- Posted May 9, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
President Obama "Outed"
This afternoon after 3 days of almost non-stop news speculation and pressure from the LGBT community, President Barack Obama came out in favor of gay marriage.
Almost everyone expected that he would do this, but that the President would wait until after the fall election.
But why come out now?
Reports show that 1 in 6 of Obama's top campaign finance bundlers are openly gay. We know from the 2008 campaign, that gay activists booed then Senator Obama down when holding a rally at an LGBT gathering for not taking a firm enough stand on gay issues. We know that the LGBT community has not been all that happy over the last 3 years with the President, believing he has moved too slowly on issues dear to gay Americans.
Yes, the President has not enforced or defended the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Yes, the President removed the stigma which allows gays to serve openly in the military. Yes, the President said he was for equal rights and benefits. But that was not enough for LGBT activists.
We know that the presidential race will be very tight. We know that every vote counts.
So did the President allow Vice President Joe Biden and members of his Cabinet to "out" him over the last few days to pander to the LGBT community in hopes that those single issue voters would fall in line?
As a gay male in a long-term, committed relationship, I am glad that the President is in favor of equal rights and benefits under the law. That he used the term, gay marriage, is not of consequence to me. I am much more than my sexuality. I am not defined by one issue, but by a myriad of issues.
This is still, in my opinion, a distraction from the more pressing issues of the economy, jobs and the national debt.
Too many of my fellow LGBT are blind to how the economy, lack of jobs and the unsustainable debt affects them. All they see is a man in power coming out for gay marriage. This is sad.
Is equal rights and benefits for all couples - same gender or opposite gender - important? Absolutely, just not as pressing as the economy, jobs and the national debt at this point in time.
I also see this as just another step in dividing the nation. The tactic of coming out for gay marriage, to me, is just one more way to divide and conquer. Rather than lay out feasible plans for righting the economy, spurring job creation and tackling the national debt, the President is pulling a sleight of hand to take our attention away from his record.
Again, I am glad as a gay male, the President has come out for gay marriage. But that doesn't mean I will be sucked into the whirlpool of a one-issue mindset.
On the other hand, Republicans are likely to play right into the trap that has been set for it and will cause even further division and conflict. If Republicans are smart they will ignore the social issue completely and stick to the issues of the economy, jobs and the national debt.
If Republicans take issue, all that will happen is that the youth vote and many independents and moderates will balk and either stay home or cast a vote to return the President to office in November. The Republicans must find the middle ground and not make a stand that leads to polarization.
That is unless the GOP is planning to lose the election come November.
From the Cornfield, I will weigh all the issues, not just one in making my determination on how to vote on November 8.