Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Observations from the Window 5.9

It all happened so fast, barely an hour past between the first hint that something big was happening and the moment President Obama spoke these words.

"I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don't Ask Don't Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married."

Hours later my mind is still trying to come to grips with what he said. It wasn't so much that Mr. Obama said he supported equal rights for same sex couples, it was that President Obama said it. The President of the United States said it. No matter what the Tea Party thinks it is still the single most powerful position on this planet and he said those words. It may have been symbolic but when coming from the White House even symbolic gestures matter. The only thing that could have been better is if I could have typed she said those words.

Unless you are queer you just can't fathom how historic a moment this has been. I've only begun to think about it myself.  When I was in high school marriage equality wasn't something I wasted my time thinking, about because I only knew one person who saw it in the future. That person was my mom she was special, in her mind anything was possible. Beyond that I can't begin to put into words how I feel or what I think the significance of today is.

One thing I find fascinating is the story put out by the Obama campaign. They said Obama had planed all along to make just such a statement sometime at the start of the Democratic National Convention which just happens to be in Charlotte, North Carolina. Supposedly when Vice President Biden came out in support of gay marriage on Sunday the President was forced to do the same sooner. It's a very plausible story but my warped political mind came up with this question. What if the President himself pushed Biden out thus making it easier to make today's statement? Somebody needs to ask that question.

No matter what happens in the coming months President Obama made history today. It was a politically courageous statement and time will prove he was indeed on the right side of history.

Thank you Mr. President. 

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