Thursday, May 10, 2012

Obama's Gay Marriage Announcement

Yesterday (May 9, 2012), President Obama stated in an interview with ABC Television that he thought gay couples with healthy long-term commitments should be allowed to get married. What may have been lost in the reporting of this comment is that he called it his personal viewpoint. What he said is not official policy of the United States, but only a personal view that undoubtedly will influence many other people to have either a more positive or more negative opinion of the President. This was a classic Damned if you do and damned if you don't moment. It did show a lot of courage, but it may turn out to have been foolhardy from the viewpoint of political success in the next election. So long as Obama didn't define his stance, it was open to interpretation by all shades of the political spectrum. By declaring his position, he enhanced his standing with half of the voting public, but alienated the other half. This would have been true even if he had declared himself as being on the other side of this thorny debate. Therefore, I have to believe that Obama's public support of gay marriage has to be a statement of his conscience rather than being a political ploy. He gains nothing from it and may very well lose a lot. Whether or not this President gets re-elected, he has shown that he will take a stance on issues that most other politicians would remain ambiguous about.

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