So yesterday President Obama officially voiced his personal support of gay marriage.
Ironically enough, already he’s gotten a lot of criticism from both sides – some that are offended that he would support gay people to begin with, and others that feel he should’ve done a lot more a lot sooner. And while I can’t say that I disagree that it’s disappointing that we haven’t legally put this one to bed with the same-sex partner of its choice yet, I still think you’ve got to give the guy credit for trying because being the first sitting president to announce his support of gay marriage is still pretty significant, in that he probably still wants to get reelected this fall and there’s already plenty on the table between the economy and the wars to keep him scrambling right up until November!
But for me, I kind of look at it like I did with healthcare reform – it certainly wasn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but at least it was a step in the right direction and with a system as big and spread out and lethargic as US politics tend to be, that might be just about the best that we can honestly hope for. Sure, I’d love to wake up tomorrow and read the headlines stating that gay people have magically been granted all of the same rights and privileges as straight people overnight, just as I’d like to find that our healthcare system has been overhauled to refocus on compassionate care for all instead of merely those who can afford it … but the reality of both situations is that there are still a lot of people in our country who oppose each of these things, whether it be for biblical or profit-oriented or even just blatantly-ignorant motives, and ultimately it’s going to take some time for us to weed through all of that crap to really address the issues in a way that will work for over 350 million Americans.
And yeah, it sucks because in the meantime gay people continue to struggle with being treated like second-class citizens, but I feel like we need to at least give our current president credit for taking this first step while he’s still in public office because frankly, he’s the only one who actually has. It’s not like gay people have just now started wanting to get married and this is a new issue that Bush, and Clinton, and Bush Sr., and Reagan never had to deal with before! And you can sure as hell bet that Mitt Romney isn’t going to go there because he’s openly against same-sex marriage, so as easy as it is to pick President Obama apart for his delicate use of the word “evolving” or the argument that he should be doing so much more, at least he’s doing something and in the snail-paced world of American politics, I think that he deserves a boatload of credit just for that.