Thursday, May 10, 2012

Obama in Favor of Same-Sex Marriage...

President Obama supported civil unions and not gay marriage. Over the years he has flip-flopped on this issue. When he became President in 2008 his stance was in favor of civil unions, not marriage. Now, as we approach the 2012 election, he suddenly has a change of heart. Now he supports same-sex marriage, stirring up a controversial debate as to his intentions. Did he change his mind because his views evolved or because it’s a strategic political move to try and get more votes? No one can read his mind, but the timing of the announcement is surely suspect.

What do I think? I think same-sex marriage should be legal. Why shouldn’t two consenting adults who are in love, same sex or not, be afforded the same rights and privileges? People who are against same-sex marriage often change their minds when the issue hits closer to home, like in Dick Cheney’s case. Cheney has a gay daughter and so now he supports same-sex marriage. For him it became a personal issue. For Obama, it’s become a political issue. He needs votes. Maybe Cheney needs to cleanse a guilty conscience. Some people even support same-sex marriage because they feel it’s the right thing to do, without a personal agenda.

I think my feelings about this also evolved over time. As I learned that people do not have a choice about their sexual orientation and studies have shown they are born gay, I had to rethink my position. Many years ago, society frowned on homosexuality and gay people stayed in the closet, afraid to reveal who they were. The whole issue of homosexuality and the psychological aspects of it started being more openly talked about when I entered college and I took interest in it. This is not a learned behavior or one that is chosen, it is the way most gay people are born. If they were born that way, and you believe in God, then you have to acknowledge that God made them this way. Why would the same God, who created them, then want to prevent them from marrying, if they found someone they loved and wanted to spend their life with?  It doesn’t make sense to me. Unfortunately, God doesn’t have a 1-800 number or email where we can ask him directly what He thinks. And, we are all only human, so we are each going to have our own ideas and we can even change our minds over time.

So back to Obama, who very likely changed his stance or went back to a previous stance from the past, in order to improve his chances of winning the election. I say, so what, who cares. I think legalizing same-sex marriage is the right thing to do. I don’t really care how it comes about or why. Sometimes the right things happen for the wrong reasons. This may be one of those times. Eleven other politicians also changed their stance on this issue over time. More and more citizens are changing their minds on it too. Why? Because we are all finding out that we have a gay person or more in our immediate family, in our extended family, in our closest circle of friends, in the group of people we respect and admire, and so do the people we love. We want those people to be happy and have fulfilled lives. If that means they want to be married to someone, we are going to support that in every way we can. Who is it hurting if we legalize same-sex marriage? No one. Who is it hurting if we don’t? Every gay person who dreams of finding their soul mate, everyone in their families and group of friends who wants to see them happy, the children they may choose to raise…

For me the issue is clear. I may not have always felt that way, but I took the time to consider how I felt and why. I don’t see any good, logical reason not to legalize same-sex marriage. I see plenty of good reasons why we should. People say marriage is sacred. How sacred could it be with the divorce rate so alarmingly high? Are straight people taking marriage seriously? It doesn’t seem to mean anything to many of them, at least not enough to do the work necessary to maintain it. Gay individuals seem to take it more seriously, maybe because they don’t have the right and can’t take it for granted like straight individuals can and do.

It’s just a matter of time before same-sex marriage is legal everywhere, it’s the right thing to do.