Home > Law, Politics > Change We Can Believe in, IV

Change We Can Believe in, IV

Change we can believe in: Equal rights for gays and lesbians, sort of

Yesterday, federal district court judge Vaughn Walker overturned California’s Proposition 8, which has banned same-sex marriage in California since its passage in November 2008. (The decision is well worth a close look, and can be found here or here. I’m part way through it, but look forward to reading it in full.)

A White House spokesperson released the following statement: “The President has spoken out in opposition to Proposition 8 because it is divisive and discriminatory. He will continue to promote equality for LGBT Americans.” White House Senior Advisor David Axelrod elaborated this morning on MSNBC, explaining (you can see the video by following the link) that, “The president does oppose same-sex marriage, but he supports equality for gay and lesbian couples, and benefits and other issues, and that has been effectuated in federal agencies under his control.”

Fox News’ Kimberly Schwandt has a helpful roundup of Obama’s statements in recent years on gay marriage, In His Own Words: President Obama’s Nuanced View on Gay Marriage.

Read it and come to your own interpretation. He does seem to believe strongly that gays and lesbians should have equal rights. Sort of. But not entirely. Is this a political judgment? An expression of his genuine moral and religious beliefs? Who knows? And what does it matter anyway? What matters are his acts, and while he has been supportive of equal rights in some arenas, he clearly has seen fit to draw the line, in his gradual approach to repealing DADT and his avowed preference for leaving decisions on gay marriage up to states. Equal, but not too equal. We can believe in that.

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Categories: Law, Politics
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