Thursday, 10 May 2012

A Marriage of Convenience

Yesterday two quite normal things happened. Barack Obama gave a television interview and the Queen made a speech. Except they weren't that normal; Obama gave a hastily arranged interview to ABC News where he finally - after years of frankly just pissing about - endorsed same sex marriage and Her Majesty read her speech whilst sitting on a golden throne wearing an ermine and velvet cape and a massive crown (it might be normal for her but let's be honest it's not normal for most people!).

Obama has long claimed to oppose same sex marriage, favouring instead civil unions, but since 2010 he has often claimed his position was 'evolving'. I'm afraid 'evolving' was never good enough for me, it's one of the main reasons I've always disliked him. Its no secret that I'm a massive fan of Hillary Clinton but she herself opposes SSM and favours civil unions but unlike Obama she has always said this. 

In 1996 Illinois state Senate candidate Barack Obama was very much in favour of SSM and in response to a question from a newspaper stated "I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages." 

How times change. 

So to everyone who exploded with joy upon hearing the now President say "At a certain point, I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married" just remember a few things
  • He already supported this
  • He 'changed his mind' between running for the state Senate and the national Senate
  • It's taken him four years of 'evolving' to get to this point
  • It's an election year. This position clearly sets him apart from Mitt Romney
One of those getting far too fawning over the President finally arriving at the end of his evolutionary journey was Stonewall Chief Executive Ben Summerskill, who tweeted his joy whilst also expressing his disappointment that SSM wasn't included in the Queen's Speech. 

Except it was never going to be. 

The government consultation is still running so obviously a bill couldn't have been included when the results of the consultation are not yet known. You'd think the Chief Executive of Europe's largest gay rights charity would know that.

The omission that wasn't an omission has led to many criticising David Cameron for 'backing down' on his commitment to SSM but I'd argue that Cameron deserves more praise for backing SSM than Obama. Obama comes from the party that outlawed segregation, allowed homosexuals to serve openly in the army and wants to extend affordable healthcare to all. Cameron comes from the party who championed Section 28. The fact that DC is able and willing to stand up for the right to marry, regardless of sexuality should be applauded. Obama should be ashamed.

Sorry to disagree with you tweeps but yesterday you were applauding the wrong man.

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