"I think same-sex couples should be able to get married."
With those words, U.S. president Barack Obama made history on May 9 as he became the first sitting president to officially declare his support for same-sex marriage—or like we like to call it, marriage.
Some have called the move courageous, while wags and decriers were quick to voice their dissent, many saying it was just lip service. Without a constitutional amendment at the federal level, states will still be allowed to pass whatever bullshit prohibitory laws they feel like (North Carolina, we're looking at you; what the hell is in your drinking water?).
But the most powerful man in America stood up and said, "All people should be treated equally and I support that." That's a Big Fucking Deal.
Those who strongly oppose same-sex marriage were never going to vote for Obama anyway, and while 38 states do not legally recognize same-sex unions, most current polls indicate that at least 50 percent of Americans have evolved enough to realize that same-sex marriage should be legal in the U.S.
A recent Gallup poll indicates that these numbers are as high as 65 percent in favour of marriage equality among Democratic voters and 57 percent among independents. (Unsurprisingly, 74 percent of Republican voters say fuck that noise.)
Regardless of Obama's motives—and the weird fact that this declaration essentially means Obama and Ron Paul agree on how to deal with an issue ("Leave it up to the states, motherfuckas!")—Obama's statement is definitely going to change the nature of the upcoming U.S. election and for that alone we are grateful. We are now guaranteed impassioned fights about advancing human rights, equality, and dignity even though it's 2012 and there should be no reason to require these sorts of debates.
(We honestly thought that we'd be living in some sort of technological utopia by now, replete with flying cars, one of those replicator things from Star Trek, and a wholesale end to pointless discrimination. Also, rocket shoes.)
But is it awfully amusing when those guys at Fox News have something new to ignorantly rant about.
From a purely political point of view, this was a strategic disclosure, planned to help capture the minds and attention of a younger cohort that doesn't vote. Seriously, Obama. If you now come out in favour of legalizing marijuana, you will be elected by the biggest landslide in the history of elections.
Within 90 minutes of Obama's announcement, his campaign received over $1 million in spontaneous contributions.
Yesterday's announcement came on the heels of a Meet the Press interview with U.S. vice-president Joe Biden on Sunday (May 6), during which he stated that he was totally comfortable with marriage equality.
"I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. And quite frankly, I don’t see much of a distinction beyond that."
Obama told Good Morning America today that he was planning on revealing his support for marriage equality prior to September's Democratic National Convention—which is scheduled to take place in Charlotte, North Carolina ,of all places—but that Biden's remarks forced him to step up that timeline. And for that, we thank you, Mr. Biden.
And who says a vice-president is totally useless?
Follow Obama fangirl Miranda Nelson on Twitter.