A Modest Proposal

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[Alyssa Rosenberg]

All respect to everything Ta-Nehisi is saying about Obama and gay rights, and how credit for speaking out should be apportioned.  But I have to say, I'd be much more interested to hear what Bill Clinton has to say on the ways his views on equal marriage rights have evolved right now than I am to hear Obama talk about what he's going to do, at some point, in the next three years.  Someone who is reflecting, and who can acknowledge his beliefs and how they've changed and why, free of political responsibility, might do a lot more good than a reluctant advocate.

Update: Lots of thoughts on this in comments. I said this because I don't believe that Obama, while in office, will ever a) talk about his honest feelings about and personal experiences with gay people, or b) endorse full marriage equality.  And I believe that a) knowing gay people personally is the single experience most likely to change people's minds about equal rights, and b) that, now that Lawrence has decriminalized sodomy, that marriage is THE issue around which difficult discussions are going to be had, because it is the policy that gets at the difference between gay people and straight people.  If Bill Clinton were willing to talk about how his attitudes on equal marriage rights changed, he'd be addressing both of those issues.  I'd love to be surprised on this.  But for now, I'm a cynic.  

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Alyssa Rosenberg is a culture writer with The Washington Post.

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