Revolution #269, May 20, 2012
3 Points on Obama’s Endorsement of Gay Marriage
“I believe gay people should be able to marry.” This simple statement made by Obama on May 9 recognizes reality—there are millions of people in this society who love people of the same sex and deserve to have the same rights as everyone else in society.
Yet it ignited a firestorm of praise, condemnation and controversy. This comes as no surprise. This is a society where lesbians, gays, bisexual, and transgendered people are routinely demonized, openly discriminated against, brutalized, and even murdered.
TO THE CHRISTIAN FASCISTS AND OTHER REACTIONARIES WHO HAVE CALLED THIS A WAR AGAINST TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE:
That’s just a crock of shit! It isn’t like somebody told Rush Limbaugh and these other idiots who raise this BS that they will have to marry someone of the same sex. Ask yourself: How does a recognition of the right of gay people to have their loving relationships recognized in the ways that other people’s relationships are do damage to marriage? How could ensuring equal rights to visitation of spouses who are hospitalized, inheritance, benefits like health insurance, etc. be a detriment to society? Yes, it is not in line with traditional, white Christian American morality, but what’s wrong with that?
Those Black preachers who are trotting out to quote the Bible about homosexuality being a sin and being given big play in the media need to shut the fuck up. Remember, the slave masters quoted that same Bible to justify slavery. Black people who go to the Bible as the basis for morality are wrapping themselves in the horrors it promotes—massacres, making women sex slaves and more. The Bible taken literally is a horror.
TO THOSE WHO ARE HAILING OBAMA’S STATEMENT AND THINKING IT MIGHT LEAD TO FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE:
Same sex marriage is a just demand that should be supported. And yes, this is the first time that a U.S. president has ever said this. It has a big impact in society. But it is only a statement. It won’t usher in an era of respect and equality for gay people. Obama didn’t back this up with any steps he planned to take to realize the right to marriage for all people or anything else to combat the discrimination and demonization gay people face. In fact, he followed his statement by saying that deciding whether gay marriage will be legal is up to the states.
That’s just fucked up. You say you think gay people should have the right to marry, but you leave it up to the states to decide whether they are allowed to exercise that right? “States’ rights” was the banner under which the slave owners fought a Civil War to keep slavery in effect 150 years ago! It was the banner under which Black people were abused for more than a century under Jim Crow segregation and lynch mob terror. Today it is the banner under which you have people talking about the states having the right to determine whether gay people can marry!
You don’t put people’s rights up to a vote! If civil rights for Black people had been put up for referendums in various states, and there had not been a massive movement throughout society to demand basic rights for Black people, we might still be sitting in the back of the bus, sitting in “coloreds only” sections of restaurants and all the rest.
TO EVERYONE WHO HAS AN OUNCE OF CONCERN FOR JUSTICE:
It’s going to take a determined fight to end the abuse and discrimination being heaped down on gay people in this society. Look at what’s going down today. More states have banned same sex marriage; access to abortion has continued to be cut away; and even access to birth control is under attack. Opposition to gay marriage is part of a whole package aimed at strengthening patriarchy and male supremacy.
This statement does not represent Obama finally changing his views, stepping up to the plate and doing what is morally demanded. Leaving aside whatever cold calculations his campaign team is certainly making with regard to how to win re-election in November, the fact remains that Obama has, from the beginning of his presidency, acted in accordance with and put the interests of the ruling class as a whole above all else and he will continue to do so. And these interests are not the interests of the vast majority of the people, here and around the world.
The demonization and discrimination gay people face, like the enslavement and subjugation and targeting of women, is one of the horrors this system enforces on people here and around the world. The struggle against the suppression of gay rights cannot and should not be shut down or diverted into voting for Obama. It should be unleashed and fought through to achieve the basic rights that all people should have. And we, for our part, join in this struggle as part of building a movement for revolution, a movement that can get rid of this system and build a totally different and far better world in its place.
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