Does anyone really doubt President Obama supports marriage equality? If so, Vice President Joe Biden’s Meet the Press appearance this weekend and Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s response to a question about marriage equality today ought to put such questions to rest.
Has President Obama said, “I fully support gay and lesbian couples’ right to marry”? No. Why? The President is running for reelection. And while most citizens of the US support marriage equality (see http://www.marriageequality.org/polls-and-studies), there remains an intrenched minority who see challenges to the status quo as signaling the end of civilization as we know it. That this minority consists of fundamentalist Christians and some older Americans should come as no surprise. Fundies fear anything that they think challenges the reign of patriarchy, and many older Americans cling to the past because that is what they know best.
If my students are any indication, marriage equality is the civil rights issue of the late 20th and early 21st century. They choose to research its history, to discuss it, and to write about it and in each case, they fully support marriage equality even when the religion to which they belong does not.
While congressional fundamentalists throughout the country propose and sometimes pass redundant and antiquated marriage laws, the citizens of this country, including President Obama, continue to recognize that equal rights extend to marriage.