Thursday, May 10, 2012

President Obama Gets It Right On Gay Marriage

Yesterday, President Obama told the nation that he supports the right of gay couples to get married. Welcome to the 21st century, sir, there's beer in the fridge.

I've never doubted the President's actual beliefs about this issue and I don't believe for a single moment that his point of view has been 'evolving' all this time. The man's central problem has always been that he's a human being in his heart and a politician in fact. He suffers from the same disease that every person whose ife is run by handlers contracts eventually. Waffling on the important stuff is like the common cold for political animals whose progression through the ranks of power depends on public opinion. We're just finally lucky enough that public opinion on this civil rights issue has finally reached 50/50 status and the President possesses that extra percent of guts required for a powerful person to finally take a stand.

Of course it's one thing to come out in favor of equal rights for citizens, Backing it up with legislation is another game entirely, and the President has shown no inclination to do any such thing. Obama continues to insist that gay marriage is an issue for the states and we all know how that's going to go. Individual states are more inclined to stifle the right of gay individuals to marry rather than encourage it and they've proven it with their perfect 32-0 record of shitting all over equal rights when the issue goes to referendum. The only states that have successfully granted equal status to gay citizens have been the ones with governors and legislatures courageous enough to take the issue out of the hands of reactionary and bigoted citizens and do the thing using the old-school method of politics: favor trading, back room deals and maybe a sprinkling of blackmail just to make sure things are properly cinched up.

I'm willing to put aside my usual distaste for the common political method for this issue. If showing State Senator X the never before seen pictures of his 'fact-finding trip' to Thailand is what it takes to ensure that every American  possesses the same rights as his/her neighbor to marry for love or money or social advantage, then I'm OK with it.

However slowly things progress, I'm confident that our society will eventually reach the end of this argument. The bigoted religious sects will continue to marginalize themselves even within the confines of their own theology. The men and women who are opposed to homosexuality because they think the sex is 'icky' will look themselves in the mirror one day and realize how stupid they're being. The generational shift in cultural norms will finally overtake whatever is left of the hesitation of our politicians to do the right thing. My generation and our children will be  the targeted demographic of politicians and we will not tolerate discrimination. When I am an old man, people my age will want our leaders to do the right thing because we know better and our kids will want the same because they never knew any different.

The road to equality has always been long and perilous, demanding sacrifice from those brave enough to travel it. National progress on these issues that seem so simple to some of us is slow and requires a tireless activist base along with that ever elusive creature: The Gutsy Politician. There is a reward at the end, though. SO many Americans, gay and straight, have walked that road in the hope that someday this thing we call 'gay marriage' will just be marriage like abolition became freedom and women's suffrage became voting. That day is coming. Be patient, be strong and be true, your reward is closer than you think.

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