President Obama thinks that all LGBTs deserve equal rights. He also thinks that each state should make its own marriage laws. Those two ideas cannot co-exist, especially when so many states have voted to deny equal marriage rights to LGBT citizens.
Today Prezzy O will hold an LGBT Pride reception at the White House. Get Equal will picket it. Dustin Lance Black has spoken against the President’s views on marriage equality. So has The New York Times. But will any of that get the President to make a public statement finally correcting his incongruent views? Don’t count on it.
But it’s still fun to watch. Let us prance down this enchanted forest of criticism!
In a speech during the San Francisco Pride festival this weekend Academy Award-winning Milk screenwriter Dustin Lance Black said:
Mr. President, consider the LGBTQ children living in Mississippi, Arkansas and in my home state of Texas. Are their lives less worthy of protection than those in New York, Massachusetts and Iowa?
If the civil rights of this country’s minorities are left to the states, then this will become a checkerboard nation where some areas are free and some areas are not free. Where children in some states are told to lift their heads high and others are told they are second class citizens, less than, and that their love and their future families are not worthy of this nation’s protection and admiration.
A state-by-state solution sends a government sanctioned message to the bigots and bullies that in some states in this nation it is okay to treat LGBT people as unequal — as less than human.
Mr. President. This is a civil rights issue, a minority rights issue, a federal issue. How many more lives must we see taken, how many more bullies must be emboldened before you complete what you’ve called your “evolution” toward equality, and protect all of your citizens, old and young, black and brown and white, gay and straight?
No more, Mr. President. You must speak up for all of us, and speak up now.
Keep in mind, several journalists have asked the White House press secretary whether Obama supports Prop 8 seeing as he supports the right of states to define their own marriage laws:
Wall Street Journal: …Does that mean he also respects the outcome of democracy at work in California where voters decided to reject the idea of gay marriage?
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: … I’m not going to put words into his mouth applying to another state. You can analyze that because I haven’t heard him say that. But obviously, the DOMA decision, what he said in New York is about his belief — our belief that this is a matter the states should decide.
The Obama administration has slowly backed away from the President’s prior support for marriage equality, but the New York Times points out that had states retained the right to determine their own marriage laws in all cases, Obama wouldn’t even have been born:
Legal scholars say Mr. Obama is correct; regulating marriage is indeed the province of the states — to a point. Federal courts have at times intervened to declare state marriage laws unconstitutional, as was the case in Loving v. Virginia, the landmark 1967 Supreme Court case that effectively ended all race-based restrictions on marriage.
Even when Obama appeared in New York for a big gay fundraiser he still invoked states’ rights, so don’t expect him to change that view less than a week later. It’s clear that he’s not gonna risk his re-election or any more political capital on this issue.
In the meanwhile, our country and community has a lot of other issues to focus on like the three wars that we’re in, the shitty state of our economy and educational system, our vampiric health care system, our addiction to oil, our neutered press corps, and pathetic LGBT blogging that passes itself off as journalism.
Have a nice day.