Thursday, May 10, 2012

Doing The Right Thing When It's Hard

We hope you noticed the major news event that happened on Wednesday afternoon, and how the two men, vying to be our next President, both acted - or reacted.

In case you were otherwise Occupied - like the Bank of America executives - or maybe just up in the air with your own crazy life, what happened Wednesday was that President Obama finally evolved on his public opinion of same-sex marriage equality.

In short, the President came out in favor of what most Americans believe.

That's not a typo. As Nate Silver and his team over at FiveThirtyEight.com pointed out, public opinion of Americans is clearly on his side. What's more, the improving trend of acceptance on the issue of same sex marriage looks to continue indefinitely.

Unsurprisingly, the cynics and Obama-haters immediately attempted to say this action by President Obama was purely a political ploy. It's obvious, though, by looking at Mr. Obama's past statements, and his comments in his interview with Robin Roberts of Good Morning America, that the President's current position is definitely something that's evolved.

That's not to say the President's decision today was politically easy. For those people who think that it was some kind of ploy to get all the far left liberals and gays to vote for Obama, because now they'll all be happy with him? They don't know their backsides from a hole in the ground when it comes to politics.

Technically, Obama's position on same-sex marriage is the same as former VP Dick Cheney's was in 2004, a position some on the far left still think is too far to the right. Truthfully, Mr. Obama is finally where the majority of Americans is on this subject, while Mitt Romney is to the right of both former President George W. Bush and Mr. Cheney on this issue. On this issue, extreme conservatives may have really hung Mr. Romney out to dry.

We fully admit; President Obama, coming out in favor of the full legal rights of LGBT Americans to marry anyone they choose would not likely have happened without a team of people pressuring the president, for an extended period of time.

For all those who think the fight is over, however, they are wrong.

Now that President Obama has made clear that he is in favor of equality under the law for ALL Americans, regardless of race, sex, faith, age, abilities, and now - finally - sexual orientation, the next step is to get laws that codify those freedoms, much as we once did for women and minorities. That step is still a long way away.

For President Obama to make this politically courageous decision, to come out with his position on this issue, at this time, very publicly, was evidently difficult. That Mr. Obama made the decision to do so, however, is exactly what we expect in a President - someone who can make the right decision, even when it's hard. Especially when it's hard.

On the right of LGBT Americans to marry who they choose, that decision has always seemed simple to us.

No one should have their fundamental civil rights put up for a vote of approval by other people. No one should be able to tell other Americans that whites and blacks can't get married, or that citizens and non-citizens can't get married. What people do in their houses of worship is up to them. What they - and we - all do together in our shared government space is not. We should all be free to love who we love, as most religions teach.

In a country that strongly claims to believe in equality for everyone, who each of us love and who we choose to sign a legally binding contract of marriage with, should not be up for the masses to decide.

We are a first class country. We should not have second-class citizens. Period.

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