Tuesday, May 12, 2009

"Liberal" politicians sometimes walk a tightrope on gay marriage (and ending DADT)

On the Raw Fisher blog by Marc Fischer on the Washington Post, there is an entry “Barry, Obama & The Winding Road To Gay Marriage” posted at 8:25 AM on May 11, 2009“, (Metro Section, p B3) link here.

Fisher makes the point that “liberal” politicians, especially African Americans, have to walk a political line in handling the social values of their constituency. There is, according to some, an element of the African American community that views homosexuality as a threat to the social “meaning” of the family, a reaction that’s familiar around the world. There was a poll on the blog post, and a vast majority of recipients said that Marion Barry’s statements about gay marriage (and his no vote last week) reflect political expediency, not personal morals. Barry used to be supportive of gay rights when it had been put in terms of privacy.

Obama’s unwillingness to embrace gay marriage as a legal construct (civil unions instead) follows suit, as does his invitation of Rick Warren (“The Purpose-Driven Life” and the “it’s not about you” line) to speak at his inauguration. Obama has slow to pick up on his promise on ending “don’t ask don’t tell” for gays in the military (because he knows what happened to Bill Clinton in 1993), but Fisher seems to feel Obama will move on the military issue before the marriage one. I rather agree.

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