It appears that the Obama administration's views on marriage equality might be "evolving" a little more quickly than in the past. In the last few days, two high-ranking officials have publicly expressed their support for nationwide marriage equality. First, Vice President Joe Biden told NBC's Meet The Press that he was "absolutely comfortable" with civil marriage equality for all U.S. citizens. The following day, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said on MSNBC's Morning Joe that he, too, believes that the rights of civil marriage should be afforded to all U.S. couples.
I am Vice President of the United States of America. The president sets the policy. I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men marrying women are entitled to the same exact rights. All the civil rights, all the civil liberties. And quite frankly I don't see much of a distinction beyond that. [...] I think Will & Grace probably did more to educate the American public than almost anything anybody has done so far. People fear that which is different and now they're beginning to understand." Vice President Joe Biden on Meet The Press, May 6, 2012.
In a time when foes of marriage equality (those who often can't tell the difference between The Constitution and The Bible) are talking more often and loudly than ever, it's extremely important that supporters speak up and be heard as well. While the administration has never endorsed support for full marriage equality, it has sent positive and optimistic messages. The refusal to defend Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act in legal challenges and the repeal of the military's discriminatory Don't Ask Don't Tell policy sends an optimistic message.
With a Presidential election just six months away, it's not difficult to understand that the administration will work hard to corral controversial issues and to monitor the language that is used so that it is not misconstrued by their opponent. However, it may be time for the President to pick a side.
It's time for him to "evolve", too. He should be UNCOMFORTABLE with inequality.
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