Barack Obama | Dan Savage | Gay Marriage

Dan Savage: Obama Should Address Marriage Equality In SOTU

In an op-ed piece published in the NY Times, Dan Savage writes that President Obama should choose to not ignore marriage equality during his State of the Union address. An excerpt:

Ds I’m not an idiot: Now that the Republicans hold the House, only wishful thinkers and the deeply delusional expect to see any movement on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender legislative agenda this year or next. Nevertheless, President Obama should address gay rights in his State of the Union speech this week, and he should tackle the biggest, most meaningful right of them all: the right to marry.

When he was a candidate for the Illinois State Senate in 1996, Mr. Obama told a gay publication that he supported “legalizing same-sex marriages.” Twelve years later, right about the time he decided to run for president, he came out against marriage equality. But, as the president likes to say, “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” Where a Gallup poll in 1996 found that just 27 percent of the nation supported equal marriage rights for same-sex couples, a CNN poll last summer found that a majority now supports marriage equality.

The president — perhaps after introducing Daniel Hernandez Jr., the openly gay intern credited with saving Representative Gabrielle Giffords’s life — should declare that the trend is clear: this country increasingly believes that Mr. Hernandez and other lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans should have all the same rights and responsibilities as other citizens.

As of today, reports are that Obama will most likely focus on topics such as global competitiveness and jobs in his address scheduled for January 25.

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  1. Consider the alternative.

    Posted by: MontyMonty | Jan 24, 2011 12:30:02 AM

  2. Justin Bieber's $ 750.00 Haircut !!!

    Posted by: koolkatkoolkat | Jan 24, 2011 5:43:40 AM

  3. Nice article. We all knew that America is a liberated country, and yet bi-sexual marriage is legal. Obama might have an idea why he does certain issue. But, whatever might be the result. I will just go after it. Thanks for the nice post. Keep on posting such useful information.

    Posted by: TV stands furniture | Jan 24, 2011 7:16:12 AM

  4. I agree with a lot of the comments above about jobs and workplace discrimination taking priority over marriage equality. I think DOMA needs to go, the sooner the better, but unemployment does affect more people out there. Even if we take the 10% rule of how many gays are out there, not all of them are at a point in their lives for marriage, or even want marriage. However, for the 10% of all unemployed people, gay and straight, I'm sure the majority of them want jobs along with a sense of financial security.

    I hope Obama does address DOMA and marriage equality, but to want it to be a cornerstone of his address, to have equal footing with job creation and global competitiveness is a little shortsighted, I think.

    Posted by: Austin | Jan 24, 2011 11:55:27 AM

  5. Again, this is an example of the WRONG perspective that is holding back our movement. Of course, Obama should address marriage equality. He should also address his tax cuts for the rich, his extension and expansion of Bush's wars, his willingness to do anything for Wall Street and nothing for Main Street. He should brush his teeth every night. He should do a lot of things. But he doesn't.

    We can't continue to be passive in our own liberation. Sitting behind a computer screen "hoping" for the most powerful man in the world to do something isn't a strategy for winning equality. It's a strategy for always re-acting to whatever is thrown at us. We need to stop treating politicians as the center of the "gay rights" universe. They are not the most important people. We are. We are the ones who are the LGBT rights movement. What Obama "should" do is completely dependent on what WE do to make him do what he should. You know what happens when you don't put pressure on politicians for what you want? The Tea Baggers put pressure on those same politicians from the other direction and the politicians react to them. Thus far, we've been unwilling to pressure him to keep his promises or meet our demands. And that's why the best we've gotten in the last two years is a few perks for a tiny minority of LGBT people (benefits for federal employees and no official discrimination in the military) while life for the overwhelming majority of us remains unchanged.

    So, the big question is: how do we get him to do all the things he "should"? What do we do? How do we organize as activists rather than as passivists?

    Posted by: Lonnie | Jan 24, 2011 5:01:23 PM

  6. I think Barney Frank said, "Dan Savage should stick with writing his sex column." I totally agree.

    Posted by: Tom Chaderjian | Jan 27, 2011 11:24:27 AM

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