Obama and Gay Rights in Decision 2012

Just earlier today, President Obama officially announced that he believe same-sex couples should be able to get married.  This, obviously, is a VERY big deal. The situation that led to him making his announcement was highly unexpected; Joe Biden said, on Meet the Press, that he believes same-sex marriage should be legalized, which forced Obama to either take a stance in support of gay couples or to walk back the comments of his VP and remain indecisive.

Obama’s position up till now was that Civil Unions were an acceptable alternative(which they are not, given the hundreds of rights tied specifically to the word ‘marriage’ not to mention dividing the citizens of the US up into two types of unions, separate but equal…sound familiar?), but over the course of the past 3 years,  he has decided that to him personally, gay people deserve the full and equal rights, including marriage. While he has always been a very pro-LGBT president, repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, refusing to sign on to the Defense of Marriage Act, signing the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act, even sending the head of the Housing and Urban Development department to the National Center for Transgender Equality’s conference earlier this year. He has always been a quiet ally, but by publicly making this statement to the entire world as the first US President to ever endorse same-sex marriage, he has not only drawn a CLEAR divide between himself and Mitt Romney, who is now saying he never will support marriage equality. Not only that, but Obama has sent a strong message to the world that yes, LGBT people exist, no they are not inherently lesser people who deserve lesser rights, and yes I do support them.

I won’t go into politics too much at this point, but to all of the queer people reading and every ally, I want you to keep this in mind when you go to the polls this November, along with all of your personal opinions on politics and the complexity of the situation, there is one underlying belief to add to the stack of things on your mind. One side thinks you, your friends, your family do not deserve the same rights and privileges they enjoy, that you are somehow less of a person, a second class citizen, based on your sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. The other side now publicly acknowledges that LGBT people are not flawed or lesser people and they do deserve equal rights. The democrats aren’t perfect; I can understand a lot of complaints against the party.  I’m not saying “GO VOTE DEMOCRAT NOW” (though I may feel that way…), but please keep this underlying reality in your mind when making your decision.

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