Obama’s declaration of support: what does it mean?

Today the Internet is buzzing about Obama coming out (no pun intended) in support of gay marriage. In an interview with ABC (the full interview has not actually aired but this clip has been released), Obama talks about the “evolution” of his views on gay marriage.

Now, we all know why he is announcing this today. This week, Joe Biden said publicly that he was “absolutely comfortable” with gay marriage, an announcement that Obama staffers began trying to correct, putting it more in line with Obama’s support-of-equality-falling-just-short-of-marriage-to-toe-the-political-line platform. The Chicago Tribune writes,

While the White House claimed the remarks were essentially a restatement of the president’s position, it was obvious they were everything the president’s stance was not: open and clear.

After Joe Biden’s statements were praised, and the Obama campaign’s obvious efforts to dial them back seemed to prove that the President was still unwilling to take the next step in declaring support for America’s LGBT activists and communities, there was really only one thing he could do: go ahead and support marriage equality already. So he did.

And I’m glad he did. I know it came from political pressure, but so what? How many people do you think there are that really backed his support-of-equality-falling-just-short-of-marriage-to-toe-the-political-line platform who are suddenly freaking out and running to Mitt Romney’s open arms? I’m guessing not very many. And I’m disappointed that it took him this long to make this declaration, since his toeing of the line was such a lame, copout way of handling a divisive issue in our country.

So the question is, does this change anything? Not really; not yet. As I said, I’m pretty sure that no one thought Obama would ever back up and go the other way on gay marriage. He repealed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell; he’s often discussed the importance of civil unions and equal rights in all aspects of life for homosexual, bisexual and transgender individuals and couples. No one is surprised by his full-support statement (just surprised it took us this long to get here). But will he take this support he’s declaring and use it to push legislation in favor of marriage equality? I don’t know. But I hope so. Because if he doesn’t, he’s just making a meaningless declaration…much like Michael Scott on The Office (watch the video and come back; it’s less than 30 seconds).

So, President Obama, please don’t just declare your support of marriage equality.

Do all you can to make it happen.

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

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