The gay community had a collective burst of tears this week as President Obama announced his personal support for same-sex marriages. You could almost hear Zombie Liberace coming out of the ground and strumming his gold piano in flamboyant celebration.
This is one of my favorite insta-gushes from a liberal lesbian activist in New York:
Where were you when you first heard?
I was in front of Lincoln Center (I’m in New York City this week for a meeting with other LGBT civil rights attorneys from across the country) when NCLR Deputy Director Arcelia Hurtado screamed, “He did it!”
I turned around and said, “What?” To which she replied, “Obama came out in support of marriage!” We both screamed and hugged, teary eyed. The New Yorkers walking past us didn’t care. But we knew that this was a historic and indelible moment.
Really? I don’t recall the same amount of joy coming from the gay leftist ideologues when Vice President Dick Cheney became the first major national political figure to announce his support of gay marriage back in 2009.
I’m sure it has nothing to do with Cheney being a Republican and Obama being a Democrat. Nah, that would be too cynical. In my experience this is a typical reaction from left-wing gays and lesbians. They want to be liked, accepted, adored and fawned over. This week, President Obama gave them an important moment of self-adoration.
After the initial glow, however, those of us who look at life more critically and through the prism of reality like, for example, the law and the U.S. Constitution, found Obama’s announcement to be anything but historic. All he did was state his personal perspective on a social matter. Did he say he was going to ask Congress to repeal the “Defense of Marriage Act” signed by President Clinton? Nope. Did he urge all 50 governors to move toward same-sex marriage recognition in their state? Nope. Did he say he would back efforts for a gay marriage plank in the DNC platform at the Democratic Convention. Nope.
Some less partisan, more objective political types started to smell a rat. This now widely-quoted Gawker piece is probably the best critique coming from the left.
[B]efore Roe v. Wade, abortion was a state-by-state issue, too. So was slavery. There are 44 states in which gay men and women are currently barred from marrying one another. Obama’s position is that, while he would have voted the other way, those 44 states are perfectly within their rights to arbitrarily restrict the access of certain individuals to marriage rights based solely on their sexual orientation.
That is a half-assed, cowardly cop-out.
So what really happened this week? It appears by all accounts that gay activists, who have been urging the nation to give them their “civil rights,” have traded in that fight for mere acceptance by a sitting president. How medieval. It is though King Barack looked out among his gay peons and said, “Yes, I love you now.”
Finally, the most stunning part of Obama’s interview with Robin Roberts was his sudden conversion to a 10th Amendment supporter. “Leave it up to the states,” he said. Well, that’s not what gay activists have been saying since Clinton signed DOMA. They’ve had to fight at the state level, but they’ve been pushing for a federal civil rights solution. Obama cut them off at the knees for the sake of his gay campaign fundraising bundlers. I guess civil rights do have a price after all.
What Ms. Roberts didn’t ask Obama was if he felt states’ rights extended to other matters like Obamacare or abortion, for example. What makes healthcare more important than gay marriage? Too bad we don’t have an aggressive mainstream media to ask these important, substantive questions to our elected officials.