Yesterday, after North Carolina passed Amendment One, which no longer allows civil unions and was created specifically to target same-sex unions, I posted that it was a sad day in America – which it was. To be perfectly honest, I expected that to happen. After all, North Carolina is part of the Bible Belt where people believe the text in the bible overrides our Constitution – even though many Christians, especially in the Bible Belt, pick and choose what they wish to force on others. After all, in the bible, it is permissible to own slaves as well as sell your own daughter. I feel I have made my point here.
Today, President Obama helped raise my spirits a bit by officially announcing that he supports gay marriage. Obama has been struggling with this since he took office and had previously been leaning towards not supporting gay marriage. As any wise person does, Obama did his own “research” of sorts. Spoke with many GLBT’s. Same-sex couples successfully raising children together. In addition to a plethora of other people and organizations. To sum it up, Obama opened up his mind and listened.
That is what being a true leader is about. Listening to the people and putting one’s own personal beliefs to the side while doing so. Laws should never be based upon what is best for ME, or what I want, but rather what is best for the people. Their rights of equality. It is not a “me” world, it is an “us” world. I am not advocating for gay marriage for myself, as I am strictly heterosexual. I support gay marriage because it is what is right.
I have an older brother who is gay. Although he did not tell me until I was in my late 20′s, I knew back when I was a young teenager that he was a homosexual. I could just tell. I remember he went to the prom back in the ’70′s with a friend who was a girl (as opposed to a girl friend) because that is what young men and women were supposed to do. I knew even back then it wasn’t in his heart. He was living a lie. That was the only date I ever recall him going on. My brother was born a homosexual. I vividly remember his phone call back in 1994:
Brother: “Michelle, I wanted you to know that I am gay.”
Me: “I know. I have known since I was very young. But I have respected your privacy and simply waited until you thought the time was right to tell me.”
I have never seen him happier then he has been since he “came out of the closet.” I love him dearly and only want him to be truly happy and never to ever live a lie in which people that do not even know him want him to live.
It is not a choice. Just as it was not anyone’s choice to be born white, black, Asian, Hispanic, blue-eyed, brown-eyed, red-haired, and so on.
Last year, I had the pleasure of working with an organization of gay veterans. I met some wonderful men who all loved their country. They told me one thing, though, that nearly broke my heart. Each and every one of them had fought overseas on foreign land for our country. For our Democracy. And for our Civil Rights. Yet, when they returned home, they were unable to marry the person that they truly loved. Each and every one of them knew that they were putting their lives on the line fighting for OUR Civil Rights while they were being denied their own rights. For those of you who are conservative and do not believe in gay marriage, please seriously think about this…. these men and women risked THEIR lives for YOU. How can you morally deny them what most people look for – the bonding of the one you love through marriage.
Can you not see that this is wrong?
Today, somewhere in this country, a same-sex couple deeply in love either entered into a civil union or were legally married. For those who are opposed to gay marriage, did this union today affect you in any way? You have no idea who or where this occurred, and did not even think about it until now – until you read this.
Are you worried that children of same-sex couples will grow up to be dysfunctional? Perhaps catch the “gay bug” from their parents? For sake of argument, let us assume a child does become “infected” with the “gay bug.” Are you raising that child? Are you paying for their food? Their clothing? Their insurance? Their dental bills? Their schooling? If you are not, then it is really none of your business.
With that, here is the news footage of Obama’s announcement today. The transcript follows the video. He said some very eloquent words which came as a result of being open-minded and listening to others.
Will this announcement hurt his candidacy? Probably. But it will also win him some votes. I just hope that people can see this for what it is. President Obama firmly believes in equal rights. Not just gay rights, but all equal rights – including mine and yours.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.”
President Barack Obama:
I’ve always believed that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally. I was reluctant to use the term marriage because of the very powerful traditions it evokes. And I thought civil union laws that conferred legal rights upon gay and lesbian couples were a solution.
But over the course of several years I’ve talked to friends and family about this. I’ve thought about members of my staff in long-term, committed, same-sex relationships who are raising kids together. Through our efforts to end the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, I’ve gotten to know some of the gay and lesbian troops who are serving our country with honor and distinction.
What I’ve come to realize is that for loving, same-sex couples, the denial of marriage equality means that, in their eyes and the eyes of their children, they are still considered less than full citizens.
Even at my own dinner table, when I look at Sasha and Malia, who have friends whose parents are same-sex couples, I know it wouldn’t dawn on them that their friends’ parents should be treated differently.
So I decided it was time to affirm my personal belief that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.
I respect the beliefs of others, and the right of religious institutions to act in accordance with their own doctrines. But I believe that in the eyes of the law, all Americans should be treated equally. And where states enact same-sex marriage, no federal act should invalidate them.