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Obama Courts Equality

Marriage Equality Gets a Nod from Obama

Jay Michaelson calls Obama's announcement an "inspiring religious pronouncement":

First, because it came one day after one of the nastiest, meanest anti-gay votes in recent memory, North Carolina's "no families but mine" Amendment 1. It offers a studied contrast between humanity and dogmatism, inclusion and nastiness. Religious and non-religious people alike can now see two very different ways of approaching how we ought to live with one another, one welcoming and the other cruel, one open to the experience of others and the other with its hands over its ears, one focused on compassion and the other focused on exclusion. Who Would Jesus Discriminate against, anyway?

Second, Obama's statement is a model of religious reasoning. Jesus said in the Sermon of the Mount, "By your fruits, you shall know them" (Matthew 7:16). This, not some obscure lines in Leviticus or Corinthians, is the real religious message regarding gays and lesbians, and it is the way Obama made up his mind on this issue. Over time, he said, he has come to understand the truth of same-sex couples, that they are as capable of commitment, love, and sanctity as opposite-sex couples, and that it is an injustice to deny the benefits of marriage to gay people. (Read the rest at Huffington Post)

EJ Graff reflects back on a wedding she attended at the beginning of marriage equality in MA: 

In 2004, I sat in a Unitarian pew while my friends Hillary and Julie Goodridge said their vows. I was absolutely fine with all the lead-up—they'd been together as long as I had been with my beloved partner, and I'd known them before that. Then came the phrase "By the power vested in me by the commonwealth of Massachusetts"—and I was sobbing harder than I knew was possible. So were the hardbitten LGBT activists around me, even those who weren't especially happy about the pursuit of marriage. As we all managed to sit up and dry our eyes, a little embarrassed at how raw the emotion was, one of the latter said, "I guess being ready for something intellectually isn't the same as being ready emotionally." 

There's something very deep about having your government declare you a stranger to its laws, defining your love as outside all respectable recognition. For my president to stand up and say that I should belong fully to my nation, that my wife and I should be considered as fully married as my brother and his wife—well, it reopens and washes out some very deeply incised sense of exclusion, a scar inflicted when, at age 15, I first panicked at the realization that I might be queer. (Read the rest at the American Prospect)