Writing and Other Afflictions

"If it was easy, everyone would do it." –Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own"

Obama Does The Right Thing

A little late on this, but big kudos to the President’s public support of gay marriage. I sat and read the article and thought about how unlikely this would have been just a year ago. Every time I see another politician step up and say that supporting gay marriage is the right thing to do, I get a little emotional, which is maybe silly; why should it be affecting to me when people recognize my right to live as a human being? Other people respond with contemptuous “it’s about time” anger, and maybe that feels right to them. Maybe I’m so used to the entrenched bigotry that I have some weird version of Stockholm Syndrome where I sympathize with how hard it is for someone in the public eye to actually take that position.

But I think it’s more the emotion associated with watching the tide turn in a battle, of Wellington keeping a wary eye on the horizon as the battle goes on and Napoleon’s reinforcements don’t arrive, of the knowledge that the unlikely is happening before our eyes. History is being made here. I may not long recall the exact date, but I will remember sitting in front of my computer looking at those words on the screen, the same way I remember the giddiness of Prop 20 being overturned in California and the optimism with which we confronted the Prop 8 vote. I have been heartened by the number of columnists who’ve said that this is just another step in the march forward, who predict that in 2016 the official platform of the Democratic party will include federal recognition of same-sex marriage. I think this is an amazing time to be living in.

I have seen opinions from some people complaining that Obama didn’t do enough, didn’t go far enough, have heard his statement called “cowardly” and “opportunistic” (which are about the furthest words from my mind when a sitting president makes a declaration like this going into an election cycle), as though making this statement the day after a crucial swing state resoundingly passed a constitutional amendment outlawing any recognized partnerships save for a formal marriage of one man and one woman held no danger for him politically. To those people, I would say: go see “The Avengers” again, because clearly what you want in your life is comic book superheroes and not real people addressing real problems in a realistic way.

The sitting President of the United States supports same-sex marriage. That’s a big deal. Let’s be happy about it just for a day or two, huh?

The New Yorker Celebrates Obama’s Statement (from The Gothamist)


One response to “Obama Does The Right Thing

  1. jthomasin May 13, 2012 at 12:50 am

    I agree it does feel like a tide turning in a battle. A change in attitude is the first thing that must happen before anything else. A huge first step.

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