Earlier this week, President Obama offered his personal opinion that as far as he—and Michelle and Malia and Sasha were concerned–same sex-marriage was a-okay. Misty eyes and joyful whooping and hollerin’ emerged from liberals. MSNBC had a collective orgasm. (FOX, naturally, all but put devil horns on the president’s head.)
Well, there were no misty eyes or joyful whooping and hollerin’ at chez Wow/B. In fact, there was a lot of eye-rolling and tongue-clucking and “oh, please.” B. did not offer the big ring. I did not suggest a June wedding.
Never have I seen such a load of horseshit as has been spread by Obama and giddy Democratic pundits and editorial writers on this “evolution” about civil rights. Obama has flip-flopped all over the place about same-sex marriage. “Yes” when he was nobody. “Evolving” when he was leader of the free world.
As a gay man, I found the lead-in (and follow-up) to this event insulting and unconvincing.
First, Joe Biden goes on “Meet The Press” and offers his personal opinion. Unlike his boss, he had evolved and was ready to say so. All hell breaks loose. Then North Carolina says “absolutely not” to same-sex unions. More hell bubbles up. What, what what would Obama do? Everybody who doesn’t want to control other people’s private lives, said it was time for the president to complete his growth as a human being.
Everybody who thinks that gay people marrying has something to do with them, waited, smacking their lips.
Finally, on the third day of this “crisis” (wow, where’d all the jobs and economy stuff go?) the president has a cozy chat with ABC correspondent Robin Roberts, and bravely ventures his personal opinion. He doesn’t say he’ll declare some sort of mandate or demand all states accept his opinion as the law of the land. He just wanted to get his feelings out there. Really? This is a Constitutional issue, Mr. President. The states should have no right to tell me, or you, or Malia and Sasha, what our civil rights are. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. In this country a heterosexual Death Row prisoner has the “right” to marry. I want the same rights as a as cold blooded straight murderer, please.
On the fourth day, amidst cheering on one side and brutal condemnation from the other, the White House allows a story to escape. Joe Biden trotted over to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and formally apologized to the president, for having essentially forced his hand on the matter. Sooooo…okay. Obama didn’t really want to favor same-sex marriage right now, looking ahead as he is to a brutal fight to hold onto the presidency. He didn’t think it would help his chances.
The publicized Biden apology sent a message to those who are iffy/negative on the same-sex marriage issue: “I didn’t want to do it. Maybe I don’t mean it. Joe is an idiot.”
That Rachel Maddow, at least, did not pick up on this disappointed me. Maybe she just didn’t want to pick up on it. Despite her incessant “cutes” and her increasingly frantic performing, she is an intelligent voice in the shrieking world of MSNBC’s Sharpton, Matthews and Shultz.
The cherry on the sundae was digging up Mitt Romney’s almost 50 year-old bullying of a high-school classmate, who eventually came out as gay in later years. (Romney gave the kid a brutal haircut.) It’s an awful story, but come on—something from high school? People who hate gays are cheering the well-timed release of this tale. Finally, they have their narrative for Mitt. He hates gays too.
The White House wants to cover every base—yes we do…yes, we do but…Romney is a homophobe. They are gonna strap this haircut guy to the top of Romney’s car with the dog and try to drive to a second term. Good luck with that. Now, about the jobs?
I thought Romney’s remarks on this long-ago event were fairly good, considering—he regretted his youthful hi-jinks, didn’t recall that incident, but was sorry nevertheless. Though I think if I’d forced a haircut on a weeping classmate, I’d remember. Also—where’s all that Mormon peace-and-love-let’s-go-be-missionaries thing? (Maybe being a filthy rich Mormon does make a difference.)
And as B. pointed out, the bullies never remember. The bullied are marked for life.
Bleh! I don’t want to vote for Obama. I can’t vote for Romney. I can’t abstain—then I would have no right to complain. So I’m gonna hold my nose and vote for O.
However, there was something of a silver lining here. Maybe even more precious than silver. Now, I have never known what it’s like to be discriminated against because I’m gay. I never had a traumatic “coming out.” My mother’s disapproval was annoying, not heartbreaking. I’ve worked in a business that is gay-friendly. I never had to hide who I am. I’ve been lucky! Blessed, even.
With my multiple blessings in mind, I tried to imagine being a gay teen, or even a young person in their twenties. A vulnerable kid who is afraid, made to feel ashamed, thinks he or she is alone. To hear, to read, that the president of the United States thinks same-sex marriage is fine, must be a powerful message. They don’t have to understand the political ins and outs, the wussiness of what Obama really said. For these young people, it truly is a new world.
So, Obama did the half-assed right thing, for the wrong reason, but he did it. I give him that much credit. In time, I’ll probably give him more.
P.S. During the course of these recent events I found myself reading Time magazine. (Not the new one, with the nursing child.) It was a story about John Irving and his latest book, “In One Person.” The article tells how Irving responded when his beloved son came out to him. “I love you all the more” Irving said.
I was unaccountably moved when I read that. In fact, I began to cry. That is a real parent and a real human being. There is hope in this old world. It meant more to me, had more of an effect, than all the self-righteous, self-serving political palaver being dished out.
I wish every shocked, unfeeling, angry parent of a gay child could read that quote from John Irving, and understand—this is how you do it. It’s about your child, stupid.