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Right here, look!

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People around the blogosphere are griping about this. They don’t like it. They are saying things like “it should have happened sooner” or “why didn’t he do this sooner” or “I’m still mad” or “oh, that’s just becuase it became obvious that he had to change is position for political reasons.”

The first most obvious fact about any political change like this is that it should have happened sooner. Congratulations for noticing that, you should get a PhD in political science. The second most obvious fact about an issue like this is that actual politicians who are actually elected to non-trivial office play the politics. Thank you for noticing this. Maybe you should write a book about it.

So, what is the next step? I suggest continuing to gripe about how long it took, devaluing the event as a political move so it becomes less important, that sort of thing. We wouldn’t want a very positive and hopeful statement by the most powerful and influential person on the planet to lead to anything good, right?

Or, maybe you could take advantage of the situation. Make this into something other than a mere chance for all of us to show off our political wit!

So, what is the next step?

How about working with the momentum! Try to get the Dems to turn this into a stronger push for election season, a stronger backlash against NC’s boneheaded move, stronger support for action against currently proposed anti-gay legislation or constitutional change!

Or what? Do you have other suggestions? Let’s have them!

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34 thoughts on “OBAMA ENDORSES SAME SEX MARRIAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111

  1. Words are cheap; action is far more expensive. Should I hold my breath for Obama to actually DO something, like tell Congress to begin repeal of DOMA? Probably not.

  2. Waste no time with the cynicism. This is why we can’t have nice things.

    I for one am very glad he said what he said today.

    I can’t think of a single major social change that has happened in the US that could not have been done sooner. But if that’s the main thing to say about it, then well … just sayin’

  3. He got as far as, “I personally believe gay marriage ok. (paraphrase)”

    He needs the next step of his administration joining in. It’s a bit early of me to ask for that though. I suspect they are reacting to the Biden thing and are planning / figuring out roll out.

  4. Woohoo! I’m so happy he did this. Yeah, yeah, ’bout fucking time and all, but he could have continued playing the politician until after the election instead of doing what is morally right. Thank you, Mr. President!!!111!!!

  5. BTW, Gregory in Seattle,

    Should I hold my breath for Obama to actually DO something, like tell Congress to begin repeal of DOMA?

    You can breathe, dude. He has already said DOMA is unconstitutional and has forced the Republicans to get their own attorney to defend it in federal court.

  6. I didn’t expect him to do this in an election year… and right on the heels of North Carolina adopting Amendment 1.

    It’s a gutsy move on his part. And the right move.

  7. It’s kinda sad just how much we’ve all been desperately waiting for him to act like a Democrat and support something resembling a liberal position that we’re so excited about this.

    That said, kudos to him for not waiting till after the election to say this.

  8. This is really interesting. Six months before the election, he must be pretty sure it isn’t going to hurt his chances.

    That makes me wonder what Mitt will do. Attacking Obama’s position would certainly be what the GOP base wants him to do. But at this moment he needs to drive back towards the middle. Now is not the time for him to be ‘going right.’ This puts him (Mitt) between a rock and a hard place.

    And that makes me wonder if Obama’s administration wasn’t simply way smarter than the pundits all along. Everyone was thinking about the benefit of waiting until after the general, and nobody was thinking about the potential benefits of doing it right after the end of the GOP primary. This forces Mitt into a very public choice between the position of the base and the position of moderates – before Mitt has consolidated his support among these factions. If he’s too pro-gay, the far right may still drop him in disgust, where they wouldn’t if the issue came up in, say, October. If he’s too anti-gay, the centrists he’s now trying to court are going to see him as someone who runs back to the GOP base any time they snap their fingers.

    Very interesting political calculus. Ah well, whether it was that calculated or not, I’m glad Obama did it and I hope it translates into legislative action at some point.

  9. @Aratina Cage #6 – Obama occasionally says nice things, to the delight of LGBT and allies. He has a very real problem actually following through on the nice things he says.

    Once burned, twice shy. And we have been burned a lot more often than just once.

  10. Sadly, I think this will actually harm his prospects for reelection in the fall. I hope I’m wrong, but it seems like he’s handed the R’something they can really use against him to re-energize their base and win over a more than a few folks from the middle.

  11. Ugh. “handed the R’something” should of course be “handed the R’s something.” I will now go and find a new battery for the wireless keyboard.

  12. The fact that he mentioned support was rendered meaningless when he followed up by saying it was for the states to decide. That’s not taking a position, that’s blowing smoke up my ass.

  13. Regarding the calls to “repeal DOMA,” he has already ordered the Justice Department to stop enforcing it. I assume he needs Congress to actually repeal it. Obviously, Congress will not cooperate with Obama on anything. They would vote against motherhood if Obama supported it.

  14. In this anti-science, homobigoted infested country, he is risking his political career. VOTE. Get your friends to VOTE. I can guarantee you the opposition does NOT support or believe gays should marry. Nor do they accept evolution,or the fact of climate change. VOTE as if your lives, and the lives of your loved ones depended on it.

  15. I don’t think he has handed the Republicans anything. If it is an issue in the campaign you’ll have Romney trying to appeal to people who already know that he used to be fine with marriage equality.

    As much as I loathe the mixing of politics and religion, I think a speech where he talks about how a good Christian can support marriage equality would make inroads among those in the Democratic coalition who still oppose it.

  16. Money talks, Greg. A liberal blogger like yourself should organize a series of “dinners with Greg,” bringing donation envelopes for everyone who signs up. 😉

  17. I don’t think he’s reacting to the Biden thing. I’d lay big odds that Joe wasn’t running off at the mouth, he was doing exactly as planned: either sending up a trial balloon or throwing the starter jab.

  18. I think this is a very nice political move.
    Mitt Romney is now the challenger – no real question about that anymore. And his reputation is as a waffler, a man who’ll turn any direction in the political breeze.
    Obama is now positioning himself as a leader, by taking on the positions, perhaps not the popular ones with everyone, and making his position clear.
    Of course, if he gets no support, or nothing but criticism from those he’s trying to support, he’ll probably back off – and that will give Romney lots of ammo.
    So, if you want Mitt Romney and four years of no fucking chance for LGBT rights – just keep on dissing the man in the White House.

  19. It is nice to see a Democrat actually standing up for a progressive cause. Too often I feel like your liberal politicians are simply reacting to conservative points and constantly giving in to them, unwilling to take a stand, fearful they might offend someone. Maybe some change can actually happen.

  20. It is nice to see a Democrat sorta stand halfway up for a progressive cause after waiting until poll after poll after poll shows that a majority of Americans now support it. It reminds me of when Lincoln stood up and said

    Personally, I don’t really like the whole slavery thing, but what can I do about it? It’s a States’ Rights Issue.

  21. You’re suggesting we should put results ahead of our own feelings of self-righteousness?


  22. Results? Which results were those?

    (And bonus points for characterizing the expressions of disappointment from people still being denied their human rights as “self righteousness”.)

  23. “Administration officials insisted that Obama had reached his own decision earlier this year but said that he told only a small circle of people, numbering roughly six or seven, and made clear to advisers that he wanted to announce his support before the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, scheduled for the first week of September….The timeline was sped up, however, by Biden’s comments, the officials said in a briefing with reporters Wednesday at the White House, speaking on the condition that they not be named or quoted.”


  24. he wanted to announce his support before the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, scheduled for the first week of September

    So instead of throwing us under the bus, we were the bus! Ah, it feels good.

  25. Results? Which results were those?

    Not being a Republican administration.

    (And bonus points for characterizing the expressions of disappointment from people still being denied their human rights as “self righteousness”.)

    Temper tantrums about how the Democrats are no better than the Republicans because they’re not perfect extend a bit beyond “expression of disappointment.”

    But thanks for making my point for me.

  26. Progress doesn’t happen because the oppressed politely waited for non-oppressed to eventually get around to maybe kinda saying they’re okay with what the oppressed wants.

    Why is there an assumption that people who are angry about this too-late, lukewarm response are incapable of being vocally critical AND using their vote intelligently?

    If people aren’t happy with what Obama said, isn’t it better to hold his feet to the fire BEFORE he’s locked into his last term as president and has no real reason to listen to his electorate? Isn’t he more likely to reconsider his views when he NEEDS something from gays (eg, their votes and support), or when he’s safely back in office?

    If people who aren’t satisfied with his comments stay quiet now, they can count on never being listened to ever.

  27. Why is there an assumption that people who are angry about this too-late, lukewarm response are incapable of being vocally critical AND using their vote intelligently?


  28. quietmarc, I essentially agree with what you are saying. While it is impossible to clearly define what the best strategy might be,I can tell you that there are individuals acting well beyond the limit of what could possibly considered helpful.

    Consider, for instance, poor Jason. He really is a nice guy and he spends way more effort than ANYONE I’ve ever met to understand and address the issue of personal privilege and to be a good ally to everyone he can be. Go have a look at the morons harassing him on his blog (and me as well, but I’m not as nice as Jason by a long shot) and doing the absolute best they can to sever relationships rather than build them. If enough people acted like that gaggle, there really would be damage to Obama’s chances of re-election, and an increase in chances of Romney getting elected.

    I made an extensive comment about that here:


    There are no progressives who did not want Obama to say that he was for same sex marriage a long time ago. There are very few political operatives who would have thought that a Democrat could get elected president with that particular point of view if said Democrat was going to use the African American vote as leverage. Much of the crabby commentary I’m seeing demands that the world be different than it is. I’m not talking about demanding change, I’m talking about demanding gravity to stop working. It is annoying, immature, and counter productive.

    Yes, hold Obama’s feet to the fire. No, do not cremate our chances of winning this election.

    By the way, a Romney victory woudl be green light for the worst period of violence against LGBT people we’ve seen ever. Worse than when violence was more socially (yet wrongly) acceptable becuase so many more people who are LGBT are out, visible, and known. People would die if there was a Romney victory.

    We’re on a tough uphill drive on a narrow slippery road. Can we avoid pushing the cart off the edge please? That is not the same as … being sternly encouraging.

    The rabid jawflapping we are seeing is not “holding feet to fire” … It is the baby pelican biting off its own wings.

  29. Greg, why exactly do you think people would die as a result of a Romney victory? The public attitude towards LGBT people won’t be affected by his winning or losing, and that attitude is more and more against violence against LGBT people. Even if the Matthew Shepherd Act is repealed, which seems unlikely, it will still be a crime to assault and kill LGBT people. A Romney victory would set the LGBT rights cause back, I agree, but the tide has turned, and a Romney presidency could, at worst stop the tide briefly. We’re winning the culture war on the question of LGBT rights, whether the GOP or the Democrats hold the Oval Office won’t do much, in the long run, to change that.

  30. The reason I think that … well, mainly, I’m worried about it, not sure … is this: When you get elected to president, stuff about you is in a way being reified, or approved of. There is a lot of anti-gay harassment and bashing now. As you suggest, there is a shift, but those people who would have beat up a gay kid five years ago don’t to it today not because they changed their opinions but because it has become less acceptable. It’s like overt racist talk. Lots of people have the same thoughts but keep their mouths shut because society is changing around them.

    I fear that electing Romney would give a subset of people who live in a subset of environments a sense that they have the go-ahead to do the bullying and harassing they want to do anyway.

    In my school district, over the last few years, nine gay kids were harassed so much they killed themselves. Dozens of others attempted to do so. A friend of mine who was the go-to guy in the district for kids in this situation was getting daily phone calls from troubled gay middle and high school students.

    That is in ONE school district (admittedly, a large one and one with a lot of anti-gay people in it, overlaps with Michele Bachmann’s district, etc. etc.) But still. One district. Nine kids. The rate of suicide has been reduced by various symbolic actions. The rate was higher before because of various symbolic actions and attitudes.

    Yeah, I’m worried that having a known gay-basher as the leader of the entire country can have an effect.

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