Jonathan Wolfman's Blog
MAY 9, 2012 3:40PM


Rate: 34 Flag




President Barack Obama announced his support for gay marriage Wednesday, telling Robin Roberts of ABC News, "I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married."

-- Politico


This will, while a political risk, have a positive influence not only on the election, but on our cultural and political history. 

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Brains rattle. We People's cranial cavity rattle.

I was passing past`Clyde's River Ice Cream Bar.

Yea. Meet `Shrinks like` Dr. Zippy Mutter-Job.

I am way Behind`gin. No heed comment. Quack.

Dr. Zippy Mutter-Job. He `Tweet Barack Obama?

I'd never wish for BOs job. I vote Michelle Obama.

She tends a back-yard job. Michelle weeds greens.

I Vote I will want her job. She tends the dear Earth.

Maybe Michelle need job? If B.O. lose I employ M.O..

I'll send Michelle a resume. If She can sing I hire her.
She only needs to sing `Old Lame Farmer need a job?
Barack Obama can sing`E.I.E.I.O`Hoe Huh heehaws!
Respect . . .
I best eat my ice cream.
People meet here to kiss.
They meet and walk beach.
They seem more calm here.
Everyone garden and hoes.
Cooks (Sam Kass?) burp.
I may chat with a`Shrink?

O, Dr. Zippy Mutter-Job?
Ya think people go-nuts?
We people do need-guts.
Just skip this silly banter.
Yes now will he put his money where his mouth lives? Federal employees still don't have shared benefits with their partners!
Legal same-sex marriage is inevitable. Glad he decided to lead instead of follow.
tg yes; he will DOMA will die
Couldn't leave Biden alone on the high ground.
Matt originally the president was to do this in July. Glad Biden opened jis mouth now and moved up the 'schedule'.
Glad he did this.

My guess is that the Biden move was part of the strategy for the move...rather than a "forcing his hand" kind of thing.

In any case, same sex marriages is inevitable...and the people fighting it have to come to grips with it.
Thank God he's no longer just "EVOLVING."
amazing how so many had a rebuttal ready, its like the old newspaper obits written while famous people are healthy-in case. As is it is easy, or politically advantageous instead of being the right thing that he evolved to see, perhaps a bit slowly. Whats the point of the Avant Guarde if they complain that they are being followed?
Damn. There goes the homophobe vote.
He's becoming more progressive with this stand. As you said, guts and brains, and maybe even heart and soul...
Maybe it's Biden we should be applauding. He forced his hand.

Lezlie I doubt that he forced the hand of the president in any absolute sense; if anything, all it did was move up the calendar by 2 months and that's, in the end, good for the campaign, I think.
skip silly banter,as art james says.
banter is only opinion,
which the great Plato and the cool Lao Tzu
said a civilized man cannot entertain..for too long..
especially when it is so obvious..

gay marriage is gonna get the gay vote, and the women vote,
say old cynics.
sure, cuz no one likes being told what to do or not.

that ought to be mr o's target audience..we americans who
hate hate
with a fury to be told what to do...

i dunno. i am not up on politics, except for seeing it as it is.
a game. just a game. too many games
at too many levels, for me.
James it's important.
Maybe he just realized there's a lot us Queers who vote! NOT REALLY LOL

I'm glad he is finally coming out, and standing up for something. I honestly don't think anyone who is truly against gay marriage would vote for him anyway.
I also have to add. Nothing has been mentioned on our local newscasts here in good ole Tampa Bay.
Kenny it's a good day, friend.
When I see crap go down in the state of NC it warms my heart to see this.
yes it IS IMPORTANT, indeed.
or else the snakes in the grass get in while we higher thinkers
are distracted...

freedom can seem so free when u are enjoying it.then
tis gone, arg.
i despise
it when
Unexpected, the day after my fair state decided it was as backward as I feared. Actually more so - it wasn't close.

Around here, there were songs on YouTube against the amendment (well, versions of one locally-written song, actually kind of catchy melodically, called Vote Against Amendment One), ads in the paper taken out by a group of Black ministers opposing the amendment (yup, on our side, and historically that's quite a change), rallies and sermons by other local clergy (including our rabbis), statements by major corporations saying they opposed the amendment for business reasons, etc., and it still passed way too easily.

He could easily have dodged this one now. On the other hand, if I'm going to be hypothetically cynical, he may have finally figured out that playing to the center has gotten him nowhere because the Right won't give him credit for anything, so it might make more sense to just energize the base. Whatever the reason, I'm glad to see it.
Michelle YES and YES.
Kosh so am I, friend.
James w you on this, friend.
No doubt the gay issue is important for decent minded people injured and disgusted by rank outdated prejudices and that Obama finally took stand that was morally correct is admirable but the vital issues in the USA today concern economics and the welfare and civil rightsof the entire nation as a whole and I have yet to see Obama move decisively to cure the real threats that are destroying the civil and economic vitality of the country. As decent as his declaration on homophobia may be it is a diversionary issue at best in today's life.
As usual, Jan, we, respectfully, disagree w one another.
Is this a have-it-both-ways? He says he's in favor, but he can't command the legislation, right?
Myriad He had the ability to push Congress to end Don't Ask/Don't Tell in the military and he did and he ordered the government to end the Defense of Marriage Act in the courts but he cannot, alone, mandate legislation nor a court decision.
He won my vote away from the Green Party this afternoon. Not that he needs my vote in this county, but it's his. Thank you Mr. President.
I'm late to the discussion but find this a remarkably fine time to be alive... Just as I did marching in Dr. King's shadow years ago we are watching and Making History with Obama. I will always remember the moment I heard today's great news. He is a man of integrity (and brains & guts ).
Julie he so totally needs your vote honest
Go Obama.
That the RNC called this 'politics' is just ridiculous as this was clearly a risk, in my opinion. If it was 'politics' then lets have more politics like this.
Emily 100%! This was Lincolnesque.
Just Th so very true! TY!
ps -- I'm with Ande.
So glad you are you.
: )
A great day in history!
Just Th thanks bc I can't be anyone else!
Bud now we MUST do everything we can to reelect him.
Yesssssssss!!!!!! Finally!
I'm pondering what he meant by the words "I've just": "I simply," or "I have recently." Three years and five months into his presidency makes Bill Clinton and gays in the military in his first few months in office look like a profile in courage.
Con I heard it as "I've simply...."
This is terrific news, even if it's of the better late than never variety. Worth remembering that under Pres Romney it would certainly be never.

I liked his explanation of his "evolution", a term I always thought was just a little too convenient. I doubt I even considered the matter until well into the 90s and like Obama, I wondered why civil unions wouldn't serve the purpose. Withing a couple of years and hearing the issue discussed, I came around to the view that "marriage" carries a strong enough social status that it wasn't fair to deprive gays.
Abra yes; it's abt equal power under law.
Good point, Abrawang.

It certainly was an "evolutionary" process for me. I didn't buy into it initially, but eventually saw the reasoning proponents were using and came to agree with it.

While I suspect there probably are political considerations involved in this thing for Obama, I also have no reason to suspect the process was not one of "evolution" for him.
We WILL do everything we can to re-elect him.
Yes, agree. It is a bold step and I feel will make Romney seem even more indecisive, if that is possible.
A very smart move! R
This is news to me.

Thought BO was always pro gay marriage. Go figure.

Hope his strategists have the numbers right.
For a look at where the real problems of the country lie and how Obama is facing and dealing with them look at another blog on this site.
Jan, our civil rights are not important or considered "real problems" to you? nice. thanks for that show of support.
I have known and worked with gay people all my life and found them basically indistinguishable from any other people except for their sexual preferences which have no effect on me . That they are persecuted now and throughout the world and through history strikes me as psychotic but it is a deep cultural problem and, like the problems with people of color, will take a long time to turn around. I applaud Obama's open declaration that gay marriage should be a part of our society. It is a good move, but has little to do with the vital dynamics of what is totally murdering democracy in the USA. The almost totally phony terrorist threat which is draining much needed funds from society and murdering hundreds of thousands of innocents abroad and extending presidential powers to the point of pulverizing the basic civil rights of everybody, the insane donations of funds to the unprosecuted financial criminals which has caused and is causing the horrifying debts and meltdowns of financial systems in the USA and around the world, the almost total corruption of the political processes so that they are more a farce than anything useful, these and many more are what is important and threatening a permanent distortion in society towards totalitarianism are very, very, very important and scare the hell out of me. And Obama is, if anything, making it all worse. Sure, gays should be treated decently, but Obama's concession towards them is pure politics and I hope it helps them but I sincerely doubt the imbeciles who persecute gays and are passing laws against them will be much affected.
"Sure, gays should be treated decently, but Obama's concession towards them is pure politics"

I needed to hear the leader of our country say that we were indeed his people, too, and deserved the basic rights that all Americans have (except us). It was a big day for me. I understand that your investment is different. But I hope that you can understand that to the LGBT people today, we were finally told by someone with power that we were not "less than".
Kate, who are you talking to?
except from anti gay people, I've only heard good things about him today. Odd that you've heard different.
I guess that people who accept that what Obama produces out of his ass is a miracle are difficult to convince that what he produces in Guantanamo, in Afghanistan and Iraq. in Israel, in relief for people scammed by the banks, in the extension of presidential powers that are clearly oppressive and unconstitutional, in the refusal of his attorney general to pursue criminal charges against the corruption and illegalities of the financial sector and the previous administration, and a few other items are pretty difficult to persuade to look at reality.
I have waited and waited my turn Jan. You can cue up behind me.
I'm probably talking to myself again. Keep in mind I don't have TV here, so all I have is what I read (not just OS) and the anti-Obama rhetoric even when he does the right thing gets to me.

The damned if you do, damned if you don't sort of thing. Ignore me, I'm having one of my days...

No way that many of us are going to ignore you on this, Kate. You are hitting a nail squarely on its head...just as you did in your post immediately before it.

We had a cadre of people dedicated to dissing Obama at every opportunity...who simply are not willing to be reasonable. Your best bet is not to let them get to you. For me, I try to present my case against their unnecessary and counterproductive negativity in as courteous a way as possible...and I still manage to get a private laugh at their excess and hysteria.
Let’s try that again. Jonathan, you can delete the earlier post.

I'm probably talking to myself again. Keep in mind I don't have TV here, so all I have is what I read (not just OS) and the anti-Obama rhetoric even when he does the right thing gets to me.

The damned if you do, damned if you don't sort of thing. Ignore me, I'm having one of my days...

No way that many of us are going to ignore you on this, Kate. You are hitting a nail squarely on its head...just as you did in your post immediately before it.

We had a cadre of people dedicated to dissing Obama at every opportunity...who simply are not willing to be reasonable. Your best bet is not to let them get to you. For me, I try to present my case against their unnecessary and counterproductive negativity in as courteous a way as possible...and I still manage to get a private laugh at their excess and hysteria.
Yes, I think it will, even while you hear the wolves over the ridge.
Is he the best president we've had- no. Will he actually become a great president? Who knows, he's got more of a chance than most at this juncture. If he can get lgbt marriage rights, that is a significant political coup. He will be doing it against the majority, but aligned with right. It will make him look courageous and heroic to future generations. Kind of Lincoln-like for us. Someone in power who actually saw us as fellow people for a change.

He's got my vote now not for any potential future change, but just for saying to the camera that he sees my kind as equal and deserving of equal rights. That honestly is enough to get him my vote. He does end up working a miracle- gravy.
I agree with you, Jules. I applaude him for what he said. Words mean things.

That said, I DO think he waited for the polls to be in favor of gay marriage before "evolving" and to be quite honest I still resent the hell out of anyone who has to "evolve" into believing basic human rights belong to everybody. A constitutional scholar shouldn't have to "evolve" into that belief.

So yeah, I too think it is, at least, mostly political and merely announces that the DNC is in full campaign mode and that it's "get the LGBT money" time. (as is further demonstrated by the 8 different "coincidental" donation solicitations I found in my email this AM)
He can stand a little taller today.
Thanks to all here who, overnight, continued this spirited dialogue.
I love Joe Biden. It's a curious thing to consider that he might have had an organized "gaffe" buy showing their hand (and hearts). This was a great, ballsy move on the heels on the NC vote, especially as NC is a swing state. Brovo Obama Administration.
Jaime I think you're dead on w this.
It's been a long time coming... I left this comment on another post and it sums up what I'd like to see happen:
My favorite solution to this issue has been for all governments at every level to revise all "marriage" law, extract that word and replace it with something like "civil union or spousal partnership" to define legal rights and responsibilities. This leaves the word "marriage" to churches, synagogues, temples and mosques allowing the people who want to "sanctify" a legal union with the option to discriminate according to their personal religious beliefs. This allows everyone equal rights under the law and strengthens the wall between religion and state.
jmac as long as adult gay couples have precisely the rights and power(s) now conferred by "marriage" as straight couples have, the term is not as relevant. Interesting! Thanks!
What took him so long? Done though is done and while there may be a few who don't see that this is a civil rights question many of us are not troubled by this at all.

I do have a qualm or two. I read a lot of history and the sides in not just marriage equality but those for the right of women to choose reads more and more like the issue of slavery in the 1840's and 50's. The North Carolina jumped in as it did by banning marriage equality, lines up the sides in a more definite way than ever before. Could this lead to an actual secession? Who knows, there were few who thought that slavery would rip the country apart when the debate began too.
bobbot why were those states let back in?
He's got big balls. I love a man who knows exactly when it's time to roll the dice. ;)
My honest and somewhat jaded view (I use cynical only when it's truly appropriate, most people mean jaded or bitter when they say cynical anyway) is that this is a carefully scripted event.

You have Arne Duncan on Monday indicating he was comfortable with the idea -- the official seed just got floated out to the public. Another day goes by and while the Right is noteably voiciferously against it, what's new there? The next day, Vice President and former Senator Joe Biden provides the next level of pitch, saying on ABC news that he's okay with the idea. Another day later, plenty of social site scanning and now Obama can come out and say he's comfy with it, too.

Now don't get me wrong, it's about goddamned time someone at the higher levels of government provided full verbal support for an idea of equality that really does fall under the category of "How Long Will We Deny the Rights of All to a Small Subset of Our Population?" After all, it's the height of hypocrisy to deny rights to one group of people simply because a sizeable chunk of those with the rights they seek to deny have a problem with their "lifestyle."

Holy shit, if *that's* all it takes to disenfranchise a segment of our citizenry, then this is not a free country, just mob rule known as the tyranny of the many over the few. I don't care about "Obama(Romney)Care." I don't care about DOMA, DADT, PIPA, CISPA, JOBS and all the other stupid pieces of shit legislation that the Right seems hellbent on supporting, really. What I care about is that the President do the what he really is there to do: Keep the People engaged in dialogue and to lead the people with the willingness to support things for the benefit of the general population and not some pablum that allows him to remain in the Oval Office.

What if Abraham Lincoln had waffled over slavery and admitted that it really was a states rights issue? The Black Man in the White House would be a sharecropper's son, I'd wager, instead of President.

This is really a great country in many respects. Yes, there are great wrongs, faults and misdeeds in our history and in our society today. That said, show me a country that doesn't also have those with as much potential for liberty and freedom as the US still does.

We have so many real issues to deal with and Gay Rights is actually one of the more important social issues and Constitutional Issues today. No, people are not corporations. No, Citizen's United's ruling in the Supreme Court is not a good ruling, it's a travesty. No, tax breaks for the wealthy is not how you bring a country out of the worst financial disaster in the history of the world.

But. The concept of equality in law, society and Constitutional principle is the single most important aspect of the "hot button" issues going on today. Right now, that issue is firmly focused on the rights of same sex couples who should be allowed to enter into the legal and social contract of marriage, thus allowing them to share the benefits of workplace benefits, tax benefits for joint filing, and other such protections that heterosexuals take for granted.

Gay couples do tend to stay together longer than hetero couples outside of marriage. IN many cases, the only reason they aren't married and sharing their lives fully with their partners is because they are not allowed to by the rest of a perfectly hypocritical nation of fearful bigots shouting loud and long how the "Gay" will ruin our Christian nation.

Well, I'm not one of them. I'm as straight as I can be, I suppose. I have no interest in men sexually. And while I admit I might be somewhat uncomfortable seeing two men kissing in public, it's not going to make me go screaming for the door -- or someone in authority to put a stop to it -- not any more than a hetero couple showing waaaay too much affection in public. And that scene I have witnessed waaay too many times in a complete state of discomfort at inappropriate public behavior.

Okay, I'm finished -- for now. I hate it when people are disenfranchised out of public fear, political fear-mongering, or are being denied rights the rest of us take for granted. Down with the tryanny of the many over the few!

Rated. Because, really do I need to remind anybody what the Repubs would do that they haven't already done unto us since the fall of the Roman Empire. ;)
Owl interesting that you mention Lincoln. Aside from Lincoln's rejecting 'peace offers' from the Confederacy in the run up to his second election, this president's move yesterday ranks as the bravest act of a president just prior to standing for a second term.
I find it difficult to characterize what he did as leadership, unless you take the view that if the President does something, that automatically makes it leadership. He was way near the back of the line on this issue. He made the calculation that this might help him politically more than it hurts him. Maybe he figured that some gays might stay home on election day if he didn't act. He also had to consider the fact that gay marriage is a non-issue among most blacks, and that what he did might hurt him there. I am sure that a lot of polling went into this "evolutionary" decision.
Arthur the polling's been out there a while. I do think it was a slow evolution for a man who grew up in a community that would not discuss, let alone debate, this, and never saw it as a civil rights issue but as a religious one.
I am 100% for Gay marriage, but this is all such political bunk! A month ago he was against it! Geez, people! If this was an incumbent Republican "coming out" (sorry for unintended pun), he/she would be crucified for this kind of flip flopping" I believe is the term the left and the right use when one or the other changes their views mid-stream. They both do this when election time comes barreling down and the pressure heats up. Bunch of bull crap politics as usual. And I'm sorry, but when he talked about his young daughters persuading him on the subject, because they have friends with same sex parents (all good), I wanted to throw-up a little in my mouth. I would feel exactly the same way if this was the GOP spewing this kind of foul bull during an election year. Touting that BO is "evolved" over this is like saying Glenn Beck is evolved for switching from politics to religion. Eeee gads!
Cathy SEE? I KNEW Bo was Evolved! :)
Jon - Now, that's a comeback! You always manage to put a big smile on my face, even when I am being obstinate! And bottom line: "It's all good!"
Cathy in truth it's risky in 7 swing states despite the national polls; we're at a very strange social place in America, and wonderful and dicey all at once.
So true, Jon. it is that. At least those baby steps are starting to look like leaps and bounds in the right (I mean, correct) direction.
Jon, I applaud Obama for this move, which shows both guts and political savvy. I think it's a game changer, and it will enter the history books. Even so, I hope this isn't his final step down the path of "hope and change." There's still so much that's a mess: foreign interventions, targeted killings, military commissions, unprosecuted war criminals, the criminal drug war, the debt crisis, Wall Street corruption, unemployment, health care, global warming, the list goes on. Gay marriage, while spectacular, may be the easiest of the lot to tackle.
Kudos to the Prez! Maybe it realy is a new century. This should help his election chances, I think those inspired by Gary Bauer and Mitch McConnell et al wouldn't vote for Obama anyway!
Obama is neither "transformational" -- for the most part, he supports the status quo -- and "leadership" is about getting in the forefront of controversial issues even when it's unpopular to do so -- NOT finally expressing your support for something only after your reluctance to do so has become ridiculous, which is what Obama did.

Obama has risked nothing politically. He's nothing but a cold political calculator. Had he calculated that his announcement would have caused him any harm, he would not have made the announcement.

And it's great that you put Obama's re-election polling ahead of equal human and civil rights for ALL individuals. Because he's waaay more important than millions of Americans whose constitutional rights are being denied them every fucking day.

No wonder the LGBT movement is so weak: Because of queer quislings like you who thank our pseudo-homo-friendly overlords of the Democratic Party for what scraps they occasionally throw our way.

Note that Obama is still perfectly fine with most states outlawing same-sex marriage. "States' rights" was used to justify slavery, of course.

"Transformational leadership."


Please get help and please stop selling us out.

The Democratic Party will continue to take our money and our votes but deliver little to nothing in return as long as we ALLOW it to.