Man, this is blistering commentary. The NYT tells President Obama to #evolvealready.
On Thursday night, when same-sex marriage in New York State was teetering on a razor’s edge, President Obama had a perfect opportunity to show the results of his supposed evolution on gay marriage.
Unfortunately, he did not take it, keeping his own views in the shadows. The next night the Republican-led New York State Senate, of all places, proved itself more forward-thinking than the president on one of the last great civil-rights debates in this nation’s history.
Speaking to the Democratic Party’s LGBT Leadership Council at a fund-raiser in New York, Mr. Obama ran through the many efforts he has made on behalf of gay rights, including his decision to end the government’s legal support of the Defense of Marriage Act, which forbids federal recognition of same-sex marriage. The act should be repealed, he said, since marriage is defined by the states.
What’s sad about this defense is that to leave marriage equality to the states is to ignore that states have voted to deny basic civil rights to a group of people. His mother and father, if matters were left to the voters, would not have been able to marry.
What the President has said is that it’s fine for NY to adopt marriage equality, and it’s equally acceptable in 2012 for Minnesota and North Carolina to bar any legal recognition of gay and lesbian couples. The NYT points out this illogical and unthinkable bigotry he’s hiding behind.
Fundamental equality, however, is hardly the equivalent of a liquor law that can vary on opposite sides of a state line. Why is Mr. Obama so reluctant to say the words that could lend strength to a national effort now backed by a majority of Americans?
…After he took office, it became evident that Republicans intended to portray him as a radical, out-of-touch leftist no matter what he did. Supporting same-sex marriage at this point is hardly going to change that drumbeat, and any voter for whom that is a make-or-break issue will probably not be an Obama supporter anyway.
Mr. President, your comments about marriage equality look weak and unprincipled in light of the eloquent statements about equality by a real fierce advocate, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and downright pitiful next to the comments of New York State Senator Mark Grisanti (R, North Buffalo):
I cannot legally come up with an argument against same-sex marriage. Who am I to say that someone does not have the same rights that I have with my wife who I love, or that have the 1300-plus rights that I share with her?
…I struggled with the word marriage as between a man and a woman — that’s how I’m raised. But I also struggle with the rights that are lacking for same-sex couples, and I’ve stated this numerous times. I cannot deny that right or opportunity for someone nor stand in the way of allowing them to obtain the rights that I have.