And the Accidental Hero Award goes to President Barack Obama.
Yes, Obama finally "came out," on Disney-owned ABC morning
television, with the long-awaited magic words of support for gay marriage.
Historical, and somewhat hysterical, at the same time. The hysteria is the gay rights community's celebratory
amnesia about this president's audacity. To put it simply, he stalled in "liberating" gay people from
Washington-sanctioned discrimination for four years as he purportedly "evolved"
on the issue.
See, it turns out that Obama is the leader and public
opinion tide-turner, the approver- or disapprover-in-chief -- and current
"father" of America. The gay community is a patient, loyal group of children, but
even so, gay adolescent cries of injustice were beginning to escalate.
If we grant any credibility to Obama's stated process of "evolving" -- and I staunchly doubt the credibility of it -- what exactly did he need to evolve from? Was it an ingrown prejudice, perhaps fanned by Obama's previous life, his years of Sunday attendance inhaling Reverend Wright's fire against gays? Did he not veer apart from those sermons?
More likely, his indifference was authentically part of the
hard-drive of his character; the gay matter itself an annoying swarm of gnats
buzzing around him again and again.
As human beings, we sometimes are blessed with the opportunity and fortune to grow and evolve. Many of us believed we were hiring a president who would make good on his promise to represent "all the people in America."
We certainly believed he was someone who was already evolved
on civil rights. This was a blind, even racist belief. Just because Obama is half-black and a member of a minority
himself, does not insure his understanding of others who are hated for being
I do not agree with those who say that history will delete
this president's four-year stall. Nor
will history forget the timing of Obama's announced turn-around.
We are smack in the middle of campaign season, and the political
chess game just turned whimsically in the favor of gay people. Timing is a big part of the story of civil rights, as is
political motivation; each factor not easily struck from the record.
Speaking of striking, Obama's initial silence was intense in response to the vice president and secretary of education speaking out for gay marriage. This event obviously cornered him and presented him with a checkmate moment.
Really, what choice did he have? Let's review...
#1. The gay community, who so richly supported his 2008 election, backing him financially and emotionally, was stirring in their anger. The threat of losing that money and that substantial voting block was fierce and urgent.
#2. Both the vice president and the secretary of education spoke out publicly and definitively in favor of gay marriage. Two potentially deadly chess moves, and whamo! A supporter is born.
The scheduling of the President's critical Wednesday announcement is a stroke of fortune. Obama seems to have concluded his evolution just in time for Thursday night's Hollywood fundraiser!