Obama's Cowardice On Marriage

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Jonathan Martin makes a point:

Because Obama is not where the far left wants him to be (marriage) and McCain not where the far right wants him to be (a federal ban), this is not something either will probably make front and center.

I see his point but I still bristle at the notion of marriage rights being a "far left" position. No straight person would ever regard his or her marriage as something of which only the "far left" would approve. And many very conservative gay couples who have gotten married because they want to affirm family life, responsibility and commitment would be surprised to learn that these values are now part of the "far left." It's equally true that a federal ban is not meaningfully "far right." There is absolutely nothing conservative about amending the federal constitution to deal with a matter of social policy that is best left to the states. I wish these tired and misleading labels could be put to one side.

I should add that Obama's position strikes me as transparently flimsy. His only defense of his support for full marriage rights without the m-word is a function, in his description, of comfort and religion. But he is very comfortable around gay people, gay couples and our families. And his own church actually favors equal marriage rights for gay couples - and its inclusion of gay people was obviously a reason why TUCC was attractive to Obama. Marriage is the one issue where Obama is still politically afraid, intellectually vacuous, and a moral coward.

This is the civil rights movement of our time. Whatever happened to the fierce urgency of now?

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