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Obama, I’m Not In Favor of Gay Marriage

“I’m not in favor of gay marriage”. That was Senator Barack Obama’s response to a question on same-sex marriage, asked during a town-hall meeting in Columbus,IN on Friday. I reported Thursday that Senator Obama has declined all media request from the GLBT press since his Senate run in 2004. I was surprised by both the question and his answer.

marriageThe question came from the top of the rafters in the packed high school gym. Gage Watson, a 16 year old openly gay student from Brown County, IN posed the question to the presidential hopeful. “Senator Obama, Thanks for coming first of all. I’m very politically active, right now, and I’ve noticed that actually some issues important to many have kind of been pushed aside, such as Darfur but mainly gay marriage. What can you do with your power to insure that we all have equal rights to marry?” The crowd erupted with cheers and applause. I must admit, I almost leapt from my seat in the press-pin.

Sadly there were a few people who clapped for the beginning of Obama’s response, “I’m not in favor of gay marriage…” You could see people searching the crowd. Looking for the faces of the people that could publicly agree with such a sentiment. Attention quickly focussed back to the Senator as he finished his thought, “but I am in favor of a very strong civil union. Which allows same sex couples to transfer property, to share social security benefits, to be recognized legally by the state for their relationship. I think that is very important.”


It is refreshing to see young people, like Watson, willing to stand up and ask the questions the media has been barred from asking. Especially in a religiously conservative area like Columbus. I was taken back to time when asking something like that publicly would get you booed and maybe even physically assaulted. Times are changing and even Obama recognizes that fact. “I’ve noticed that attitudes have changed, especially among young people, I think that’s a healthy thing.”

Obama went on to say, “Under our constitution, every one is supposed to get treated equally.” I am glad to hear that he thinks that gay people are PEOPLE deserving of all the rights and privileges afforded by the Constitution of the United States. “We have 1,200 federal benefits that currently are not conferred to same sex couples and that is not fair. You don’t have to agree with someone’s lifestyle to say that they should be treated equally by the state.”

So what’s still missing from his response? Resolve. A public pledge to end the federal discrimination suffered unto the GLBT community. But I really don’t see that coming down the pipe. After all he is still not speaking to the GLBT press. While I was given a press-pass, to cover the various town hall meetings and such, I was still denied access to the man himself. Carly Nation, from the Bedford Times-Mail, was given a 5 minute video interview with Senator Obama. WTF?!? That paper is based out of a county with less than 45,000 people. My county has over 160,000 people, not counting the students at IU. To pour a little salt in the wound, they gave a couple of high schoolers the chance to interview him. Teens asking Senator Obama his fav food and fav color?

After talking with Watson I can see that Obama is losing ground in Indiana, especially among the GLBT youth. “I’m disappointed in him. I heard he wont talk to gay reporters. That’s a shame. Hillary at least talks to us and supports us.” Watson also told me that many of his peers feel the same way. That Obama doesn’t really support gay rights, he just kind of says he does when asked in a public forum.

Wait….Didn’t he go on Ellen? Does that count as GLBT press?

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20 comments

  1. Separate but equal. Hmmmm. Didn’t we toss that crap out in the 60s?

    Feh to Obama. Support my GLBT brothers and sisters or I’m not going to support you. Feh!

  2. Federal Civil Unions=Marriage Equality; State Same-sex Marriage Does Not.
    There is a myth that marriage has more rights than civil unions. That myth is born from the fact that civil unions have only been passed by states which have no power to grant the 1138 federal benefits of marriage. However, a federal civil union policy would. Senators Clinton & Obama support a federal civil unions policy. 48 million votes cast in 29 states, 32 million against same sex marriage, we lost 2 to 1. According to Jennifer SookneMizell of Marriage Equality USA, “Actually, we get more benefits in California in certain areas with domestic partnerships than the same gendered marrieds(sic) in Massachusetts get.” 45 states have laws or constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage. The choice is clear, federal civil unions are achievable, federal same-sex marriage is not. Federal Civil Unions=Marriage Equality

  3. None of the candidates are for gay marriage, however, Hillary Clinton was
    key in passing Gay Marriage in Massachusetts by having her campaign manager, Terry McAuliffe, quietly calling legislators to sway their votes. Obama did nothing. Marriage is a basic civil right that should be attainable by all Americans if they choose. For the truth about gay marriage check out our trailer. Produced to educate & defuse the controversy it has a way of opening closed minds & provides some sanity on the issue: http://www.OUTTAKEonline.com

  4. Separate but Equal Argument is Historically Incorrect
    Same-sex marriage advocates will say, “Separate is not equal.” Analogy to Brown v. Board of Education (1954, US Supreme Court) is a common error which ignores the historical facts. “Separate but equal” was invented by white supremacists in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896, US Supreme Court) to oppress African-Americans. Domestic Partners was invented by a gay man, Tom Brougham, in 1982 and advanced by lesbian and gay organizations to obtain the benefits of marriage when most lesbians and gay men viewed marriage as a discredited patriarchal institution. Indeed, the acceptance of civil unions/domestic partners is more comparable to Brown than to Plessy. There is an enormous difference in separate schools, separate job opportunities, separate public accommodations and the equal but separate legal category of civil unions. To compare civil unions with Jim Crow law is not an apt comparison and our community makes this inappropriate comparison at its peril.

    Separate May Be Equal
    Anecdotal reports of inappropriate or anomalous implementation of New Jersey’s civil unions & California’s domestic partner laws would not be solved by changing the titles to marriage. Lesbians and gay men in Massachusetts have reported problems with their state’s implementation of same-sex marriage. Like California & NJ, Massachusetts’s legislature is having to plug some holes because these policies are new. (The Gay & Lesbian Review 5/2007 page 6, Marriage Equality Not a Reality In Mass. by Dale Mitchell, Cofounder, LGBT Aging Project, Boston, MA) According to Jennifer SookneMizell of Marriage Equality USA (an organization which promotes same sex marriage but disdains civil unions and domestic partnerships), “Actually, we get more benefits in California in certain areas with domestic partnerships than the same gendered marrieds in Massachusetts get.” Any new and comprehensive policy, no matter how well written, will have bumps along the road to implementation.

  5. There seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding Senator Obama. Most gay people seem to think that he’s the gay rights champion that the Gay Community has been waiting for. His cry for “Change” is somehow applied to all aspects of politics. Never once do we ask ourselves “What is the direction in which we will be changing?” Why has no one thought to ask him the question before? I think its due to the fact that he has never been pro gay rights. He has made several comments in the past that have made it perfectly clear that Gay Rights are not something that he’s willing to fight for. I’m not a liberal. Nor do I vote liberally. However, I will be quick to point out that if a gay man wants to vote for gay rights then why wouldn’t they vote for Hillary Clinton? The Clinton family has done more for Gay Rights than any political family in the history of politics. Now I feel the need to point out that I will not be voting for her myself as I am not voting on the basis of Gay rights alone. I tend to vote for strong foreign policy before I vote for Strong Civil Rights. Make no mistake that if the Radical Islamic governments are for a candidate, then I’m going to be against that candidate. If we don’t hold off the spread of Islamic terror we will never have a pro gay government. Islamic law states that all Homosexuals must be killed. Now think about that before you go and vote for someone who supports islamic governments. Republicans might not want gay marriage, but they don’t want all homosexuals to be murdered.

  6. Spelling and grammar police!
    Columbus,IN – Columbus, IN
    focussed-focused

    Great article BTW, you finally found a way to motivate me into commenting.

  7. I think Obama’s argument irrational only because it has a word added to it that makes it irrational — gay. Marriage is irrational. It is a blatant reminder that Church is intrinsically integrated into our State, that the two are not separated by a calm distance of space and rationality.

    What should be put to congress is a bill that allows LGBT and S groups to form Civil Unions, separate from the Church structure of Marriage. Then there will be equality.

  8. Yah, Barack seems to be dodging lots of issues by deflecting criticism from not talking to “niche media” with the suggestion that he doesn’t want to be divisive. I guess we’re just supposed to line up under his HOPE sign and hope for the best…but isn’t that what we’ve already been doing?

    Give me something to hang my vote on, Barack…or step aside.

  9. its better than hillary, hillary supports the DOMA while Obama wants gays to be recognized federally.

  10. He’s not in favour of gay marriage but I’m sure he’s in favour of blowing the heads off people in other countries.

  11. Ugh that sucks. Yeah that separate but equal thing is crap. It’s discrimination pure and simple, saying certain people can marry, and other people can’t. Pisses me off. Maybe I’ll be leaning more toward Hillary.

  12. Oh you militant gays.

    You’re totally unreasonable. Almost as bad as those assholes that tried to legitimize interracial marriages.

    Wrong is wrong and I think we all know that.

    *sadly shakes her head wondering how that man can look in the mirror*

  13. “I am not in favor of letting African American people sit anywhere they want on the bus. I AM in favor of letting them sit in the back of the bus. I think it is very important that African Americans also get where they are going.”

    Guy should be ashamed of himself. Hillary should too, but at least she doesn’t dress this kind of bullshit up as some sort of trancendent new politics.

  14. I know, I know — it’s “transcendent.”

  15. I truly believe we, the GLBT of America, should contact an attorney and file a lawsuit against heterosexual marriage! If we can’t all have the equal right of marriage, then NO ONE CAN! Separation of church & state: If they try to use the ‘Bible’ as an excuse in the court room, it will have to be thrown out!

  16. Hence another Political statement, I hate people who have “but” in their statements and attitude. I think there is nothing to hesitate. He should say Yes or no so people can know what to do with him and his personal thoughts.

  17. Personally, I really think we should copy the Canadian solution to this problem. Or, what I understand to be the Canadian solution anyway.

    I’ve always thought marriage should be something you do in a church. That way religious groups can marry whomever they want. And couples (regardless of their heterosexuality or homosexuality) can get a civil union from the state.

    I’ve always thought this was the most elegant, fair solution and can’t figure out why it hasn’t worked out. I guess the real problem is convincing the conservatives to give up their couple-hundred-year-old tradition of marriages being recognized by the state. Well, and the fact that they’re changing in order to make things fair for gays. Probably mostly that.

  18. I am a supporter of Obama. The way I see it is that most people in politics can not truly say what they think or feel because the way our society is. I wish that someone would actually say what they feel regardless of political stance. I do support gay marriage. Anyone who says it ruins what marriage stands for is lying. Straight people screwed that up awhile ago.

  19. GLBT have an insane turn-out in elections (http://www.tcf.org/list.asp?type=NC&pubid=1658), but the Democrats are still too afraid to alienate the beer-and-chicken Democrats.

    More separate but equal bullshit.

    Chungyen Chang’s last blog post..what is a chapbook? plus: one-star town, a poem

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