Wednesday, January 21, 2015

President Obama's statement about LGBT marriage equality and civil rights: Bill Clinton had started the presidential discussion in 1992 campaign


Again, President Obama broke new ground in his State of the Union (SOTU) address by maintaining that marriage equality for LGBT people is a civil rights issue.  He also implied that protecting LGBT people, as with many other people, from targeted violence would be a national security issue, an idea that has a disturbing undertone in the era of asymmetry.  He may have had recent reports from Britain on targeted ISIS acts against gays (in Syria or Iraq) in mind (not much in the news but widely reported in social media).
  
I don’t recall a president’s mentioning “gay rights” until Bill Clinton, as a candidate, did so at the 1992 Democratic convention, setting up the debate over gays in the military that started even before his inauguration (partly because of the stories at the time about Keith Meinhold and Joe Steffan).
  
Back in 2004, on my “doaskdotell” site, I opined an “Editorial” (a term that seems an overreach today) called “Gay marriage and family responsibility”.  My biggest concern that the implications of supporting children or elderly parents don’t always wait for procreative sexual intercourse to happen.  “Personal responsibility” has become a much broader concept. For years, there has grown an unhealthful disincentive to delay having children or not have them at all.  
  
In fact, as I recall all those desperate anti-marriage-equality essays over a decade ago (by Maggie Gallagher and others).  They seem to suggest that “traditional marriage” would thrive only in a restrictive social context that made committed marital intimacy “meaningful”.  

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