What a historical day, May 9, 2012, became as President Obama FINALLY verbalized his support for gay marriage equality. As a former Constitutional law professor, we all knew how he stood internally, the conflict had always been WHEN to tell the world how he truly believed…how any educated and knowing person believes. Whether you love queers, hates queers, or are a queer…the answer is the same. All Americans are afforded equal protection under the law, guaranteed by the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
I expected him to wait until after he was re-elected, then to make the announcement. Politics and the way it makes rational men behave is a sick system, but I understand how the game is played. The unbelievable courage it took for him to give the interview before the election makes me respect him on a whole different level. Now, don’t think me a fool, I know this move was plotted out, internal polls and statistics considered…but I still know it was the equivalent of laying down a black-jack bet in Vegas.
I think it might turn out to be a total wash. That is, the number of votes he lost with the announcement is about equal to the number of votes he gained. The majority of votes Obama gets in November, he was going to get on May 8th.
I am sometimes accused of being a “one-issue” Democrat. Well, hello??? Wouldn’t you be if YOU were being denied a basic civil right because of one genetic marker you just happened to be born with? Why the hell would I vote Republican when Mitt is preaching that he will push for a U.S. Constitutional amendment defining marriage as one man and one woman?? Sure, let me vote Republican and then go home and stick pins in my eyes! Good grief!
The only thing…the ONLY thing that would be interesting if Mitt Romney becomes the President is the separation of church and State issue. All of the Bible-thumpers who are always screaming that they want religion back in the halls of government and in our schools will be doing a complete 180 in their thinking. The first time they hear President Romney talk about his magic underwear in the oval office, the Southern Baptist Convention will issue a statement on what a beautiful thing we have in the Separation of Church and State in America!!
It is funny when I think about it that the racists who sooooo hate Obama have to live with the fact that Palin and McCain were such a bad ticket that America voted a black man into the White House! They have had FOUR years to get the black man out of there and a Mormon is their best candidate?? I can’t wait until Romney picks his running mate! Guess what haters? It took the first black President to look into the camera and acknowledge my existence as an equal citizen!!
I have watched my hero, John F. Kennedy’s, June 11, 1963 civil rights speech dozens of times. I watched it again on May 9, 2012.
“The heart of the question is whether all Americans are to be afforded equal rights and equal opportunities, whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans as we want to be treated. If an American, because his skin is dark, cannot eat lunch in a restaurant open to the public, if he cannot send his children to the best public school available, if he cannot vote for the public officials who will represent him, if, in short, he cannot enjoy the full and free life which all of us want, then who among us would be content to have the color of his skin changed and stand in his place? Who among us would then be content with the counsels of patience and delay?”
Who among you would want to wake up tomorrow and know, at your soul’s core, that you were gay? Life as a queer girl in Texas is not an easy road. I am humbled and grateful that President Obama was not “content with the counsels of patience and delay” when he decided to speak out in the second week of May, 2012.
On April 19, 2012 President Obama visited the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan. The museum houses the infamous bus where American hero, Rosa Parks, declined to yield a seat to a white man. The President took the exact same seat and pondered. I know I was thinking it was a complete “full-circle” moment when I saw the photo taken that day.
“I just sat in there for a moment and pondered the courage and tenacity that is part of our very recent history but is also part of that long line of folks who sometimes are nameless, often times didn’t make the history books, but who constantly insisted on their dignity, their share of the American dream,” said President Obama.
I like to think that when it came time for the President to pick the date for his equality statement that he thought for a second about sitting in that bus seat. My being gay is as unchangeable as skin color, some people don’t believe that, but it is a fact.
I have never made a stand like Ms. Parks, where my physical well-being might have been threatened. I do like to think that with every word I speak, with every word I blog, maybe someone who hasn’t listened or paid careful attention before, well…maybe they do at last.
At last, a sitting American President stood up for gay Americans. I know how black Americans felt now on June 11, 1963. Tears roll down your face, your chest heaves, and you are speechless. That’s right, I became speechless. For once, someone else, someone of greater significance was speaking my truth. I am forever thankful that President Obama sat in my seat on that day.