I guess you can say it's controversy time. Yesterday, in an exclusive interview, President Obama became the first U.S. President to explicitly endorse same-sex marriage. Check out the video from ABC news here:
This is a complicated issue, and there are reasons I, ME, am personally writing about it. Let me start by saying that as a social media user, immediately after the announcement, I noticed thousands of Facebook updates about this both for and against the President's new position. It was because of these posts that I decided to write about it. The posts made me realize that this, along with many, many other issues, will be misconstrued, misunderstood, and blasted all over the news and social media world. Ugh.
Let me start by saying this post has absolutely nothing to do with my personal beliefs or feelings about same-sex marriage. I am not writing about this because of the issue of same sex marriage itself; I am writing about this because of the political baloney that surrounds the President's announcement. Now, with that, I'm also a young adult that is aware of his surroundings, and I know it is nearly impossible to have any kind of discussion about a subject without incorporating personal feelings into that discussion. With respect to that notion, I will try to make my position on this issue quick and clear so I can get to why I'm writing about this. I've chosen to detach it from this blog because, like I said, this post is not about my personal views on the subject. If you're curious to see what they are, they can be seen here:
Going forward, I mentioned that Facebook lit up with posts about Obama's position. I want to focus on those that are now praising the president for his announcement.
Many of these posts were along the lines of, "yay President Obama! I'm behind you. This is great!" I want to ask people, "are you seriously not aware of EVERYTHING the President is saying?" In my opinion, I will just be frank: this is the biggest, speak-out-of-both-sides-of-your-mouth political maneuvering I've ever seen. His words are certainly speaking louder than his actions.
Putting timing aside (and yes, I think part of this major announcement was timing... the citizens of North Carolina voted Tuesday to amend their state Constitution to ban gay marriage), the President should not be praised for this announcement. Why? Again, this has nothing to do with opinions for or against gay marriage; this has everything to do with understanding what is being said and done... or in this case, NOT done. President Obama has publicly said now that he thinks homosexuals should get married. He also reminded everyone that he thinks this is an issue that should be left up to the states. Since North Carolina, a STATE, just put the issue to its voters and they chose to BAN (this is a big word) gay marriage, Obama is, according to his own words, okay with this. Out of one side of his mouth, Obama says he thinks homosexuals should be permitted to marry, and out of the other side he basically endorses the way North Carolina banned them from doing so.
Am I the only person who noticed this? How can anyone praise a president for his newly evolved position while he just proclaimed he promotes states deciding this issue? To me, this is a huge political punt. It seems he is trying to maximize the benefit of both sides of the coin. Since his actions don't line up with his words I ask: Is he truly for recognizing gay marriage? Or is he trying to act like he is though he is really, deep down, against it? I would think that if he was truly for it, he wouldn't have essentially endorsed North Carolina's handling of the issue. For a president that repealed Don't Ask, Don't Tell, (I supported the repeal), why is he not pushing for FEDERAL recognition of same-sex marriage? Repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell was one of the few promises President Obama upheld. He said he would repeal it; he did. Now I know he has never said he would push for legislation that legalizes same-sex marriage on the federal level, but that's where I think the confusion and the misguided praise comes in to play. For all those that are praising the president, do you know this is how he is handling it? Do you know that he is NOT putting his money where his mouth is? Do you know he is not going to push this forward nationally like he did for DADT? So why are you praising him? If he thinks this is a states rights issue, and every state does exactly what North Carolina issue, President Obama would have made his position known while letting the country effectively ban gay marriage? How is he not speaking out of both sides of his mouth?
Above all things, I'm not sure what the president is for. I want to see his actions follow his words. Maybe he is simply saying, "I am for gay marriage," but I am for states rights - which is another understandable position. My point: to all those that are exuberant about his new position... this isn't that praiseworthy... at least not to the level many people in my age group are making it out to be.
What are your thoughts? Please share them below.