By Othor Cain
President Barack Obama became the first sitting president to openly support same-sex marriage Wednesday, May 8.
In an interview with Robin Roberts of ABC News, Obama cleared up any ambiguity about his stance on the issue when he stated clearly that he believes that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry:
“I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point 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.”
If anything could predictably induce torrents of Internet reaction, it would be a U.S. president making the surprise disclosure that he supports same-sex marriage.
The response to the president naturally cut across the ideological spectrum. It also ranged from the serious to the ridiculous.
The Mississippi Link sought reaction from its FaceBook subscribers and Twitter followers. The following questions were asked: What are your thoughts about President Obama’s support of same sex marriage? Will it impact your vote? How do you feel about what some black clergymen are saying?
“I believe there are many more pressing issues than the President’s stance on this issue. Much ado about nothing. As for clergy, the opinions they espouse vary. I’ve learned that most clergy shy away from a sermonic message on gays, not because of the do not judge criteria, but because most, like us, have one in the family. Let’s put this energy to better use.” ~ Berlena McCallum
“Honestly it won’t impact my vote. Its basically separation of church and state. I don’t agree with same sex marriage and all that homosexual stuff but people should have equal rights.” ~ Shae Johnson
“I too am for total equility…love and marry who you want…to all that says its a sin…look at yourself…its also a sin to live with someone who is not your spouse, have children out of wedlock, gamble, lie, cheat, sex before marriage, and sex with someone else’s spouse…step outside of your comfort zone for a moment. At least they are trying to live as married couples and not shacking. How many of you are shacking? They want to raise a family with two parents…how many of you are single parents? If it was that easy to sway your vote, you were never for our POTUS in the first place.” ~Monica MsCup Scott
“No, it will not impact my vote. His statement was his personal feeling; nothing more. Every American has the right to express personal feelings. Nothing he said will change one law or the legal approach to the subject. All the media hype has nothing to do with what happens any more than this post changes things in the USA.” ~Susan Lunardini
“I feel that he was forced to make a decision. It may not be how he truly feels – but a political move. It will not influence my vote. I have to look at “the forest” not the “tree” if you know what I mean. My feeling about the matter is based on scripture. However, everyone one is entitled to civil rights.” ~Brenda Cox
“The statement President Obama made concerning same sex marriage will not cause me to change my vote. I believe he made that decision based on the constitution. He is my president and not my pastor. I think it is so hypocritical of some ministers to say the negative things that they are saying about the President. If the truth be told, you have all kinds of sin in the church from whoremongering to adultery and that seems to be ok. I am so disappointed at some of our clergy.” ~Alisa Patrick McDonald
Pastor Danny Ray Hollins of Greater Fairview M.B. Church took to his facebook page as did black clergy around the country. Many had opposing views, however, Hollins took a different twist.
The question is “What was Barack Obama elected to do?” He was elected to be president of all the people of this country…black, white, Muslim, Jews, gentiles, rich, poor, heterosexual, homosexual, metrosexual, or no sexual. He expressed his views as a politically elected leader concerning the rights of a certain group, which is what he should do if he believes it. He is not a God ordained preacher/pastor. It is the job of clergy and religious leaders to uphold the moral code of the bible. That’s not his job.”
Because of the possible fallout from the black clergy, Obama released an emailed statement to his supporters reaffirming his earlier statements:
“I’ve always believed that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally. I was reluctant to use the term marriage because of the very powerful traditions it evokes. And I thought civil union laws that conferred legal rights upon gay and lesbian couples were a solution. […] What I’ve come to realize is that for loving, same-sex couples, the denial of marriage equality means that, in their eyes and the eyes of their children, they are still considered less than full citizens. […]
So I decided it was time to affirm my personal belief that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.
I respect the beliefs of others, and the right of religious institutions to act in accordance with their own doctrines. But I believe that in the eyes of the law, all Americans should be treated equally. And where states enact same-sex marriage, no federal act should invalidate them.”
The president’s statement will have little political impact, as the decision to legalize same-sex marriage will still be in the hands of the states.