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Obama’s Come to Jesus Moment on Gay Marriage: More Buchanan Than Lincoln

| May 13, 2012

Unnecessary closet. (White House)

One might be tempted to see in Barack Obama’s belated embrace of gay marriage a retraction of the cautious, half-baking, infuriatingly compromising president we’ve come to know and endure and a return to the audacious president we thought we were electing almost four years ago. But that would be projecting a fantasy on a cave wall.

pierre tristam column flaglerlive There isn’t much audacity in finally doing something only because Joe Biden made you do it. There is even less audacity, and a revealing streak of spinelessness, in holding a civil right hostage for so many years to what Obama called his “evolving” position on gay marriage. That sort of evolution has seldom seemed so obedient to creationist calculations.  And there is outright chicanery in finally declaring himself only “personally” for gay marriage a day after North Carolina went to the polls to become the 31st state to pass the modern equivalent of Jim Crow amendments to state constitutions: outright bans on gay marriage. North Carolina also banned civil unions.

In other words, Obama is all for gay marriage but doesn’t “personally” oppose states’ bans left and right that deny such rights as health coverage for the children of gay parents. Some audacious leadership. It would have been quite an Emancipation Proclamation if Lincoln, an Obama idol, would have declared himself “personally” opposed to slavery but not at all opposed to its continuation in every Southern state, with god’s blessing. Wasn’t that the James Buchanan line?

Bringing slavery and god into this isn’t hyperbole. It’s a sad case of historical copycatting. Slave-holders held whips and chains in one hand and the Bible in the other to justify four centuries of servitude. Opponents of gay marriage are doing no less today, minus the chains. Their argument flies in the face of the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection. But it sticks with considerable majorities because the constitutional rogue can always appeal to the Bible or the Koran and that other legal irrelevance that still has currency among those willing to hide bigotry behind piety: religious tradition. That, in the end, is what the entire defense of marriage discrimination relies on, as if a fundamental wrong somehow gains legitimacy for having been perpetuated over centuries. And so gay marriage bans endure, not only flouting constitutional protections but turning government into a lackey of religious dogma.

Florida passed its own amendment in 2008 with a homophobically creepy 62 percent of the vote.

Give Obama some credit. He repealed two monstrosities of the Clinton years: the don’t-ask-don’t-tell rule closeting gays in the military, and the federal misnomer known as the Defense of Marriage Act, which allowed states to deny recognition of same-sex marriages from other states while ignoring the Constitution’s Full Faith and Credit Clause (which requires states to fully credit “the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state.”)

But the president’s come-to-Jesus moment on gay marriage has none of the sincerity of a man willing to use his bully pulpit to make good on his conviction. He’s willing to punt the whole thing to the Supreme Court, if and when that institution of marital disaster zones decides to play constitutional matchmaker. Obama is not, for instance, saying a word about those amendments in 31 states that legally demean human beings under the cleats of religion. Nor is he proposing a true defense of marriage act, one that would require any gay or transgender marriage anywhere to be fully recognized in every state.

That would be a sign of uncompromising leadership where compromise is unacceptable. That would be audacious. But it wouldn’t be Obama.

Pierre Tristam is FlaglerLive’s editor. Reach him by email here.

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21 Responses for “Obama’s Come to Jesus Moment on Gay Marriage: More Buchanan Than Lincoln”

  1. Eileen G. Miller says:

    He just wants votes

  2. Eileen G. Miller says:

    Obama having a Jesus moment. BS..!! He’s not of this world

    • roseann says:

      How dare you say President Obama is not of this world. What a horrible comment. As much as I dislike the former President Bush who ruined our economy (my husbands building business has taken a dive; or the house I own in Florida which was bought for $400,000 and is now selling for $200,00; or the blending of church and state which our forefathers specifically told us to keep separate; or the cost of his wars which our grandchildren will be paying for decades! And I could go on and on about the awful changes our country endured under his horrible leadership! ) Even I would not call the man “not of this world” Wake Up Moron!

  3. B. Claire says:

    Exactly when did you turn into Glenn Beck describing the end of the world hellscape?

    A little over the top. You think?!

    Please, get a grip!

    Let’s see how fast Bif Mittens III ushers in the remedies we all wish to see. Hummm, where is N E V E R on the calendar?

    • Think first, act second says:

      Your post is interesting, first in the fact that I assume by Bif Mittens III you mean Mr. Romney and that you acknowledge that he will be the winner of the Nov election, the second is you say “ushers in the remedies we all wish to see”. WE don’t ALL wish to see so don’t speak for me.

  4. Outsider says:

    Sorry, but you Dems brought this on yourself. This is what, the gazillionth time Obama voted “present” on a controversial issue? As members of what I refer to as the “diversity at any cost” crowd, you blew a perfectly good opportunity to elect a COMPETENT, QUALIFIED candidate who would still have allowed you to check one of the historic “first” boxes, and instead succumbed to your white guilt trip and voted for the guy based on his skin color and not the content of his character (which of course, you weren’t allowed dig too deeply into, by design I presume.) Instead of a probable shoo-in for re-election, you now have the spineless, yet darker jellyfish/wind vane who’s chances for winning dwindle by the day, and who’s only apparent shot at re-election lies in digging up a 50 year old event in which Romney apparently gave a sexually confused schoolmate an unwanted haircut. (Gotta commend Flagler Live for leaving THAT road less traveled.) Long story short, if you did your homework like others did, you would have realized what you were getting well ahead of time.

  5. ric says:

    Obama is a muslem, fordger, phony and liar.. I don’t believe anything he says. When is he lying? When his lips are moving.. He’ll do and say anything to get reelected.. He is the biggest threat to the USA.. Wake people, HE MUST GO. This election will be the most imporant election of our time.. Please get out and vote..

    • jespo says:

      Yeah, we need a christian…they’re so much better at this….fear, fear, fear…I thought there was a master plan or something?

    • roseann says:

      your damn right this is one of the most important elections of our time! Romney will be a disaster to our great country – almost worse than that idiot Bush who ruined our economy, forced us into wars which we cannot ever afford to pay for, shoved religion down everyone’s throat with no regard for separation of church and state and he walked away to ride his bicycle on the ranch still rich as a fat pig!
      The ignorance of the American people is astounding.

  6. GoodFella says:

    Lets all remember, it was Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve!

    • jespo says:

      Actually it was Adam and Lilith who was also made equaly from the same dirt but she refused to be subservient to Adam so she lef the garden to fuck the rebel angel Samuel day and night (hence, she’s bad). Then, they wrote in Eve who was made from Adam making her and all future women subservient to man at least in the church’s eyes (and we’ll forget all about the talking snake and the magic apple tree for now). Get your bigotry right please….

  7. B. Claire says:

    Excellent!…posts making FOX so proud!

    And he forged what?

    “He is the biggest threat to the USA” Actually no…biggest threat: a FOX indoctrinated electorate who cheerfully vote for the very politicians stealing their money, rights and what used to be their middle class.

    Keep it up… Bif Mittens III will so enjoy that garage elevator you bought for him…while we don’t have police, firefighters, teachers, etc. etc. etc.

  8. Prescient33 says:

    From the fall out in the days since he “came out” or “evolved” into his waffling position, it is apparent that, like Fonzi, our pusillanimous leader has jumped the shark!

  9. Jim N says:

    I was not, nor am I a fan of Mr. Obama.
    I will give credit though, that he told people what they wanted to hear. He does know how to drive a focus so that there could be change, however just as his track record shows before the election he has done nothing.

    There are screams all over about universal healthcare, tell me what it has resulted in for anyone, except higher insurance rates? Do you go to the doctor more now? Do you receive better care?

    This issue is the same thing, His official stance is now “I’m personally for Gays being allowed to marry”, wonderful but what is he doing about it? Nothing….. Same as every other issue. Just like wars… We are still dispatching troops, he didn’t end the Iraq War either, Iraq clamored and then demanded we leave because…. We were doing nothing……..

    This presidency is and has been for the last 4 years all about “Press Opportunities” and thats all…
    His next comment may just as well be “Let them eat cake” and then closing all of the bakeries, and moving them to China also.

    Unfortunately, The opposition candidate is the same exact guy, just with a different name.. The agenda is the same.

    Since marriage is a church concept, lets leave it in the church. Everyone else can do just what business does. If more than one person wants to have a business, (Yes life is a business) they have to incorporate, there is a procedure and rules that are followed. So if we are going to have a special status, then follow that plan and incorporate. It really would not be that hard at all and would offend no one that had a real sense.

    • jespo says:

      Problem is, it’s not a religious concept anymore….I can jump a broom in a wiccan ceremony and it’s not a legal marriage. Going to city hall and getting married has nothing to do with religion as far as gays are concerned…they realize the church has turned their backs long ago. It’s about civil rights, not religious fights.

  10. Outsider says:

    Sorry B Claire, but I did NOT vote for Sen. Feinstein, who’s husband ends up with billions of dollars in government contracts (I.e. Stealing my money) by way of his wife’s senatorial status. Go ahead and google and get back to me.

  11. Initialjoe says:

    I think we should worry about other things…like the conomy…and let people love freely and do what they need. I sure wish there was separation of church and state…perhaps we should look into doing that in our Government? Then this wouldn’t be an issue.

  12. B. Claire says:

    “no actual conflict of interest” no ethics violations, etc. etc. And last I looked she [nor her husband] are candidates for President of the United States. Gotta do better than that Outsider.

    …unlike Justice Clarence Thomas lying on his financial report re the hundreds of thousands of $ his wife made lobbying against Obama Care…and HE’s NOT recusing himself on the largest case in decades?!!

    …anyway…the POINT is: if you like ruining your little corner of the world, fine…but you are taking down everyone else who has come to like roads, bridges, firefighters, police, teachers, social security, medicare etc. Seems you haven’t noticed that 1% not too keen on sharing. Think you’ll be getting an invitation to play with Mittens garage elevator?

  13. Outsider says:

    Yeah, there’s no connection between Feinstein and her husband getting billions in contracts. And what about that Democrat Jon Corzine? He can’t remember what he did with a little over a billion dollars of money entrusted to him. He was a senator, governor, and I seem to remember he was Obama’s stimulus advisor? We’re getting real close to the prez now.

  14. mike says:

    new boss same as the old boss!
    left right paradigm it’s like watching wresling, fake as hell and people get dumber watching it!

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