Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Obama's flip-flop for the good

I never thought I'd live to see the day, but finally a sitting US President -- Barack Obama -- has stated the obvious:   Gays and lesbians should have the right to get married.  While he is still a bit cautious about nationalizing the issue, saying it should also be an issue for each state and territory to decide, this is an incredible turnabout from just a decade and a half ago, when Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act which defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman.  It is also a huge 180 for Obama, who until recently, was only prepared to go as far as "civil unions".

Hard to say if this will affect the "get out the vote" machines on both sides.   But if he reversed Don't Ask Don't Tell, then today's pronouncement was inevitable -- especially after Vice President Biden and the heads of the Housing and Education Departments also took their stands in favour in just the last week.

It could very well be that Obama is just going along with public opinion, which has shifted decidedly in favour of same sex marriage in the last few years.   But it takes guts to take a position that is unpopular in many quarters.   Thumbs up from me.