Obama Backs Marriage Equality

I cried watching the interview, I’m not going to lie to you. Come hell or high water, the fact that a sitting president of the United States was finally willing to say out loud what we all know to be the truth, is a powerful moment. We’ve come so far in my lifetime. I can’t wait for the day where everyone has the freedom to legally marry the person they love. On that day, we’ll have confetti to throw. For now, I hope this inspires us all to work a little harder, to change a few more hearts and minds.

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  • Leanne

    I love this. And I love that you and APW are there to help fight the fight. Thanks for giving us our FIRST legal wedding at YAY!NY, and I can’t wait to share our future legal wedding(s) with you! Get that confetti ready!

    • meg

      I have a HUGE bag of confetti saved from your wedding. I’m saving it for a reason…. Lets DO THIS THING.

  • Agreed! I’m overwhelmed by how happy this announcement has made me. Even though I’m not gay. Even though I live in Massachusetts where I could marry the person I love regardless of gender. Planning for my own wedding has reinforced how important marriage is in our culture. Restricting it from any portion of our country is wrong. It makes me feel like I did when we elected Obama, hopeful.

  • PA

    Yes! (Yes! A thousand times yes!)

  • Quickest-written post in APW history??

    Go Obama!

    • Haha, I came back to check today because I *knew* there’d be a post here.

  • Caitlin L

    I proudly tote around my bag from YAY new york here in conservative Southeast Idaho, can’t wait for change!

  • After the super disappointing NC vote, this statement makes me so hopeful that today will go down in civil rights history as a step FORWARD rather than back!

    • I am also so sad about the NC vote – and so happy to have President Obama’s support!

      • Class of 1980

        As someone who donated to the NC effort, I am very disappointed too.

        We can say our piece, but honestly, it’s up to individuals to use reason and compassion to change their own mind. We can’t do it for them.

        I think it’s high time for a Supreme Court challenge. Civil rights should NEVER be determined by popular vote in the first place.

    • One More Sara

      I suspect the timing wasn’t very coincidental, but that doesn’t make it any less awesome!!!

      • meg

        You know, if this is how we try to win elections these days, then FUCK YEAH. I’d rather go down in flames on this issue than wallow around in mediocrity, that is for damn sure.

        • Amy

          Exactly my reaction to this, Meg. So proud of our President for finally saying ‘enough’ and drawing a line in the sand. Thrilled!

        • i’m terrified that this single, tiny issue is going to result in obama going down in flames, and, really, i greatly prefer mediocrity to the negative alternatives.

          but, then, that might be a very localized point of view. it might be more accurate to say that in taking this stance he has simply written my part of the country off and is relying on the rest of y’all. so i guess it’s good you’re fired up – he’s gonna need you.
          (i feel like this is an inappropriately negative comment, but i can’t shake the fear enough to find this appealing – sorry.)

          • Jen W

            The stats on support for gay marriage by political affiliation go something like this: dems for 3 to 1, independents for 2 to 1, repubs against 4 to 1. So the majority of people who oppose equal marriage rights already weren’t going to vote for him in Nov, but he may sway some Independents with this move.
            (Stats according to Gallup: http://filipspagnoli.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/support-for-same-sex-marriage-by-political-subgroup.png)

          • meg

            You know, it’s funny, I grew up in hyper conservative america and I’m a pessimist. But I think this is how you win an election (particularly against a weak opponent). If this man knows one thing it’s how to run a mother-effing election. So LET THE GAMES BEGIN. Start giving money, y’all.

          • Laurel

            Don’t worry (too much). Obama wouldn’t have done this if it weren’t a good bet. It’ll motivate people who support marriage equality — people like us — and give us the sense that we have something to fight for. It’s smart. It’s also a reminder. Time to fight.

          • Sandy

            Because I am tired of politicians who dance around issues, and because this issue has come to represent something that I care very deeply about, I was ready to not vote for Obama in November and just not vote at all.
            I cannot give my vote to someone who will not support something that I consider as important as this. So, without the words he would have lost my vote.
            I can’t imagine that I’m the only one.
            I’ve long told my husband, who is a very logical conservative, that if you have to sacrifice your values to win, then what are you trying to protect? If my president is unwilling to say something that he believes, out loud, then he can’t save anything.
            God bless him for following his heart and saying what needed to be said. And God damn the consequences.

          • Ris

            I think his stance on this issue is very important because from now on out, Democratic candidates for the presidency are going to have to be unabashedly pro-gay rights, pro-gay marriage. There’s no turning back.

          • Spicy MacHaggis

            “This single, tiny issue,” as you so quaintly put it, is my life. You’ll pardon me if I don’t share your perspective.

          • spicy, no offense meant, from one married (not legally) queer to, i assume, another. it’s my life too, but it’s still a tiny issue to me, when compared to the other things at stake here.

            nonetheless, i certainly pardon your difference of perspective. and i also appreciate the positivity that everyone else has lent this.

        • Meg, I tried to give money (not because you told me to, just anyway, a while ago). This is quite hilarious – I got directed to a page telling me it’s illegal to try to influence US elections, since I’m in the UK. Ahhh, I think I’m on some list somewhere!

          As an aside, I kind of feel like the US President has such sway in world events, we should all get a vote across the globe! Sounds ridiculous, but he’s kind of President of everywhere, if you know what I mean. And he is so loved everywhere else, he’d definitely get in again!

          • Em

            I’m pretty sure you can still give to his pac – http://www.prioritiesusaaction.org/

          • HK

            You should also be able to give through Democrats Abroad.

          • Teagan

            I love that he stood up and stated his beliefs. He has done something powerful.

            I live in Australia, and we follow America’s lead in all things, this gives me hope that there will be positive change here.

        • I’ve heard a lot of people mourn the fact that Obama “threw away” his reelection, but I guess if that happens, I’d rather see a person stand up for what they believe in. It sets a precedint. What did George RR Martin say in Game of Thrones? Nothing is more dangerous than a just man.

    • Erica

      I completely agree that this almost makes up for today’s devastating news from North Carolina. As good friend of mine said, “Well, North Carolina may have won the battle but we are going to win the war. Just like last time.” I’m so glad to see our President firmly standing on the right side of history.

      • Class of 1980

        A lot of people in North Carolina don’t feel they’ve won a thing. It’s a loss if you voted “NO”.

        • As a North Carolinian, THANK YOU. I’ve spent most of the day weeping over our loss. I went to meetings, talked to people, wore my “voting against, ask me why” button, and prayed and prayed and prayed. The worst part is that I really, really had hope that we could win. The resounding defeat we suffered feels personal to me, even being straight, and I suspect I’ll find myself unexpectedly crying in a public place for many days to come.

          You can’t imagine how disgusting and depressing it was to watch this race. People lied outright and manipulated facts to obscure what this amendment was really about and it was hardest for me to watch the people who share my faith fall for it so easily. I had so much rage I could barely face my family members and friends who supported the amendment. I also met some pretty incredible people and heard from brave leaders, even in the church community. I saw people reaching out in love and talking out the issues in rational, though tense, arguments. It’s not over, you guys.

          We lost but I’m not defeated. I just have a lot of work to do.

          • Lauren

            “We lost but I’m not defeated. I just have a lot of work to do.”

            Yes. A thousand times yes. There will be a change – we WILL make it happen.

          • Class of 1980


            It’s personal to me too. I was born in Asheville, North Carolina because my dad was going to school near there. They moved back to Florida when I was six weeks old.

            During my childhood, we went to the Asheville area for vacations and it’s always been special to us. My mother said the year she and my father lived there after their marriage was the happiest.

            After my divorce, I moved from Texas to far western North Carolina, and four years later I moved just over the border into Georgia. North Carolina is still only five minutes away and I do my grocery shopping there. Living near a state line means you shop in two states!

            I intend to move back to North Carolina, probably for the rest of my life. I love that state fiercely and I think there are a bunch of us that love NC fiercely enough to keep this fight going!

  • Amazing. I am so thrilled.

  • I love that the mood of the country has come around to a point where someone running for reelection considers this a good thing to say. (I’m afraid I think he should have been saying something along these lines for the past four damn years already, and disinclined to give him cookies for it now. But the timing is hopeful.)

  • Aiyana

    Any two loving, committed people should be able to get married. Period.

  • LifeSheWrote

    This made me SO HAPPY too!

    As a life-long North Carolinian, I’ve been struggling with heateded debate, vote, and then outpouring of commentary regarding the outcome of the vote. It’s been hard and awful, hearing people I grew up with be so dismissive and prejudiced. But there have also been bright spots of friends championing love over all else. Especially ones who use their religion to highlight how important it is to love. That gives me hope.

    And yay for APW for being leaders in this oh-so-necessary fight for equal rights for all.

    • Class of 1980

      To be fair, the anti-amendment group raised twice as much money as the pro-amendment group, and they did make an impact. The vote is very split along a city/rural divide.

      North Carolina has the reputation of being a more progressive southern state. For so long, they were the lone hold-out among southern states as far as having an anti-gay amendment.

      So, it’s very hard to see the comments in the news portraying NC as a backward state now. I understand the temptation because we are all angry, but plenty of non-southern states have amendments also, and no one says anything nearly as insulting.

      Ah, just venting.

  • One More Sara

    So does anyone remember the wonderchild on the viral YouTube video with 2 moms? He has started an organization called Out to Dinner (outtodinner.com) to spread awareness. It is a really cool concept that encourages wine drinking, so it’s pretty in line with APW priorities. (Marriage equality and wine? sign me up!)

    • I LOVE that idea (saw it on the Daily Show) but the only problem is that I don’t know a single person in my life who is on the fence. Everyone is very pro-marriage equality, INCLUDING my 89-year-old WWII veteran grandmother.

      • Laurel

        My 91-year-old WWII refugee grandmother is probably the person I know who is most excited about my wedding.

      • meg

        Here is the thing (and I know a ton of people on the other side of the fence or on the fence). Almost everyone interacts with people every day that don’t agree on this issue. The key is to figure out how to open up dialoge. We’ve known gay couples that changed their mechanic’s minds, because “they were such a good family, and they couldn’t vote against them.” If you’re straight, it might be harder to bring up, but you can still work at it. AND GIVE MONEY.

  • MDBethann

    I’m happy to see that President Obama is finally speaking out for everyone to have the same legal rights that my DH and I now have. I just hope that we can have a rational discussion in this country about the legal rights of marriage and find a way to separate civil marriage from religious marriage, which seems to be the real sticking point – religious marriage versus civil marriage rights.

    Throughout our history, we’ve given religious leaders the legal ability to conduct marriages, and early on it made sense – religious leaders rode circuits through far-flung communities that didn’t have judges or other legal representatives to conduct marriages. But that isn’t the case now, and I have had conversations with Christian ministers who expressed some discomfort with the fact that in conducting marriage ceremonies, they are acting as an agent of the state as well as of God (and they work for God, not the state, and Christ definitely had some things to say about mixing the church and the state of Rome). Maybe it is time for a change to a different approach to marriage. Marriage, civil unions, domestic partnerships, etc. are all human constructs – none of them occur in nature – and since we created them, we should be able to change them if we want to.

    Many APWers have written both in posts and in responses that in many European countries, like Germany, the couple is first married by the government for the civil ceremony, and then, if they choose, they can have a separate religious ceremony but that religious one is not recognized by the government. As much as I loved my wonderful church wedding this weekend, having a civil legal ceremony in addition to it wouldn’t have changed the religious ceremony a bit (except in the fact that the signature on the certificate would be different).

    I think if the U.S. would make all couples who want to marry, regardless of gender, race, or sexual orientation, have a separate civil ceremony to grant the legal rights, it might go a long way to settling this issue. If we separate the very different concepts of “religious marriage” from “civil marriage” we quash a lot of the debate. Then EVERYONE has to have a civil union and the religious part is completely voluntary and can be practiced according to whatever tenants one follows without forcing those beliefs on anyone else. Then we are all equal in the eyes of the law, which in a free, secular country that grants its citizens “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”, is what we are all entitled to be.

    • I could not agree more – church and state are supposed to be seperate, so it is time to change them in such a fundamental place. Thank you for your eloquence in explaing it. And good day indeed!!

    • ElisabethJoanne

      I’ll just add my usual line: The government can do this by “taking away the right” of religious ministers to officiate at weddings for civil/legal/government purposes, OR the religious institutions can do this themselves, but refusing to sign the civil/government paperwork.

      For some of us, it’s easier to change the procedures of the religious communities to which we belong than it is to change our State’s Family Code.

    • Class of 1980

      Well, I kinda agree, but there is absolutely nothing in the law that compels any minister to marry gay people in the first place. There simply is no threat to anyone practicing their own religion if gays get married.

      Your idea might quash the debate among some religious people, but there are still a lot of them that will never support any legal recognition of gay couples.

      I’d like to see anti-gay amendments overturned because they are a civil rights violation. There needs to be a message sent that popular vote can never succeed in violating civil rights … at least not forever.

      • MDBethann

        You’re right – there’s nothing in the law that compels any religion to marry gay couples. The laws have always been carefully worded to maintain the separation of church and state in that regard so that the government doesn’t legislate religious practice. As the daughter of a Lutheran minister and a practicing Christian, I would be very uncomfortable with our government legislating any of our religious practices.

        That said, the most common arguments I read against gay marriage are religious ones. So many people in this country look at marriage through a religious lens and from my perspective, the fact that we have so strongly intertwined religious and civil marriage in this country makes it difficult for many people to see the the legal, civil rights that our country grants through marriage by religious officials (as well as civil officials) as separate from religious marriage. But they are. You CAN have one without the other. But I don’t think that a very vocal part of our society sees them as inseparable.

        In some ways, I think it *could* be easier to change the laws – with an “after X date” clause so you don’t invalidate already existing marriages – the state would just say that religious officials are no longer authorized to perform state sanctioned marriage. Only certain categories of civil servants are authorized to do so. I say this because in a number of religions, decisions are very localized, so you can only change things on an individual church-by-church basis. Further, if one faith would decide to do it, they risk alienating their followers to other churches. But if the government does it, then EVERYONE has to do it.

        It’s an idea that would put everyone’s marriage on equal legal footing – straight, gay, lesbian, etc. Marriage becomes strictly a civil right and privilege.

        Ideally, we should be able to keep our current system and EVERYONE should be able to marry in a church, park, beach, house, forest, wherever and by a judge, priest, rabbi, pastor, internet minister, or whomever is granted the power to do so regardless of their race or sexual orientation. I would love to see that, because to me, the only thing that hurts the sanctity of my marriage is something either my DH or I do to one another. And the only thing that destroys marriage is divorce.

        • Class of 1980

          As a libertarian, I don’t actually believe there is any need for marriage licenses whatsoever. I don’t think you need to be a libertarian to see the sense in that.

          We did not always have them, and once we did, they became a vehicle for discrimination. The only thing that changes over time is who they are discriminating against.

          As long as the parties are two consenting adults, it’s no one’s business.

          • ElisabethJoanne

            The thing is, it’s not no one else’s business. Hospitals need to know who’s in charge of someone’s medical decisions if she’s incapacitated. Real estate buyers need to know if it’s one person or two selling the house. Probate courts need to know who gets a deceased person’s assets, and family courts need to know who the parents are.

            There are private, contractual solutions to each of these problems, but they are expensive and complicated and do not have 1,000 years of case law behind them. Government-issued marriage licenses address all these issues in the way most people would decide them for themselves, absent any positive law on the topic, and married couples are still allowed to contract around them.

    • Deda

      I really don’t understand the problem. Atheist and agnostics marry everyday and they don’t have to have a civil union.

      • MDBethann

        I agree – they do marry every day and not religiously. But they still have a gov’t approved officiant and have a secular ceremony to make their marriage legal. I wasn’t talking “civil unions” in the way we’ve come to define them in the US, but rather civil ceremony as in a non-religious one.

        I’m going to take a wild guess that many of the religious people who are vocal about their anti-gay marriage beliefs might have issues with an atheist’s marriage too, since they aren’t married in the eyes of God. But for me, to each his/her own beliefs. Again, another couple’s marriage doesn’t hurt the sanctity of my marriage unless it would somehow involve me or my DH.

        • Jo

          In Colorado, where I live, you don’t need a religious official OR a government official to make a marriage legal. You don’t even need an officiant. I just wanted to put this out there. While it doesn’t take care of same-sex marriage (we NEED to get to that place), it does separate the church from the state a bit in a way that I’d love to see more common.

          From the official state website:

          “The marriage ceremony may be performed by
          – a judge
          – a retired judge
          – a magistrate
          – any public official authorized to perform marriages
          – any person recognized as authorized to perform marriages by any religious denomination, any Indian nation, any Indian tribe
          – the people getting married”

          Also, you can do as we have done and become Common Law as follows:
          “A common-law marriage in Colorado is valid for all purposes, the same as a ceremonial marriage. It can be terminated only by death or divorce. The common-law elements of a valid marriage are that the couple
          – is free to contract a valid ceremonial marriage, that is, they are not already married to soemone else
          – holds themselves out as husband and wife
          – consents to the marriage
          – cohabits
          – has the reputation in the community as being married”

          • MDBethann

            That’s pretty cool. Sadly, the state I grew up in (and just got married in) – Pennsylvania – actually outlawed common law marriage several years ago.

            I think it is good when states have a broad definition of marriage – I hope we make it broader!

          • Jo

            MDBETHANN –
            At least in PA you can also do the self-solemnizing thing. I didn’t realize it until I just googled it, but apparently PA and CO are the only states that allow it.
            I’m such a fan of it, and if we ever decide to make things more officially official (than the common law stuff which is probably legally weaker than having officially filed papers), we’re definitely going the self-solemnizing route.

    • Laurel

      This is a great idea.

      It will never happen. It’s hard enough to expand marriage as it is now without trying to change the set-up.

      Lots of people bring this up when same-sex marriage comes up, but it’s not really about us. There are religious communities that want to perform same-sex marriages and can’t (fully) because of state law. I don’t really think it’s fair to hitch our participation in an existing institution to wholesale reform of that institution.

      • MDBethann

        Laurel, the less optimistic part of me agrees with you. I don’t see the US making a whole-sale change in how it looks at marriage.

        I just think that this would theoretically be a way to provide everyone the same civil and legal rights by taking religion out of the equation for the granting of those same rights. For a country that supposedly embraces the separation of church and state, I find it interesting that the granting of a very important and specific set of legal and civil rights is the one place where the state does get involved in the church’s business and vice versa.

        I’m definitely open to other options. I just want the discrimination and the false justifications for said discrimination to stop. The Christ that I follow surrounded himself with and cared for people of all stripes, actions, creeds, and even sins. He asked us to do the same and to not judge others lest we be judged. It saddens me and hurts me when people continue to use my faith to discriminate against others. I just want it to stop.

        • Laurel

          I love what you’re saying about religion, that it shouldn’t be misused for bigoted purposes. Conceptually, I’m with you. Practically — separating the institutions won’t stop people from talking, and focusing on that goal doesn’t do much short term good. Better I think to focus on changing views within religious communities, which has already largely started.

    • Nina

      We’re doing exactly this for our wedding this June. We’re going to sign all the legal paperwork on Friday at the SF Court House with just our parents and witnesses, and then are getting married on Sunday with the rabbi (basically replicating Meg’s wedding by coincidence – same venue, caterer, time of day, Episcopal/Jewish mix…p.s. Meg, any recommendations for where to do our Yichud?). We feel very strongly that the promises that we are making to/before the State are very different than the promises that we’re making before God and our community. And we’ve almost got my Mom convinced that the Sunday ceremony is not a “fake” wedding, but a separate set of promises and commitments.

      That said, I think reactions like my Mom’s are one of the strongest social barriers to instituting this as a widespread phenomenon, a la Europe. We’re really vulnerable to having people accuse of having a “fake” wedding. I mean, how much more degrading an accusation can you have!

      • Laurel

        Miss Manners, much as I love her, is complicit in this problem.

        • Class of 1980

          Uh oh. This is true. ;)

        • meg

          She is.

      • meg

        The bathroom. I didn’t grow up Episcopal, I grew up BAPTIST.

        • Kathleen M

          Wait, you grew up Baptist? All this talk of High Wasp and your parents being married in an Episcopal church threw me. Can we hear the story sometime? I know it’s personal, but I study religion and my husband grew up Baptist and I love Judaism, so I kinda want to hear a little more about your story. Anything you’d want to share.

      • We did this too! We ended up doing the civil thing 6 months before the religious thing, but we had intended to do both on the same day. We actually picked a Friday wedding date for that reason. My mom was also convinced that no one would come to the “fake” wedding, so only a select few folks knew we were already married. But the community wedding still felt like a wedding to us. The civil one was our promises to each other, and the community wedding was full of our promises to the community as a couple. I actually even designed the services that way on purpose.

        • Karen

          Leah, do you have a copy of the community wedding wording that you’d be willing to share?

      • ElisabethJoanne

        We’re considering Nina’s plans.

        Miss Manners is neither a lawyer nor a theologian. Her views on what constitutes a “real” civil contract or a “real” sacrament/mitzvah carry little weight.

    • Jo

      I have learned to appreciate the legal purposes of civil marriage. That said, I think so many of the issues and debates that arise are because of that damn word, “marriage”. I think that “marriage” should be something people do in their social or religious lives. I think the government should sanctify “unions” or “domestic partnerships”, NOT “marriages”. And I mean that “unions” and “domestic partnerships” should have all of the legal rights that we currently give to civil “marriage”, I just think the vocabulary needs to change. I don’t think that government should be in the business of marriage which is a social construct. Then consenting adults should be allowed to enter into commitment with whatever consenting adult that they choose.

      • MDBethann

        Jo, THANK YOU. That is actually my point. Have the government recognize “unions” “domestic partnerships” etc. whatever you want to call it for the purposes of civil and legal rights for EVERYONE. Then leave marriage a non-legal definition that is up to his/her choice and belief system. That way, everyone gets the legal rights and benefits without stepping on people’s beliefs. But for me is to put everyone on the same civil and legal playing field.

  • Jessica

    Last year, NY voted to allow gay marriage the night before one of my closest friend’s wedding. It was the only time I cried all weekend. Now, I’m tearing up at work and praying fervently that this signals the change I’ve been waiting for. Personally, I’m straight but I’ve always been an ally and I can’t wait until my gay friends receive the same treatment my husband and I do.

    • MDBethann

      Exactly. Because equal marriage rights builds and protects families. Which is something everyone should see as a good thing.

  • Lauren


  • Sam

    Have you seen these stats? I am thankful that I live in MA!


    • what a wonderfully put-together graphic. i love an idea that can put so much information in such a digestible format.

    • That’s awesome. Thank you for sharing it!

  • I’m not going to lie- today I was Disheartened.

    Heartbroken for the residents of NC, both those who this awful amendment affected and those who fought so hard to get it shot down. Increasingly worried by the hateful legislation lately that seems to be springing up right and left threatening women’s rights and freedom with their bodies.

    THIS. THIS IS WHAT WE NEEDED. (*goes home and changes into Obama gear*)(yes of course I have some whut.)

  • My heart is so full of joy.

  • Colorado Laurel

    I am sitting at work trying to get stuff done and contain my joy, but only barely succeeding. What I really want to do is throw a massive dance party in my cube.

    I needed the APW to celebrate with online before going home and celebrating tonight. Of course as soon as I heard, I checked to see what Meg had tweeted about it.

    • Em

      Colorado Laurel, keep your eye on Hick! We have the votes to pass civil unions here in the hate state, and I’m hopeful that he’ll help them bring it to a vote in the special session he’s announcing today!

  • THIS IS SO EXCITING!! I’m so happy that every place I look in social media and elsewhere, people are talking about this!!

  • Anne

    After campaigning against Prop 8 here in California, it broke my heart when it passed. My thoughts go out to all of those readers in NC.

    Thank you, Mr. President for speaking out! I just made my first 2012 election donation :)

  • Not Sarah

    I LOVE THIS. It is such great timing, with North Carolina’s news :)

  • Denise

    I was so happy to read this on the NYT today.

  • My heart broke right open last night. I live in Raleigh and I campaigned so hard against Amendment One. I donated money, I was involved in the social media aspect of it, I rallied friends, and reminded everyone to vote. And still it wasn’t enough. I feel like I should have done something more.

    Getting married has made me so much more aware of the rights that marriage affords me–like a path to citizenship for my husband–and I AM SO ANGRY that we are still at a point in our society where not everyone has equal access to those rights. The first time I found out what gay meant, I was about eight years old, living next door to a lesbian couple who adored me and kind of took me under their wing. When my Dad was having work done in his house, they let me use their bathroom. When my cat got hit by a car, they were there to rush her to the vet, and they nursed her back to health because they knew my Dad couldn’t do it with his crazy work schedule. They had me over, they gave me cookies. They were my friends. So when I found out that people didn’t like them because they liked each other, I remember thinking how incredibly stupid that was. That was in 1994. This is 2012. How is this not resolved yet?

    • Class of 1980

      EXACTLY ten thousand times.

  • Class of 1980

    As part of the message in my e-mail today from “Protect NC Families” http://www.protectncfamilies.org/home, the group that led the campaign against Amendment One, there was this …

    “All of our efforts were boosted by a historic coalition that came together across North Carolina, and our spirits were lifted by our diverse and courageous allies. Our partners include Equality North Carolina, HRC, the NC NAACP, ALCU-NC, Blueprint NC, Replacements, Ltd., Southerners on New Ground, and dozens of faith communities and community organizations .

    Together, we have proven to North Carolina and the entire country that fear tactics, discrimination, and division may compete with love, compassion, and solidarity in the short term, but we know that the time is coming for true equality.

    As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, …
    “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

  • I can’t be the only person who watched the clip, was happy to hear the President make the statement, but then thought, ‘I’ll be excited when he does something about it,’ can I?

    Politics are often a game of semantics, and to say “for me personally, I think” as a preface to “people should have a right to marry whomever they choose” is a way of saying “I’m going to say this because then you’ll vote for me. But I’m not necessarily going to do anything about it.”

    I would rather see all 1,100+ federal laws pertaining to marriage removed from the proverbial books completely than see this trend of fighting losing battles in individual states continue. If we decide that federal & state governments have no business whatsoever in saying who, when, or how we marry, and government has no say in how or where we begin or end a union, and that we are perfectly capable of deciding what the word “marriage” means, thank-you-very-much, then all the laws banning “marriage” and delineating the specifics of “civil unions” would be thrown out the window. And all those people who used their vote to show that they disapprove of your marriage? Fuck ’em – they can’t do ANYTHING about it. ‘Cause you can’t outlaw or ‘ban’ something that has no legal definition nor political ramifications. Maybe I’m being overly idealistic, but that’s how I think about it.

    I’ve always thought of this attitude as part of the general ethos of APW – empowering couples to make our own choices about our relationships, our weddings, and our marriages…

    • Laurel

      He *has* done stuff about it. He’s not defending DOMA, he got DADT repealed (which is going to be a serious political kick for marriage in the long run: think about the political appeal of gay soldiers), and this is also doing something about it. He’s changing people’s views.

      • meg

        That’s right, he sure as hell has done something about it. DADT has been something I’ve been fighting against since I was in junior high, and it’s finally gone. And not defending DOMA is a pretty big step. If we can get through this election, he might really have the chance to do more. Politics is a game, and it’s one step at a time.

        • Is DOMA currently being challenged?

          And yes, if he is re-elected he will have a chance to take steps toward making marriage available to everyone who wants to get married. But I won’t get excited until he takes that chance and actually puts his money where is mouth is.

    • Class of 1980

      Yeah, well, I’m a Libertarian and that is their view, that no one should even need a marriage license to get married. Marriage licenses did not exist in our early days as a country, and once they were put into place they became a perfect vehicle for discrimination.

      • Class of 1980– in case it’s not obvious, I’m a card-carrying Libertarian. The word tends to carry a lot of weird connotations in that people on the left often think we’re a bunch of radical right-wing extremists, and people on the right think we’re a bunch of left-wing sympathizers, so I usually leave out my specific political affiliation when I jump into politics on the interwebs.

        Also, btw, I grew up in Georgia and lived in Asheville for a spell, so reading your comments today (on this post) has been heartwarming in a lot of ways.


        • MDBethann

          As a liberal moderate who does support gov’t involvement, I’ve never warmed to Libertarian thought but I’ve always found it interesting – it’s fiscally conservative but socially liberal, and while people like Ron Paul try to fit into the Republican tent, it never seems to be a good fit because at the end of the day, the social conservatives tend to outweigh the fiscal conservatives. It’s definitely an interesting mix of beliefs and I think shows that there are definitely ways to find middle ground between liberals and conservatives, it just depends on the issue. To insist on political purity makes politics too black and white, which is wrong because little, if anything, in life is black and white.

          • Em

            The reason the “libertarian” thing gets me a little nervous is that I’ve heard a lot of dudes over the years using it to justify anti-choice positions (maybe this mostly is just in the era of Ron Paul? I’m having a hard time remembering a time before he was around…).

          • Class of 1980

            I have never heard libertarianism used to defend anti-choice positions.

            As for Ron Paul, his view on anti-gay amendments is one that I wish many religious people would adopt.

            His denomination is Southern Baptist, and they officially don’t believe in gay marriage. No surprise there. HOWEVER, Ron Paul has constantly said that even though he doesn’t condone gay marriage for religious reasons in his personal life, he DOES NOT believe in anti-gay amendments.

            He says if you are going to have a country based on individual liberty and the Bill of Rights, you have to have tolerance. Without tolerance, no one is free.

            I can live with that. Wish other religious people would reason it out that way.

        • MDBethann

          Anti-choice really doesn’t strike me as an actual Libertarian position though (correct me if I’m wrong Libertarians). My understanding is that Libertarians are all about choice, individual choice, and keeping the gov’t out of it as much as possible (and that would mean out of the bedroom, out of the doctor’s office, and out of the abortion issue).

          • Class of 1980

            Libertarians are socially liberal and fiscally conservative.

            They don’t believe in controlling private lives and that the government should only interfere if your activities harm another person.

        • Class of 1980

          Hi Melanie! ;)

  • Laurel

    Sometimes I think that maybe I’ll be able to get legally married at my wedding.

    Then I have to stop thinking about it, because chances are SLIM. And that makes me sad.

    • Laurel

      I wanted to edit to make this more optimistic, but missed the window: at least the long-term politics are on our side. It won’t be this year, but it won’t be that long.

  • I’ve never wanted to hit the “EXACTLY!” button so many times. :D

  • Brooke

    Very happy to hear Obama’s interview. Very disappointed to hear the response from the Prime Minister in my own country (Australia)- no change in her stance opposing marriage equality. Argh!!!!!

    • Amy March

      Yup, that’s a thing. Irritating on a small scale, but better than China buying our elections.

      • Amy March

        Oops- this didn’t belong here :)

  • Fenn

    I don’t understand what we’re so happy about. He made a very weirdly personal statement without any promise of any action. Also, this comes at a very convenient time in the election cycle, I think. I think this is all just drama to add to the political circus. Saying he “personally” believes in marriage for everyone is not the same as saying he has a commitment to the American people to marry whomever they desire. I don’t buy into this at all.

    • Class of 1980

      I don’t think Obama did it for political “drama” exactly. I think there were a lot of considerations that went in to announcing his position.

      There is a sizable group in the democratic convention that want to officially put gay marriage into the party platform. It was going to happen no matter what. I think Obama has always believed in gay marriage privately, but the party as a whole is finally on their way to making an official stand.

      The only thing is Obama said it’s still up to states. Not sure how that will play out.

      If Romney is the republican candidate, then the divide will be more clear cut than when Bush was running. Bush was for domestic partnerships actually. Romney is against any legal recognition of gay couples, so he is even more far right than Bush!

    • I have to really disagree with you on this, but I’m typing it on a tablet, so its going to be way short.

      My political science degree and my years of working for planned parenthood taught me at least one solid lesson about politics, specifically American politics. (And Meg echoes this above) YES it was a political move. ABSOLUTELY. That doesn’t make it any less true, or valid. The fact that he PERSONALLY supports marriage equality and feels like he can say it in a MRJOR interview, during an election cycle means great things, and if he and his team feel that saying so will help him win an election, that means even greater things. And about that, I am happy.

  • JH

    I never thought I would live in a time where marriage is redefined. I don’t think those living today realize how low America has sunk. “The Bible is clear – God’s definition of marriage is between a man and a woman.” A basic understanding of biology tells you it is just not right. It is truly very sad.