Mixner on Obama and marriage

Posted on 25 Aug 2010 at 12:44pm

David Mixner:

First and foremost, the LGBT struggle is one of the great civil rights movement of our times. Given that, quite honestly, there is simply no logical personal or political reason for President Obama to be against marriage equality. At this stage there can only be two conclusions: that he is a political coward or that he does indeed hold prejudice against LGBT citizens. Nothing else fits at this stage. No one can make any more excuses and no one can justify his position any longer. Looking at the facts, the statistics, the political reality and at the President’s current position one can only say “Shame on you, Mr. President. Shame on you.”

This weekend two factors forced me to focus on his lack of leadership on this issue. One was a brilliant article in the New Republic by Richard Just entitled simply “Disgrace” and the other was a chart published in The New York Times showing the massive change in support across the country for marriage equality. Combine that with a recent CNN poll that showed 52% of Americans believe now that marriage equality is a Constitutional Right and you see how ridiculous his position has become before the public.

The President should look to his fellow Democrats for courage. Overwhelmingly, Democrats now support marriage equality.

The [New Republic] article concludes with this amazing paragraph. Please read these lines very carefully. The highlighted parts are mine.

But, while he may not realize it, Obama is already leading on gay marriage; he is just leading in the wrong direction. Every time Obama or a surrogate reiterates his position, it reinforces the idea that gay marriage is a bit too scary for the political mainstream. Worse, Obama’s stance seems to be a way of conveying to the country that he knows a lot of people still aren’t completely comfortable admitting gays and lesbians as full participants in American life, and that this is OK because he isn’t either. It is about the most cynical gesture you can imagine from an allegedly liberal leader—and we deserve better. I am speaking to you as an American, Mr. Obama.


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