The most important civil rights issue of our time is whether gay folks will continue to be treated like freaks.
And now, at last, we have Barack Obama on the side of the angels of liberty, as he declared his evolution complete:
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.
Coming on the heels of the anti-gay vote in North Carolina, I particularly admire—in fact I’m all gushy about it—the President’s admission that his evolving thinking has culminated in an affirmation of complete same-sex rights, which is essentially an affirmation of American constitutional liberty.
Would that he had made such a statement before that horrendous, last-cultural-gasp vote, in North Carolina, so we could see how it might have altered the numbers a bit.
Yet there it was, a historic and courageous statement that many critics didn’t think Mr. Obama would make at this time. Many thought he wouldn’t dare come out for homosexual equality before the election. Too much was at stake. The country isn’t quite ready for it.
But he did it, and “it” is not without political danger. It will most certainly energize the Iron Age blowhards on the religious right, who will triple their efforts to unseat the homo-loving reprobate in the White’s House.
However, no matter what happens this November, even if Barack Obama is burned by the last flickering embers of white religious angst, even if conservative Christians rage against the dying of the white light and muster one final victory on behalf of bigotry, make no mistake about it: homosexuals will one day become—in every state in this union—equal citizens under the law.
And Barack Obama’s decision to fully embrace homosexuals as free and equal citizens has advanced that eventuation. Not only that, it will have an immediate definite cultural impact: it will, no doubt, exacerbate the cultural piety-anxiety that many white conservative Christians already suffer from, but, more important, it will have a positive effect on the black community, many of whom have resisted the idea that all people—even those compelled by nature to love and desire other folks of the same sex—deserve to be treated as, well, Americans.