment for me this past May.
Obama’s timely Tweet to Clint Eastwood at the RNC As posted on JMG.