Yes we can! Hope! Change! Discrimination against gays and lesbians! Oops. Who let the truth out of the barn?
Every week, Barack Obama takes another step away from the politics of hope that he promised America would define his presidency, and moves our nation deeper, back into the shadows of the politics of fear. One week it’s government spying on law-abiding citizens. The next week it’s torture.
This week, it’s discrimination against gays and lesbians. President Barack Obama has sent his lawyers into court to ask that the rights of gays and lesbians to equal protection under marriage law be denied a while longer. There’s a lawsuit seeking to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, and Obama is using his power as President to quash that lawsuit.
As generally offensive as it is for Obama to defend inequality in the law, Obama’s specific arguments against marriage equality add a new level of stench to the effort.
Obama’s lawyers equate same-sex marriage with child marriage and incest between cousins. They say that the Defense of Marriage Act doesn’t deny anyone’s right to equality under the law, because it gives the states the option of whether to respect those rights. They even argue that there’s no discrimination against same sex couples anyway, because homosexuals have just as much right to marry someone of the opposite sex as anyone else.
This is the kind of garbage we expected to see from the White House under George W. Bush. Americans were led to believe that the Obama presidency would be different. This is not different. This is not change.
Though I’m heterosexual, and am happily married, this is personal to me. I’m friends and neighbors with same-sex couples who want their relationships to have equal legal status as marriage. I don’t think that it’s a decent thing to look the other way, just because it’s not me personally who is being discriminated against.
I also cannot conclude that Obama’s arguments in this case are an anomaly. I remember Obama’s embrace of anti-gay bigot Donnie McClurkin. I remember Rick Warren. Obama has a long history now of embracing those who hate gays and lesbians.
So, as I look forward to the 2012 presidential election, I realize that Barack Obama has long since lost my vote and earned my opposition. I’ll be looking for a real progressive running against Obama.