I should preface this by saying that at this point, Barack (can we be on first-name terms? we’re pals, right?), you would have to sacrifice a sixteen-year-old female virgin on an altar to Zool as a ritual to summon the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man to exterminate left-handed kindergarten teachers, while wearing full Muslim garb and no flag pin on live television, interrupting a Packers telecast in the process, for you to lose my vote. (I’m a bit biased, eh?) So I really really hope nobody reading this blog seriously considers your recent “One man, one woman” comments reason to withhold their vote from you or (shudder! – to quote Justice Scalia) to vote for McCain. (Hell, I just read Audacity of Hope on my last couple of flights and I’m trembling with anticipation over electing a president who has mastered the English language!)
However, Barack, my man, we need to talk about this. Dog whistling to the Bible crowd isn’t doing you any favors.A lot of this discussion comes down to that “marriage” word and its context: civil or religious. Barack, your record shows that you have no issue with the civil context, but in the religion context, you seem to feel the need to pony up some Christian cred (no doubt overcompensating for the twin electoral handicaps of Muslims in your background and your unfortunate middle name*). But no matter how nuanced your position may be — supporting full civil equality for gay couples, but quibbling over the religious name of it — you’re enough of a constitutional scholar to recognize separate but equal when you see it. And you’re a savvy enough politician and wordsmith to know that “one man one woman” is really the sanitized translation of “God hates fags”.
Sound extreme? How else can you explain supporting the idea that God made a certain percentage of His creations unworthy of the holy bonds of matrimony? I wouldn’t think “love” is the right word to describe purposefully making someone inferior, undeserving of the most intimate bond God can sanction.
If you really buy the whole Invisible Wizard of Love Who Consecrates Mating Happiness idea, that’s your right. And politically speaking, there are a whole bunch of low-information voters who take their wizard very very seriously, so I can even understand the practical need to tiptoe around the issue.
But you’re not running for Preacher in Chief, are you?
Look, when you say that “one man, one woman” crap, all you are doing is validating the language so many hateful bigots have used to dress up their “God hates fags” campaign. You’re not going to win very many of their votes anyway; they already think you were raised in a madrassa and your wife will talk you into enslaving whitey. Meanwhile, you alienate a huge bloc of voters and me and my friends who are so eagerly supporting your campaign.
I know you’re not worried too much about that (see my opening graf) because we’re going to vote for you anyway, but you are doing this needlessly and the words that are coming from the top of the Democratic ticket will have all sorts of consequences downticket, like, say, in riling up voters in California to vote for an anti-gay constitutional amendment (“Hey, even Obama said marriage is ‘one man, one woman’!”). You’re giving our opposition the attack ad quotes to use against us! (This is not the lesson you should have learned from Hillary Clinton.)
Here’s how you deal with this in the future. You say you’ve made your personal religious feelings about marriage known, but that you’re not running for the religious leadership of the United States.
You say you believe all our citizens, even gays and lesbians, deserve absolutely equal treatment under the law.
Then you say (and here’s the “when monkeys fly out of my ass” moment) that the federal government should give completely equal recognition and treatment of the rights and responsibilities of all committed couples, gay or straight, under the same title. And if people of faith, like me, have trouble calling that union “marriage” under all circumstances, then perhaps it is time we strike the word “marriage” from all federal regulations and make all civil unions “civil unions” and let people of faith seek “marriage” in the church, synagogue, or mosque of their choice.
See how that works? You get to share a (I believe calculated, but maybe sincerely faithful) gays-give-me-the-creeps moment with the fundies, pump up their egos with a little Christian Supremacy by subordinating the government union to a mere civil issue and painting the church “marriage” as the higher authority for the good God-fearing folks to aspire to, win our hearts back by supporting equal rights and separation of church and state, and defuse the religious vs. constitutional argument by getting that pesky “M”-word out of the discussion.
The answer isn’t civil unions for gays; it’s civil unions for heterosexuals. Pivot on this. Let the church have the marriage issue, just make it irrelevant to the discussion at hand. You’re one of the few politicians gifted enough to pull it off and an increasingly younger and more gay-supportive public is with you.
*Catch Dana Carvey’s new special on HBO if you can, his routine on the “Barack Hussein Obama” meme is priceless!