After writing a cover story heralding Barack Obama as the “First Gay President,” conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan went on “The Chris Matthews Show” to talk about what Obama’s personal endorsement of gay marriage meant to him.
A lot, apparently:
“It’s hugely important, and to tell you the truth I didn’t realize how important it would be until it happened. Beforehand, I was kind of steeled. I was like, ‘I don’t care, he’s going to disappoint us again.’ And then I sat down and watched our president tell me that I am his equal, that I’m no longer outside, I’m fully part of this family and to hear the president who is in some ways a father figure speak to that, the tears came down like with many people in our families, to be included.
“I never understood the power of a president’s words until that day, really. I thought, all that matters is the states and the Congress and the Defense of Marriage Act and I had all this in my head and suddenly this man saying, ‘I’m with you, I get it, you’re like me, I’m like you, there is nothing between us, we are the same people and we are equal human beings and I want to treat you the way you treat me.’ That—that was overwhelming. That’s all I can say. I was at a loss for words.”
The general reception from Democrats and LGBT activists has been rather cynical, with a chorus of “it’s just a political decision designed to drum up votes and money, which perhaps will fail spectacularly and end up losing us key swing states in November.” So it’s nice to see someone as influential as Andrew Sullivan take the positive approach on this monumental moment, which, removed from the political spin-game, is culturally groundbreaking.
Yes, perhaps Obama is playing politics. He always is, because he’s the President of the Free World. But he’s also becoming part of our family, and in that way the whole United States of America could be considered our first, second (or distant) cousins.
Which level of proximity you and your gay friends want to take all depends on how often you want the breeders over for dinner with their yappy bratty kids.