White House Lights Up for Pride

Comments

1
My wife marched on Washington in the summer of 1987. She's been smiling through tears all day today, and I can't stop holding her. Just stunning. Thank you, Dan, for all you've done to help bring this about.
2
I started voting in 1986 at the age of 18. If you had told me then that gay marriage is now legal in all 50 states, and that I voted in favor of it, I'd have been rather surprised too. Things change.
3
Me too. In 1986 I was in college, and my mom was getting letters (as usual) from her gay uncle in San Diego about his days with his life partner. I still cherish those letters. This one is for you, Uncle Bill. I wish you and Bill T had lived to see this day.
6
Dan, go ahead and slap some of us now!
7
That pic is one of the most beautiful I've seen. Thank you, Dan, and the innumerable others that have given me and others like me this gift. It came at enormous cost....I thank all of you, from those arrested at Stonewall to Marriage Equality today. I understand the strength that every single one of those lawsuits took, and I salute and thank you from the soul of my being for putting yourself out there for the rest of us. Thank you so very very much.
8
In 1986 I was still in the military. I could have been arrested and put in jail and given a dishonorable discharge for being gay. President Reagan watched thousands of gay men die through the early years of AIDS and would not even acknowledge our existence. Senators refused to fund research, saying on the senate floor that gay men deserved what they got.

The young Reverse Polarity of 1986 could not imagine a world in which LGBT people could marry one another, could not imagine a president fully supporting LGBT rights. Sometimes I had a hard time even imagining surviving to the end of my enlistment.

In the 30-ish years since then, it is amazing how far we've come.
9
Beautiful. Just in time as well, for those badass Pride Marches that are happening tomorrow. Yes Dan, who would have ever thought. After witnessing from the sidelines, the horrors of the 80s and 90s, to now seeing America finally saying, Yes, you guys too can take part in the sometimes weird and wacky as well as loving
institution, that is Marriage.
10
Thank You, DAN! You contributed mightily to this big step forward in civil rights.
11
And could you have imagined that the man living there would have been African-American?

I am overjoyed for your family, Dan, and for the countless others who will enjoy the same rights that people like me take for granted. This was a wonderful day.
12
In 1986 I was in high school & being told that AIDS was a gay disease; that it was "Anally Injected Death Syndrome". It was also the first time I was called a dyke, & I had just left my church because of their reaction to a huge influx of gay congregants (spoiler: people freaked out)..yeah. I didn't know the fight for LGBTQ (back then it was just "L" & G" though) equality would affect me personally but I figured that out soon after.

& all these years..& all those articls written, marches marched, parades attended, donations given & activism..acted up..:) - here we are. There's still miles to go before we sleep, but how 'bout them apples..?
13
@4, Dan's not responsible for the actions of all the gays. Nice, thorough copypasties though.
14

Thank you, Dan, for your unrelenting activism, all the way back to Act Up. I am convinced It Gets Better started the ball rolling on a lot of this. I don't think you get enough credit for that. Congrats to you and your beautiful family. You so deserve this.

Thank you, President Obama. It's fitting that it was a black president who helped oversee and is so supportive of the enacting of new civil rights. The sight of the rainbow White House has kind of taken my breath away.

In 1986 I was 20 years old working at an all night convenience store in Boston right next door to a gay bar (Buddies, RIP). It was my first experiences interacting with gay folks and transvestites. As an awkward, cripplingly shy person who had grown up feeling like a freak and an outcast, I felt a certain kinship and became a fan and an ally right there. I've been proud to be a lifelong supporter and a volunteer for marriage equality campaigns.

Hooray for the triumph of goodness. Hooray for today.
15
@5
"I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage."

Barack Obama, 2008.


Let's not rewrite history so soon.
16
I am not gay, but I have always been afraid. Long story as to why, it doesn't matter. But I first became aware of you, Dan, you were out there in the public eye, on TV, debating the worst and most awful people who were quite comfortable judging you (and your partner) as barely-tolerable. I watched you deal with them, and I have, gradually, grown less frightened in my own life. Not to make this last 24 hours about me but I wanted to make the point that being brave inspires people in general, far beyond the scope of gay rights.

But aside from that, I cried all day yesterday. For my friends who have been fighting for this for literally decades. You have been their public face, and I want to congratulate you from the bottom of my heart. I too, was thrilled and quieted at the same time when I saw the pic of the White House. Also when Obama sang Amazing Grace at the funeral. What thoroughly decent men both of you are. Love won out, Dan. It's a great day for all of us
17
15 is right. Let's hold onto every slight and insult we can. Actions don't count - not if you have the opportunity to feel like a victim.
18
In the late 80's I was going to college down in Rhode Island and was often in Boston. In my commute I frequently walked by the Ramrod, and I was afraid. It was a fear of the unknown, of wickedness, something completely alien. I started reading Dan's column in the Boston Phoenix. I read it because he was helping straight people, he was helping me. It took a really long time for him to sink in. In the 90's when I was married, my husband and I stopped our donations to Amnesty International because they started fighting for gay rights. But over time as I kept reading Savage Love, gayness gradually changed from some wicked otherness into an adjective that described my online friend Dan Savage (friend not in a creepy stalker sense, but in the sense of how people naturally incorporate celebrities into their circle of people they wish well).

I ended up divorcing my husband and now only date crossdressers--something I never would have even considered if Dan hadn't explained that most were hetero or bi, not gay. I frequently (for a middle-aged person) go clubbing at the Ramrod. I now fully support all LGBT rights. And a few months ago my younger daughter came out as lesbian, so just in time.

I'm just one person, this is an anecdote. I'm not saying the entire country was turned around with Dan as the rudder. But I am saying that there must be a lot of other straight people out there whose views on gay rights did a 180 with Dan as the driver, and if he got the It's a Wonderful Life treatment, the White House wouldn't have been lit up like a rainbow in the Pottersville universe.
19
@17 I didn't know that being grounded in reality and facts rather than rhetoric and powder in the eyes amounted to feeling like a victim but you are free to your own worldview.
20
As much as I hate to acknowledge that lobbyists and PACs do good work, thanks should also go out to the HRC.
21
#19, as Dan wrote this last.week about the last.shreds of resistance to same sex marriage, "It's all over but the pouting."

Guess you enjoy.a good pout.
22
@15: a few thoughts:

Obama may be one of the most decent people to live in the White House since at least Jimmy Carter, but he's still a politician. Politicians often say things they don't mean in order to placate certain blocks of idiot voters so they can be elected and do things which are the exact opposite of what they told the idiots. This is also reality. It's not pleasant, but it's true. So yes, Obama and Hillary Clinton were both against marriage equality before they were for it. They are both for it now, and publicly, and I think that matters more.

Even if Obama actually believed that line -- and I don't think he did -- he's allowed to change his mind; he's a Democrat, not a Republican.

Obama proclaimed his support for marriage quality before the 2012 election. Even I thought that was a real risk, because he was chancing throwing the thing to Romney. But the risk paid off. So he gets props for that if nothing else, and he's done a lot more than "nothing else" since.
23
@15 & 19, sure Obama isn't perfect. But look at that picture. Look at that. Do you think any other president in history, democrat or republican, would have lit up the White House in rainbow colors in support of LGBT rights?
24
22/Kate: Even if Obama actually believed that line -- and I don't think he did

I never thought he believed that either and, according to Obama's former political st…, we're right.

Axelrod also admits to counseling Obama to conceal that position for political reasons. “Opposition to gay marriage was particularly strong in the black church, and as he ran for higher office, he grudgingly accepted the counsel of more pragmatic folks like me, and modified his position to support civil unions rather than marriage, which he would term a ‘sacred union,’ ” Axelrod writes.
25
In 1979 and 1980, the White House remained un-Christmas-lighted because of the "energy crisis." Last night the White House glowed rainbow. Both times it was inhabited by decent people.

In 1985-6, I lost two friends to AIDS. I visited one in the hospital and wasn't sure if I should hug him or not. I chose not to hug him and he appeared to understand. I listened to the coming-out of another friend with trepidation, for in 1986, being a gay man sounded like you were playing a game of Russian Roulette--only with 3 bullets in the chamber instead of 1. If you didn't live through it as an adult, it's hard to imagine how scary a time it was--and I am a straight woman. In 1986, I heard preachers like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson say that AIDS was god's punishment for being gay.

In 1986, the idea that gay people could marry was unthinkable, and I am embarrassed to admit that I didn't give a lot of thought to the issue.

So much movement forward has occurred since then, and I am so joyous.

But:

In 1986, women were seen as more than walking vaginas and uteruses who should be under the control of the Christian Right. Abortion rights were strongly protected. However, the ERA had failed to be ratified in 1982, and the promise of the 1970s seemed to be slipping away. In 1986, Margaret Atwood published The Handmaid's Tale, a novel set in a dystopian future not too far-off, in which religious Christian zealots, using the threat of attack by Muslims, wrested control of the government and established a repressive tyranny, in which women were valued for nothing more than their wombs, which were utterly under the control of male leaders. It was a great book, but it read as pure fantasy.

In 1986, the second famous mass shooting happened, in Edmond, OK, (the first was two years earlier, at a McDonald's in San Ysidro, CA) at a post office. It was the origin for the term "going postal" to describe psychotic deadly rage. The incidents received a lot of press because they were so unusual, so unthinkable.

So.

Yes, we've come a long way since 1986 and some things have Gotten Better. Much better. And I'm thrilled, really I am. But some things have Gotten Worse and I fear will continue to get worse still.

26
In the 1980s, my first crush was a closeted gay guy (I'm a straight cis female). If being gay had been as socially acceptable then as it is now, neither of us would have wasted each other's time. It's going to be easier for others now, going forward. He was a sweet guy, I hope he found happiness and peace.
27
@21, 22, 23 , ...

Obama has nothing to do with this victory and attempts at making it part of his legacy should be resisted with everything you've got. Let's give credit to whom it's due not to the political opportunists. Obama has shown plenty of disregard for common people (has anyone of you heard of TPP for the latest?) that his pretense at caring is not very convincing. Don't be tools.
28
@23 I could see Hillary doing it if she'd won the primary and been elected in 2008. It's s huge victory not only for the LGBTQ community but for the democratic party and liberal-centrists across the board by symbolizing the difference between each sides' vision of civil rights in general.
As for whether we should forgive those who've 'evolved', well DUH! Every gay and lesbian who's forgiven themselves for once hating their own God-given nature should show a little more compassion and understanding for those who've found the grace to move forward in a better direction. Obama exemplifies that huge transformation in cultural opinion which ultimately enabled what we've achieved. Our success has been entirely contingent on millions changing their mind. They're the heroes.
The biggest threat to the LGBTQ community may come from within by those who spend their anger and bitterness on folks now long-distanced from their previously less enlightened view of thing. They're on our side now. Embrace and support them for fucksakes.
29
@27: nonresistance is a strategy, too. witness the DOMA defense at the SCOTUS.

O has said repeatedly that he has to lead from behind on social justice issues. but look at the DOJ stand-down on legal weed in WA & CO. think that've happened under a GOP fuckstick?
31
anon dear, I think you pretty much have cornered the market on being a tool. You think that Obama had nothing to do with this? Two words: Kagen and Sotomayer.
32
I've been grinning and teary-eyed since I woke up yesterday.

I was in the first official Pride march in 1977 and have been in many of them since. The heat's keeping me at home this year, but I'll be celebrating as if I were there.
33
29/Max: but look at the DOJ stand-down on legal weed in WA & CO. think that've happened under a GOP fuckstick?

I, for one, sure don't. If we end up electing a Republican as president in 2016, it will be interesting to see what that administration will do about both states (and Oregon, now that they've legalized it too.) Republicans are all "states' rights! states' rights! states' rights!" so, in theory, they should leave all three states alone but I suspect that would not happen.
34
And the hipster idiots and Red Diaper babies STILL can't take a single breath without drooling their hatred of Obama for actually functioning as an elected official in our damaged system.

It IS strange that this should be such a watershed issue for the loony right. Their war on education and reproductive rights seems to going rather well these days.
35
31/Catalina: Two words: Kagen and Sotomayer.

The reason all three women on the Supreme Court voted in favor and that all four of those opposed were men is, of course, because the women are liberal and those four men are conservative. However, it did make me wonder if women are, overall, more supportive of same-sex marriage so I just did a quick Google search. I didn't find anything current but this piece from 2012 says...

According to new numbers released Monday morning from Gallup, 50% of Americans say same-sex marriages should be legal. But break it down by gender, and 56% of women say same-sex couples should be legally allowed to marry, but only 42% of men feel the same way.


I suspect that's because women tend to be less homophobic than men.
36
It's not my fault that you can't see that politicians were pushed into marriage equality by people. Now you go on making up stories about what Obama did. Reality based community, my ass, it's more like sycophant central that can't be arsed to say anything about an on-going coup over the last 6 month.
37
Women are not threatened by gays (male or female); gay men don't want them and gay women don't pounce on and sexually assault straight women. Men know that men rape women, and are afraid that gay men will rape straight men. Hence homophobia. It's mostly the same low education voter than thinks a black man with a gun is going to use it commit some kind of white guy genocide.
39
37/originalcinner, I'm sure we both believe that men are more homophobic than women and I also believe that research would back that up. As for the reasons why there's this (likely) gap, those you mention are reasonable, but I happen to think it's more likely due -- or also due -- to men having much stricter gender roles than women. I think that many straight men view gay men as violating "proper" male behavior whereas I don't think many women feel that way about lesbians. Take a look at kids. What's the name for an ungirly girl? A tomboy. It certainly says the girl isn't girly, but it's not really mean or belittling. Now, what's the name for an unboyly boy? A tomgirl? Nope. A sissy. It doesn't say "you're different" like tomboy does. It says "you're different and weak. Inferior. Contemptible."

40
Obama signed a document declaring his support for marriage equality as an Illinois state in 1996 and he lied about not supporting it in 2008. Not exactly a profile in courage but it's politics - look where it got us.

I get why someone might be bitter about it but for me the outcome is what matters most, and he deserves some credit for giving us his support just as much as he deserves some scorn for lying about it.
41
anon1256, if Obama had been upfront about his marriage equality beliefs in 2008 (Axelrod counseled him to hide his true opinion), he almost surely would have lost the election. Yesterday's decision, if LGBTQ rights activists had been crazy enough to bring a lawsuit would have been 6-3 against marriage equality. McCain would have put 2 more conservative justices on the Court and we'd be screwed for many years, not just on LGBTQ issues, but on any liberal or progressive issues. Elections matter.

Further, in 2010 and 2014, liberals and progressives and democrats failed Obama and progressive politics BY NOT VOTING. The hate-filled right knows how important all elections are; it is important to get their bigots elected in state and local elections so they can control local and state law-making, getting right-thinking judges elected, and gerrymandering legislative districts to perpetuate their control.

Presidents do not rule by decree. They have to rely on Congress to pass appropriate legislation. They have to rely on voter support in all elections to make sure Senators and Representatives can create and support good laws to advance progressive policies.

So all of you, if you don't vote in all elections, go look in a mirror. You are a big part of Obama's troubles and the reason why he has not been as progressive as we all hoped. And if you continue not voting in off-year elections, you will contribute to the failure of another Democratic president, if one is elected in 2016.
42
Original and Roma; male homophobia, I hear my straight sons make homosexual jokes with each other, not put downs of gays, just having a lend of each other by talking about sucking dick etc.
Never never have I heard a straight woman joke with another woman about eating pussy.
In the 70s, way before AIDS, it was liberating to watch people go with same sex attractions, for some it was just a taste- but that was ok. It seemed to brake thru something for a lot of men, especially.


43
40/blip: Not exactly a profile in courage but it's politics

If Obama had disregarded the advice of Axelrod and others, and been honest with his feelings about same-sex marriage, there are two questions: (1) would that honesty have turned off enough religious black voters, causing them to not vote and handing the election to McCain/Palin and (2) if McCain won, how would the two justices he appointed have voted, with Kennedy, Breyer & Ginsburg or with Antonin "Satanslayer" Scalia and his clan?

I can only speculate on #1. I'm sure Obama would have lost some black voters, but not enough to lose. #2, but if Obama had lost, considering the fact that of the five Republlcan-appointed justices, only one voted with four Democratic-appointed justices, it's seems highly unlikely that both McCain appointees would have voted with Kennedy and the two Clinton appointees. The decision would have been Scalia's clan 5, Kennedy's 4 or, more likely, 6-3.

44
41/PlaidWoman, if Obama had been upfront about his marriage equality beliefs in 2008 (Axelrod counseled him to hide his true opinion), he almost surely would have lost the election. Yesterday's decision, if LGBTQ rights activists had been crazy enough to bring a lawsuit would have been 6-3 against marriage equality.

I'm in 95% agreement with you about a 6-3 decision (5% of me thinks that McCain might have inadvertently appointed another Kennedy and it would been 5-4) but either result, of course, would have been a loss.

I'm less certain than you are, however, that Obama would have lost the election by being honest. The guy's a great communicator. He touches people. Just look at his singing of "Amazing Grace" at the service in Charleston. Very emotional, very powerful. I think if he had made an impassioned and reasoned case for same-sex marriage to -- especially but not limited to -- black religious voters, he wouldn't have necessarily won them over, but would have at least convinced them to not sit out the election.
45
Roma/44, I am sure if Obama had been upfront about his marriage equality beliefs he would have lost support not just among religiously conservative black voters, but among white and latino male voters especially, and among some white and latino female voters. Back in 2008, a lot of people were still very opposed to “gay marriage” even though some would not admit how squeamish they were. We can only speculate about whether this would have cost him the election - I happen to think it probably would.
47
45/PlaidWoman, you may be right. While I believe he still would've won, I'm not so certain that I would've put a lot of money on it (if we could bet and do a rewind.) Not being honest was certainly the safest course. And, as you pointed out, having Obama win and being able to appoint two justices has a far-reaching impact.

Ginsburg's the oldest, at 82. If something happened to her, or she were to leave, during the next term and a Republican gets into the White House, then the court is down to only three Dem-appointed justices. (Scalia's the second-oldest, at 79. I can't wait until he's gone.)
48
We'd better hope nothing happens to any of the four liberals + Kennedy now that the Senate is in firm Republican control. They will do all in their power to defeat anyone Obama tries to appoint to SCOTUS.
49
@41
So all of you, if you don't vote in all elections, go look in a mirror. You are a big part of Obama's troubles and the reason why he has not been as progressive as we all hoped. And if you continue not voting in off-year elections, you will contribute to the failure of another Democratic president, if one is elected in 2016.


You have got it exactly backward. People don't vote because they perceive there is nothing to vote for or because they are actively prevented from doing so; it's called disenfranchisement. Progressive constituencies didn't turnout in 2010 because they already knew Obama wasn't who he pretended he was during the campaign following his reappointment of the architects of deregulation and because the ACA isn't progressive healthcare policy, which Democrats could have campaigned on, for example.
50
@46. What is your problem?
@49. What we got in a democracy is our vote. Yes. Politicians are Politicians.
Votes Do Matter.
51
@46. That is a rhetorical question. How bout you see we have registered your comaint and now you can go repeat yourself somewhere else.
52
@49

Thank you, sgt. doom-lite.
53
anon1256/49: Obama was not on the ballot in 2010. One third of the US Senate + all of the US House of Representatives + many state governors + many state legislators were on the ballot. In 2010, many of the voters who turned out for Obama failed to vote. They were not disenfranchised, they just didn't bother for one reason or another. Republicans have learned how important it is to get their people elected at all levels of government. Once they had taken over many state governments in 2011, they were in a position to use the census data to gerrymander legislative districts to favor continued Republican control. They were also able to start passing NEW restrictive voting regulations to make it harder for poor and minority and student voters to register and vote. The consequences of liberals and progressives not voting in all elections, of sitting at home throwing a hissy fit because the president is not liberal enough, has been widespread and disastrous. But continued failure to vote will not make things better. Claiming that there is nothing to vote for and that everyone is disenfranchised is both false and lazy.

Nothing makes me angrier than liberal whiners who don't vote.
54
Congrats everyone. I wish my brother was still alive to see this day, but the man he loved is, so I know he's happy. I wish everyone his last wishes to us: courage, clarity and compassion.
55
@52 Anyone with integrity who has looked at Wikileaks's publication of the so-called trade agreements says it's more or less a corporate coup. Your saying nothing about it for the last few month shows how easily people like you are cowed into silence.
56
Re: ACA/ObamaCare: Other countries manage to cover all their people using private insurers. They do it by carefully regulating their health insurance carriers and requiring them to offer health insurance on a non-profit basis for all plans that conform to the basic health insurance package that everyone must carry. Countries that use this form of health care payment system include Germany, Switzerland, France. A well-run single-payer system is the most cost-efficient, but you can do very well with private systems if you're willing to regulate them. The current ACA system does not have to be the end of the line. If we stop whining and start electing progressive representatives, we can educate them to put more restrictions on the private insurers in our system. For example, in our system, insurers are allowed to use up to 20% of the premium to cover “overhead”, which includes profit. This overhead amount could and should be ratcheted down.

For more information on how other countries have solved their health care problems in ways we could learn from, see the PBS Frontline documentary, Sick Around the World, reported by T R Reid, 2008, and the book, The Healing of America, by T R Reid, Penguin Press, 2009.
57
@53 Obama wasn't on the ballot but congressional Democrats were more or less running on his policies and their own response to it in congress (many conservative Democrats lost for precisely that reason, remember). A whole summer of corporate media showing TPers assaulting republican healthcare policy as if it were socialism was less than conducive to having progressives go to bat for something they didn't even support. Denying that Obama was a huge let down to the millions who mobilized to elect him and needed something significant to come out and support Democrats in 2010 is really lame. Obama gave it away without a fight.
58
@56
Countries that use this form of health care payment system include Germany, Switzerland, France


Private insurance plays a minor role in these healthcare systems (supplemental insurance is usually private) so it's not comparable to the ACA, not that they are a panacea either.
59
@57: You can never concede an election to the opposition, no matter how disappointed you are in one politician or another - in this case, Obama. You must always weigh the pros and cons of each candidate for each office you're voting on. And in many states, there are initiatives and referenda to consider as well. There are always good reasons to vote in every election and whatever is going on at the federal level does not mean that local and state elections are not critical as well.

I think we'll just have to agree that we disagree more or less completely on this issue.
60
Sometimes I can't believe that I was ever on the other side of this issue, but I briefly was. During most of my growing up I was barely aware of gay issues (or that gay people even existed). In my early teens I joined a youth group and got Christianized. Early 90's. My youth leaders explained that marriage was between a man and a woman. I took them for their word. But I read a lot, including the bible, and started asking them questions that they had no (or dumb) answers for (example of dumb answer: "sometimes you just have to trust god's wisdom"). They also explained that a husband had power over her wife, under god, but the caveat was, he could CHOOSE to give her equal power. Tricky.
Then I saw the movie "Philadelphia" and since I was already in love with Antonio Banderas and Tom Hanks, I became even more in love with them together (in their acting roles), and with the Neil Young song that said "I won't be ashamed of love" everything changed within a half hour. I know it's cheesy. I'm certain it would have changed for me with or without that movie, in time, but as it happened, there was an actual moment, and I remember it.

Left the youth group after that and started thinking out of the box.
So happy for all of us and for my LGBTQ friends especially.
61
@41 So good.
62
Whoah. Didn't read everything before posting. This has become a voting debate! Vote, people! I'm in Canada. We suck right now (and have for a while) because we have one conservative side (our prime minister Harper), and a divided left side (liberals & new democratic party). The right keeps winning because the left keeps in-fighting. It sucks. VOTE.
63
Yay marriage equality.
64
@59 We especially disagree about giving a blank check to some corporate tool every 4 years.
65
@62, that's exactly why Americans who say we need a third party are wrong, because it's the progressives who split the vote. The Republicans are monolithic because they want to win. The Tea Party was simply a Republican-backed strategy to get more conservatives into Congress, and it worked. Democrats are intelligent but often politically stupid.
66
I see.Anon has combined pouting with stamping his feet, while moving goal posts: he's a triple-threat middle schooler!
67
On ABC'S This Week this morning, when asked for his reaction to the Rainbow House, Mike Huckabee said (more or less): "It's Obama's house. He can do whatever he wants." Huckabee then added that if it was "his house" he'd have a nativity scene at Christmas. A nativity scene? Biblical, yes, but pretty wimpy. I'd suggest a big-ass ark. Not only would it be more impressive, but also eventually useful. When the level of the Atlantic Ocean rises and the Potomac River floods that low-lying part of Washington, the ark can be used as a new mobile White House.
68
Politics is, as the song says, "the art of the possible." Whatever Obama's personal beliefs regarding Marriage Equality during his first campaign (and it seems clear he was in favor), the rest of the nation, unfortunately, did not share this view. Polls on the subject varied, somewhat, but the results clearly showed most of the electorate at the time was opposed both to granting LGBTQ's full marriage rights, and even to the status of civil unions. At the time of Obama's election, only a couple of states had legalized marriages between same-sex couples, while many more had enacted outright bans, and a handful were waffling in the middle with domestic partnership laws. Since then, attitudes have shifted dramatically, to the point that today a solid majority of U.S. citizens now fully support Marriage Equality.

One can say all sorts of things about the general state of political leadership in this country, but the simple truth is, politicians by-and-large do not tend to get out in front of the electorate, particularly not on social issues, at least not publicly. Obama, for his part, is intelligent enough to understand that on these kinds of highly divisive issues people can only be moved with small nudges, and that social change happens in incremental fits-and-starts, not all at once. And while I agree he doesn't deserve - nor I suspect would he ask for - credit for single-handedly moving the country to this momentous event, he nevertheless deserves credit where it is due: the appointment of two liberal Supreme Court justices; a gradual, deliberate lessening of enforcement of DOMA; keeping his 2008 campaign promise to abolish "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in the military; a demonstrated openness to discussing LGBTQ issues with leaders in the community; and a very public acknowledgement of how his views on these issues have "evolved" over time. While none of these in-and-of themselves may have served to completely re-frame the debate, there can be little doubt that, collectively, they did provide a number of those little nudges, so that, even if they didn't necessarily change individual hearts and minds, they nevertheless kept the debate going, giving countless others time, circumstance, and opportunity to do so.

Sometimes leaders don't accomplish great things by stepping to the front and pulling the rest of us along behind them; they get things done by taking up the rear, getting out of the way, and helping, along with many others, to gently push the rest of us forward.
69
Best President Evar!
70
Where is Dan? Need new post! Jonesing here. I got a Savage Addiction.

Prolly ain't noobody reading this. But I just hope that the network isn't talking about pulling the plug on the Real O'Neals now that gay marriage has happened and the suits think that gay stuff is boring now. I had this idea that Dan is in L.A. or NY right now fighting for the show.