Friday, August 13, 2010

Obama and Gay Marriage

President Barack Obama in front of a portrait ...Image via WikipediaObama is against gay marriage: Why?
Back in 1996, when he was just a candidate for Senate in Illinois, Barack Obama was unequivocally behind same-sex marriage. Now, as President, he is unequivocally against it. What gives?Geoffrey Stone, a law professor at the University of Chicago, wrote in an op-ed for The Huffington Post that in order to understand the Obama position, it’s helpful to look at another Senator from Illinois who became President: Abraham Lincoln. “Perhaps on the issue of same-sex marriage he is merely following Lincoln’s lead. In his 1858 debates with Stephen Douglas, Lincoln firmly declared: ‘I am not, nor ever have been in favor of [allowing black people] to intermarry with white people.’” But, Stone argued, there are a number of difference between Lincoln and Obama: While it’s true that politicians must consider politics, Lincoln not only said he’d never supported interracial marriage, but also, at the time, no one supported gay marriage. Obama doesn’t have that same kind of cover. “Had President Lincoln come out in favor of interracial marriage in 1858, he would have been regarded not only as radical, but as insane. For President Obama to endorse same-sex marriage today would be seen not as radical or crazy, but as principled and courageous. It would be a brilliant example of presidential leadership.”

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