U.S. President Barack Obama supporting gay marriage illustrates the incremental way in which change for the better occurs in our world. It starts somewhere and builds. For gay rights, Obama added a brick, and an important one.
It is out there now. A world leader of his import supports gays being given the right to marry. Polls are saying that many in the U.S. figure it was politically motivated, others are saying it's political suicide. But we have to take him at his word that he means it and whether it will help, hinder or have no effect upon the U.S. election is not, in a manner of speaking, relevant.
What is very relevant is that it is out there, he's said it, he can't go back, we can't go back. Now the leader of one of the most prosperous and influential countries in the world has acknowledged that the right thing to do is recognize the rights of gays when it comes to marriage. President Obama's statement is a game-changer.
America the Good and Gay Marriage
For all the criticisms of America, it's a country than can and has been a leader in positive change in the world and it is within the realm of possibility that a majority of Americans either have already, or will by election time, embrace their President's viewpoint. If not this time, if he loses and his stance is judged to be a reason, it will still come, and sooner rather than later.
It's hard to fathom why anyone would say no. Aside from the point that you can hardly argue you live in a free country with equality for all if it doesn't allow gays to wed, it just seems pointless to hold up marriage as some exalted institution only for heterosexuals. The record of heterosexual marriage suggests that it is an institution that is barely even functioning. After all, the rate of divorce among opposite sex couples is approaching 50 percent.
Indeed, it is so bad that many heterosexual couples, my wife and I included, have simply joined together without the ceremony (15 years later, doing fine, thank-you). Straight couples can make that choice to reject a formal marriage, while gays have no choice because they cannot reject something they can't have.
Gay marriage: laws change, this one will, too
There was a time that women couldn't vote in our society, and when that law was being changed there were protests against giving them the vote. Imagine women not being allowed to vote now. There was a time we couldn't shop on Sunday, against the law to open up stores. Imagine that being the case now. There was a time oral sex was against the law in many parts of North America. Imagine THAT now.
Now consider this statement: people who love one another romantically, regardless of gender, and who want to spend their lives together and desire to sanction that in a formal bonding called a marriage, should be permitted to. Now consider this statement: one day we'll be able to say: "there was a time when gay couples were not allowed to marry. Imagine that now."
To get on the right side of history, all you have to do is support the right of gay couples to marry. In large part thanks to incremental steps, the latest taken by U.S. President Barack Obama, legalizing gay marriage will happen whether you support it or not.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com