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Bravo Obama!

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'Obama says same-sex couples should be able to marry.'

US President Barack Obama has ended months of hedging on the issue of gay marriage by saying he thinks same-sex couples should be able to wed.

He has become the first sitting US president to back gay marriage.

Mitt Romney, the Republican who is set to challenge Mr Obama for the White House in November's elections, promptly said he was against gay marriage.

In recent days, Vice-President Joe Biden and cabinet member Arne Duncan had expressed support for gay unions.

A Gallup poll on Tuesday suggested that 50% of Americans were in favour of legalising gay marriage - a slightly lower proportion than last year - while 48% said they would oppose such a move.

Finally, Obama has come out and said what he believes. As a non American I'm in awe because it seems his presidency might well be won or lost on this issue. Romney worries me: he reminds me of Martin Sheen's character in the movie of Stephen King's 'The Dead Zone.'

BBC Article

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And now we have Mitt Romney making comments about how he has never changed his mind on gay marriage, he has always been against it. Wow, Romney, Mr. Flip Flop sticking to his guns?

I have to respect the President for the long careful consideration he gave to this issue before declaring his postion in favor of gay marriage. My personal position is that every citizen deserves the same rights and so any law against that postiton is wrong. The GOP will now make this the only issue in the election.

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We teeter on the edge of a theocratic dark age. President Obama gives us hope and we have the opportunity to thank him at this site. Please go there and sign the thank you card. He is going to need all the support we can give him.


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I give Obama credit. He chose the worst possible time to voice his opinion, from a vote-gathering perspective. I doubt what he said will influence the total vote too much; it'll gain a few votes and lose a few. Those already against him will be more vehemently against him, and weren't going to vote for him anyway. A few religious people, many of them black, will let this issue change their minds and they'll vote Republican, which isn't in their best interests. The ones that will switch and vote Democrat will do so because they see a man of conviction taking a position that isn't in his best interests, politically. But probably more votes will go against him because of this than will be gained.

I don't think anyone knows at this point the degree to which what he said will help or hurt him. But I like the fact he had the moral courage to come out with this statement at this time. It was the right thing to do.


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This is a stunning reverse on Obama's wishy-washiness over the last 4 years. Thank god he's finally taking a stand on something important, even it polarizes the religious right. And I agree 1000% percent with what Cole says above.

I hope Obama has the balls to say something like: "gay marriage should not matter at all to the federal government. The President should only be concerned with defending the country, creating new jobs, improving the economy, lowering taxes, passing significant legislation, enforcing federal law, cutting spending, and ending the war. The entire gay marriage discussion is nothing more than a smokescreen and a diversion."

I can't wait until he and Romney (assuming the noted Mormon gets the Repub nomination) have to debate the issues. Note that when Romney was governor of Massachusetts, the state legalized gay marriage in 2004. And he also instituted a health plan very similar to the one Obama pushed through -- which Romney now opposes. It'll be very interesting to see how Romney tries to distance himself from both.

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I'm glad he did it. Trouble is, this is going to galvanize the religious right and other homophobes to be even more proactive about electing Romney.

Colin :icon_geek:

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It would appear that the loss of votes (due to marriage) is somewhere equal to the gains. It'd going to be close, but the only way the Romulan can win, is if they get more voters out than the Democrats. There will need to be a concerted effort to encourage the President's supporters to actually vote.

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I wish Pres. Obama would be clear and say something like what Pecman suggested. It is clear and direct, and doesn't leave the opposition a lot of room to wiggle and refute. Unfortunately, politicians on all sides seem loath to be that plainspoken. I like plainspoken and direct, even if I don't always do so myself. I want to know where I stand with someone. I want to know, really and truly, where a candidate stands on an issue, and I do not want him or her to say one thing while campaigning and do another when elected. Above all, I want some common sense and the ability to cooperate and compromise, the willingness to work with the other guy, not just demonize him. I'll acknowledge I'm not perfect on that, but I want my elected representatives to be. I want them to know and practice things like "diplomacy" and "public service" and "statesmanship" and "compromise." I want them to find ways of doing things, to try solutions, and not simply talk the other guy's plan into the ground. There are real problems out there in the real world, at home and overseas. We have to live with our neighbors in our own country, with our neighbors in nearby countries, and with people half the globe away. We have to live with them and deal with them, even if we don't agree with them, even if we think they are wrong, as much as if we like 'em and think they're right.

I haven't seen a lot to be thrilled about from either major party or from the Tea Party or others. I know who I'll vote for for president, because despite some things I wish were handled better, the one choice seems better than the others, and some of the others currently vying for the job...freak me the heck out, they seem to lack much sense.

I expect a lot of polarization on the gay marriage / gay rights issue. I expect many people to be so blinded by their preconceived notions and prejudices that they don't see it as a wedge and smokescreen to avoid dealing with other issues which our elected government ought to be dealing with. Yes, I want to have equal rights as a gay person, including equal rights if I should have a partner, and the right against mistreatment or discrimination because I'm gay. But very frankly, I also want some idea that I can find (or make my own) good job, keep it and make a living, have home and health insurance, pay my bills and taxes, put food on the table, keep a roof over my head, and so on. Oh, and not have some idiot, either home-grown or foreign, try to hurt and kill people he doesn't like/agree with, just because they don't do what he says. -- I don't want to see some demonstration devolve into a Kent State, Ohio situation, for instance. I don't want to see martial law. I don't want yet another war. I do recognize, sometimes there are things you can't avoid, either because someone else won't stop or because you have your own principles. Oh yeah, and I'd like to be able to get benefits some day when I'm too old or unwell to work. -- Above all, I don't want to wake up some day and not recognize the country I love, either because it's been damaged from within or by outside interference. I count paranoia as one of those threats, from within and without. Why give up freedoms and assumptions of innocence and rightness, just because somebody somewhere is afraid of the bogeyman? Yes, even if that bogeyman is really out there somewhere, I can't live in fear of him every day, any more than I can live in constant fear of illness or injury or poverty or any of those other scary things. I have a life, dang it. I'm a free citizen. I don't have any desire to do something wrong to threaten or hurt anyone, so why should people, here or elsewhere, be so worried I *might* do something, when I have no reason to. It *is* possible to push ordinary people so far, they can't abide it anymore. We're not there yet. I just hope some idiot doesn't do something stupid, whatever side he's on.

(By the way -- I'd really recommend watching the film, 1776, if you haven't recently. The Founding Fathers (and Mothers) had what would currently be seen as a very unpopular and dangerous view on freedom and such, and yet we look up to them as examplars of what to do, how to form and run a government. I wish today's fear-mongering politicos would go back and pay attention to what that was like, what those people meant.)

I think it's highly likely many people will pay too much attention to the gay rights / gay marriage issue, instead of others that are more urgent, or at least, more within the realm of what government ought to concern itself with. Who you make love to, have sex with, live with, partner with, have a family and kids with, is more your own business than the government's or the local religious groups' (plural) or the homeowner's association...or anybody else's damn business, thank you.

I don't want to see the election turn into pro-gay versus anti-gay and be decided mainly on that. I have seen too much of the nonsense by people who are homophobic and who are all too happy to mix their religion and their politics, and who would be all too willing to give up Constitutional rights or the separation of Church and State, just to get what they think they want.

I will say, I'm very surprised, even shocked to see any figure saying the public is anywhere near 40% to 50% in favor of gay rights or marriage. If it's not a fluke, if it's believable, then I'm very surprised and heartened.

As much as I would love for it to be legal in my state and nation for two gay people to be (partners, civil union, marriage, whatever word you want to call it) and as much as I want equal rights, period, without discrimination, for gay people, I have to say that there are other things just as important or *more* important to our country and the world. I would much rather if people understood that it ought to be up to the persons involved, and not an issue for religions or governments. But the reality is, people will not let it be, because so many do insist on prejudice and harm towards gay people.

Bottom line, and a very dry, cynical, misanthropic statement coming from someone like me?

It's all just words, no matter who the politician is and what side he or she is on. Until I actually see it put into law, actual practice, real action, real support, then I know better than to believe any of them, no matter how much I may want to believe words that sound good. Since being old enough to vote, I've seen good presidents and bad, good and bad other elected officials, good and bad policies. I have heard good words that I wanted to believe, from politicians, religious leaders, even friends and relatives. And I have seen time after time how often it's all just bull. I've come to be very surprised when someone carries through and means what they say and does what they say. I value that more than ever. And yes, I feel disenfranchised, burned, hurt, by what I've seen in the public arena (politics and religion and business and interpersonal actions) and by things in my personal life, people I had trusted as friends and family, who proved not to be who I thought (I don't mean just gay issues, either). So I want *very* much for there to be real progress, real people I can trust as being in it for the common good or my personal benefit, and...I just want things to get better. -- I value enormously the people who've proven worthy of trust, friendship, love, reliability. I want more of that in my life.

I want there to be a world where all the hot air about gay rights and marriage and "family values" settles down into what's real and what matters, instead of rampant lunatic fears and superstitions.

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Here's what Jason West, the once and now again mayor of New Palz, NY and who performed gay marriages eight years ago before they were sanctioned in law in NY State, said of the President's announcement. West, who identifies as straight, was voted out of office, ostracized in his community, and unable to find work for a while. He was elected mayor again recently as a member of the Green Party.

"I'm happy the president finally joined the 21st century and has recognized the civil rights of these Americans. But until he starts pushing for a federal law, the various Gay-Straight Alliances in any high school in the country are doing more to advance the cause than he is. They're the ones in the front lines."

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So, we have a President who apparently was for gay marriage in 1996, "evolved" against it in 2006 and 2008 and now adopts the same position that Dick Cheney took 12 years ago and leaving the issue up to the states, such as North Carolina, where he courageously canceled his visit just before his announcement. The White House will not propose a gay-marriage plank at the Democratic convention, nor likely any legislation before Congress. But Obama is the first President to say that he personally favors gay marriage but will leave it up to the states to decide the issue.

Prior to the recent "evolution" he was for civil unions, but even with a Democratic House and Senate in his first two years, he proposed no changes in crucial Federal issues, such as the IRS code, Social Security (including survivor benefits) and a whole host of other Federal-level changes to make that would benefit gay relationships.

A cynic might suggest that this "evolution" had more to do with his need for campaign funds from the gay community. A cynic might suggest that his cancellation of a trip to North Carolina before the gay-marriage vote might have had more to do with the 15 electoral votes than with his beliefs -- or maybe he had his epiphany after the North Carolina vote.

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I'll take your cynical blather and counter with one incontrovertible fact:

As President, Barack Obama has done more to protect, encourage, and help gay people than all of the other Presidents before him in the history of the United States. His announcement this last week tops off a history of putting gay rights at the front of his administration's goals. Has he been perfect? Oh hell no, but the fact remains he has done more for the gay community than all the Presidents who came before him.

Here's a neat timeline: https://s3.amazonaws...a_wlm6b5ril.pdf His campaign website has an exhaustive list as well: http://www.barackoba...accomplishments

Meanwhile Mitt Romney is firmly against not only gay marriage, but civil unions as well. http://content.usato...barack-obama-/1 (By his definition of rights equivalent ot marriage in all but name, he means domestic partner rights here in California and elsewhere. So it's okay to be able to visit your loved one in the hospital, but you can't inherit their property by law when they die.)

I know that may not be enough for some people, but then there are some people that will never vote for him because he's black, or he's a moderate. What can never be changed though is that for the first time ever, a sitting President of the United States of America has said publicly that I should be allowed to marry the man I love, the man I have lived with for seven years, and with whom I raise two kids. Worse, in the eyes of some, he has affirmed yet again that yes, it is okay to be gay.

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As President, Barack Obama has done more to protect, encourage, and help gay people than all of the other Presidents before him in the history of the United States.

It's still not enough, and he took a long time to come through with all his campaign promises. (No less than billionaire David Geffen had expressed dismay about Obama postponing several gay rights issues.)

Noted radio shock jock Howard Stern had this to say about Obama's gay marriage statement:

"I wish the president actually had gone further. I wish he said he was going to back some legislation on the national level," Stern said. (my emphasis)

Some are taking issue with the timing and content of Obama's announcement, noting that it took the president well into the third year of his term to concede that he believed same-sex couples should be able to marry. Obama also did not endorse any federal legislation on the matter.

Stern found the move calculated, but admitted that it could herald eventual progress. "Okay, this is a good first step," he said. "It's a baby step."

"Will and Grace" co-creator Max Mutchnick called the president's statement "very choreographed" and revealed that Joe Biden teased the comments the vice president made on "Meet the Press" during an earlier, private function. Biden later famously said he believed "'Will and Grace' probably did more to educate the American public than almost anything anyone's ever done so far." He said he was "absolutely comfortable" with gay marriage.

Obama's announcement came just days later, causing some to speculate that Biden's surprising comment may have forced the president's hand. To continue to hedge on gay marriage risked alienating a key constituency within his base. Until his announcement Wednesday, the administration had described the president's views on the issue as "evolving."

Obama's campaign launched a new ad after his announcement, blasting Mitt Romney as "backwards on equality" and highlighting the president's new position.


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President Obama can't do much about other legislation on gay marriage until DOMA is overturned, either by legislation or in the Supreme Court. A law mandating gay marriage rights is a long way off. In the current political climate it's a no-go.

Colin :icon_geek:

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Unless you are a conservative, holding to all the values of the GOP, the important thing to remember is that Obama is still better than Romney on LGBTQ issues.

The LGBTQ cause will be set back 8-20 years if the Republicans gain the White House and Congress. They denied AIDS and ignored HIV, and they will use any excuse to ignore us again. I don't particularly care if people are unhappy with the speed of progress made under Obama, the fact is, the opposition is far worse, to the point, in fact, of being anti-gay.

Not voting for Obama, is a vote for the GOP, and that includes those who do not vote for either Obama or the GOP candidate.

LGBTQ and progressive people will need to encourage maximum turn out of the voters if the GOP is not to be elected by default.

If we have learned anything from the past 4 years, it should be that you can't elect one man and expect him to do all the things we want if he can't see active support for those things. Getting the vote out and keeping the pressure up after he gets elected is the best way to encourage the results that we not only want and need, but are also entitled to as our human rights. In my opinion.

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Unless you are a conservative, holding to all the values of the GOP, the important thing to remember is that Obama is still better than Romney on LGBTQ issues.

I agree 100%, Des. But I'm just dismayed and disappointed that Obama doesn't do more. He's been very, very slow to change, and took a long time to fulfill his campaign promises.

I'm glad he's finally taking a stand, but it would've been a lot braver to do this three years ago.

There are candidates who are 100,000 times worse than Romney. I swear to god, if Rick Santorum had been nominated, I would start to pack to move into Des' back yard, in a tent.

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It's a thankless job, and an uphill battle all the way. The end result of effort reveals little of the extent, and nothing at all of attempts blocked by opposing forces.

My interests are best served by encouraging effort and celebrating victory, while never, ever, surrendering the whole of what I want simply because I am not likely to have it.

That is not to say I don't appreciate those who have a firmer grasp or greater understanding of what can be done, and by what means and what degree of effort is required.

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