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Monday, August 23, 2010

On the Wrong Side of History: Obama On Gay Marriage

Posted by on Mon, Aug 23, 2010 at 10:45 AM

A timeline—an infuriating, maddening timeline.


Comments (23) RSS

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Vince 1
Considering how well his support of religious freedom went over, maybe it's better if he doesn't support gay marriage.
Posted by Vince on August 23, 2010 at 10:55 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 2

At the rate you guys do things here.

If you had guts, you could have it by 2012, but you don't.
Posted by Will in Seattle on August 23, 2010 at 11:01 AM · Report this
AmyC 3
this makes me think of something i read on slog a while ago - i think it was in reference to a bill that was proposed by a legislator i can't remember - that if the government can't provide marriage benefits to all people, it has no business providing benefits at all. the govt should provide civil unions to EVERYBODY, and those who chose to have a 'marriage' blessed by a church could choose to do so. that makes the most sense to me.
Posted by AmyC on August 23, 2010 at 11:19 AM · Report this
mkyorai 4
Oh, terrific. Prognostication from WiS, the man managed to submit the least accurate guess of voter breakdown in the last election. Go get 'em, Nostradamus.
Posted by mkyorai on August 23, 2010 at 11:20 AM · Report this
JamieD 5
Dan, you're always welcome to move up here to Canada? :)
Posted by JamieD on August 23, 2010 at 11:21 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 6
@5 did you know that there are now MANY out gay veterans of Canada's military who entered as gays, served as gays, and retired as gays?

Meanwhile, Yanks like to whine but do nothing. As always.
Posted by Will in Seattle on August 23, 2010 at 12:01 PM · Report this
mkyorai 7
@5, if you take Dan, you have to take Will back. Think it over...
Posted by mkyorai on August 23, 2010 at 12:06 PM · Report this
The Skank 8
I think the gay community has shot itself in the proverbial foot by deciding to chase the word 'marriage' instead of focusing on getting the exact same rights as hetero married couples. Who gives a fuck what it's called. I would rather have a civil union or whatever the fuck you want to call it and get the same rights than have no rights and fight over a word.
Posted by The Skank on August 23, 2010 at 12:24 PM · Report this
I would reserve "On the wrong side of history" to those who fight against equal rights. (to state the obvious) politics is complicated, and having John McGrandpa as president right now because Obama fell on his sword for gay marriage would have been a setback for the cause.

Obama's approach is all about moving the needle. I like the fact that if you met Obama for a beer he would undoubtedly tell you he supports marriage equality. Unfortunately he has to work in a system that isn't there yet, so it takes some skill to push the ignorant to the light. If he were to shove them, they would surely push back.
Posted by seniorrobot on August 23, 2010 at 12:49 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 10
@7 I'm not marrying Dan. He has to move there with his family and get a real job.
Posted by Will in Seattle on August 23, 2010 at 1:22 PM · Report this
passionate_jus 11

Um do you live in WA State?

Because that is exactly the approach that Sen Ed Murray and Rep. Jamie Pedersen took and that is what we've got, in the form of domestic partnerships.

Though of course, domestic partnerships are not marriages and domestic partners do not get the federal rights that married couples get.
Posted by passionate_jus on August 23, 2010 at 1:34 PM · Report this
passionate_jus 12
@8 One more time:

Marriage has and always will be a state sanctioned activity.

It has never been anything to do with what a church or a religion deem it to be.

Plus, if you think that the religious right would all of a sudden be in favor of granting equal rights for gay and lesbian couples then you are crazy. Look at how the opposed our own domestic partnership law or at how Arkansas won't allow gay couples to adopt.
Posted by passionate_jus on August 23, 2010 at 1:41 PM · Report this
Backyard Bombardier 13
@3, @8: The trouble with backing off demands for equal marriage in favour of accepting civil unions is it ignores that marriage already is civil union. As much as the religious opponents of equal marriage would like to deny it, legal marriage is not a religious institution. In the majority of western nations, marriage is a civil institution.

I've been married twice - in Canada, but the legal framework in the US is practically identical. In both cases, my spouse and I completed a civil government form which was signed by the officiant and sent to a civil government office, which then issued a civil government certificate that we were married.

In my first marriage, the officiant was a Roman Catholic priest, who conducted the wedding in a church. There was a lot of talk about God and religion. In my second marriage, the officiant was a marriage commissioner who conducted the wedding in the banquet hall of a tennis club. There was some touchy-feely spirituality, but it was not a religious ceremony.

In both cases, what made my spouse and I married in the eyes of the law was that we completed the required civil government paperwork and entered into a civil contract, overseen by an officiant who was authorized by the civil authorities to conduct marriages. The fact that the first officiant wore robes and a Roman collar and the second wore a pantsuit and sensible shoes made no difference.

The church - any church - does not own marriage. Religious officials - in most jurisdictions - have been given the right to perform marriages, but they don't own the institution. Don't give it to them.
Posted by Backyard Bombardier on August 23, 2010 at 1:45 PM · Report this
Dan, who'd a thunk that Elizabeth Hasselbeck would be ahead of Obama on this issue?

@8 -- the religious right will fight just as hard against civil unions as they fight against same-sex marriage. Witness what's going on in Wisconsin.

If someone on the right wants to offer a civil union compromise -- with full federal recognition and all 50 states -- then maybe you'd have a point, but it isn't going to happen.
Posted by midwaypete on August 23, 2010 at 4:30 PM · Report this
The Skank 15
@12 @13 Yes I do live in WA - I want EQUAL rights. If we could have Civil Unions that gave us exactly the same rights as straight married couples - I'd be happy, regardless of what they called it. The 'Civil Unions' we have now (like in WA) are not EQUAL rights - they only afford us the same rights as hetero couples at State level, and not at a federal level - these are not equal rights. Even in MA where gay marriage is legal - gay married couples don't have the same rights as straight married couples eg. federal immigration rights. This is not equal - it's a cheap substitution.

Being raised Catholic - I can't help thinking that the fight to acquire equal rights has become harder for us because of our insistence on calling it 'marriage'. For religious zealots, this has turned a fight which should be about equal rights into what many of them perceive as a full-blown attack on their religion/another fucking realized prophecy in the book of Revelations. I'm just wondering if achieving equal rights would be easier if we walked away from calling it marriage? Maybe I'm just being naive, but I can't help feeling like we'd have a lot more support if we went about it that way.
Posted by The Skank on August 23, 2010 at 5:01 PM · Report this
The Skank 16
@12 @14 Yeap, that's what I want - gay marriage or a civil union compromise with full federal recognition and all 50 states.

But you're both probably right -- I am being naive. There is no reasoning with these bigots.
Posted by The Skank on August 23, 2010 at 5:06 PM · Report this
I'm already married, so I don't think my opinion carries much weight, other than that of someone who has participated in this debate for 15 years.

Quite often, I'll hear people who want to pretend that they're in the middle of this claiming that civil unions would be a good option, except that gays aren't going to be satisfied until they get full marriage. Sometimes, they'll point to California as proof. I.e. they have domestic partnerships, but they still sued for marriage. Never mind that there isn't a gay pope who must approve any lawsuit before it can be filed. And never mind that state civil unions aren't recognized by the federal government.

I contend that it's the people opposed to marriage equity who are the biggest impediment to a civil union compromise. There's ample proof.

I'd love to see a poll of gay people to see how many really would be satisfied with civil unions (federal and all 50 states) providing the same rights and responsibilities of marriage, without the name.

Posted by midwaypete on August 23, 2010 at 6:24 PM · Report this
Canuck 18
I think for everyone who is promoting civil unions, as opposed to marriage, should suggest that from now on, heterosexual marriage can only be between fertile couples how vow to attend church and be monogamous. If they can't get pregnant in a certain time-frame, if they stop going to church or cheat on each other, their marriage gets down-graded to civil union. I mean, marriage needs some standards, right??
Posted by Canuck on August 23, 2010 at 7:06 PM · Report this
puppydogtails 19
Don't ever compromise. Look at how the gay community has changed, how it has place the marriage issue front and center. 20 years ago, too many of us were content to just accept whatever we could get. Fight fight fight, until we have total, uncompromising, wonderful equality. Our love is equal to your love, vice versa, etc etc.
Posted by puppydogtails on August 23, 2010 at 8:58 PM · Report this
MythicFox 20
All you need to know about that article is the HRC logo behind Obama in the picture. HRC does about as much to fight for gay marriage as the average webcomic. Online petitions get more done.
Posted by MythicFox on August 23, 2010 at 9:12 PM · Report this
18 and 19, just to be clear, I'm not pushing civil unions. I'm the same guy what wrote 14.

The fundies are going to do their best to make sure civil unions don't come to pass. Any Republican running for office is going to lose his/her base support if he/she supports civil unions.

By pushing against civil unions, the fundies are guaranteeing that we get marriage equity.

And that works for me.

Of course, the fundies probably realize that a civil union compromise only gets them a decade or so until there is full marriage equity anyway.

So they will stand and fight on this one issue that is going to drag them into irrelevance.

And that works for me, too.
Posted by midwaypete on August 23, 2010 at 9:22 PM · Report this
20, of course HRC is against marriage equity.

When there is "total, uncompromising, wonderful equality," how will HRC raise money?
Posted by midwaypete on August 23, 2010 at 9:24 PM · Report this
I look forward to the day when sexual deviants are allowed to adopt children and serve openly in the military. I can't believe that anyone would condemn or oppose this! I am in the Navy and I want our homosexuals to be free to tell us about their sexual deviation and I want them to be loud and proud! I want to be able to look around me and 24/7 on a 6 month deployment and take comfort in knowing that the people who I'm working closely with and sharing living quarters with are sexual deviants. I want them to be able to walk around on the boat all day long proclaiming their deviation for me and all of my fellow honorable servicemembers to hear, including the Captain, the Commodore and all of the marines on the boat! I will not rest until sexual deviants are practicing their deviation openly, loud and proud, in full military uniform. Dear God please get them into the service. And to those of you that are in the service having to conceal your sexual deviation; thank you for your service! We're gonna make sure you can be open, it might take some more work, but we'll make it happen!!! God bless you guys
Posted by Rig on September 27, 2010 at 6:12 PM · Report this

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