Obama Endorses Gay Marriage

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012
The controversy over whether homosexuals should be given the same marriage rights as heterosexual couples is one of today’s most heated debates. On May 9, this argument received a new element with President Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage, making him the first US president to fully support this level of gay civil rights. In an interview on ABC News Obama announced, “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”. This statement came as the conclusion of a thorough soul-searching process by the president, complete with discussions with his family and advisors. It seems clear that the president has always been an advocate of gay rights, repealing the military’s policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell”, however Obama’s radical decision to support gay marriage came with both support and opposition.
Back in 2010, when asked his opinion on gay marriage, the president announced that his opinion was still “evolving”. Since then he has received much pressure from many major super PAC donors, who signaled their dwindling support for Obama’s super PAC if he continued to avoid the sexual orientation controversy. Obama has also faced pressure from his own spiritual advisor, Rev. Joel Hunter, who told Obama that many would consider his decision an attack on their faith. Obama’s decision aroused potential dangers concerning swing state voters. North Carolina passed a state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex unions, just one day before Obama announced his support. This realization, that the gay marriage controversy may provide the defining factor for many voters, was a strong contributor to the delayed announcement. However, he seems to feel that the consensus among today’s younger voters, regardless of political affiliation, is that homosexual marriage should be permitted and that sexual orientation is not a cause for inequality.
Although the long-term effects of Obama’s game changing announcement will not be seen for many years to come, the short-term effects are clearly visible. Within CHS, many individuals are in support of the president’s endorsement. “I think it’s about time that gay marriage is taking precedence within political agendas,” says an anonymous CHS student. Another anonymous student commented, “It is important that all people are able to have equal opportunities when it comes to their own personal happiness”. Although many students are in favor of Obama’s backing of gay marriage, some are unsure of the implications this announcement will have on the future of the country. “I agree that everyone should have the chance for equal rights, but I’m not sure whether or not an increase in gay marriages will have a positive or negative outcome on the country in the future” admits CHS junior Apoorva Polavarapu. It is blatantly clear that the president’s recent announcement will inflict significant change in the validity of homosexual marriage and civil rights. However, it remains to be seen whether this backing will prove detrimental or advantageous to the president’s presidential campaign as the November elections draw ever closer.