I had originally written a long post about the right to gay marriage after watching the fallout in North Carolina and Colorado this past Tuesday.
On Wednesday, President Obama became the first president ever to endorse that gays “should” have the right to marry.
My original post went by wayside because everything I had written was outdated.
Instead, I will share a few thoughts and leave you with hilarious and bizarre quotes from the pundit wagon.
First, living in Sweden is a blessing when it comes to equality and rights. Sure, Swedes may not always see that have equality to the best extent and that at times some groups of people receive equality at the expense of others. But living in Sweden is so different from America for two reasons: gay rights and religion.
When I moved to Sweden, no one ever asked me what my religion is. Other immigrants do, especially those from Middle East/South Asia, but in general, no Swede has cared what my religious beliefs are. And I only talk about them when we have a discussion about religion related to culture/politics/society.
All in all, I feel safe being who I am and practicing my religion without requiring ‘absolution’ from others.
Second, gays and lesbians have the right to marry. Civil unions have been legal since 1995 while the Riksdag passed the marriage resolution in 2009.
And that is awesome. The right, the left, and the center parties don’t have wedge fights over gay rights. Krisdemokraterna is the only party opposed to gay marriage but they make up a very small percentage of the political spectrum.
Which brings me back to the United States. This is an election year. Everything is up for grabs and the conservative base is moving further right than anyone else. Yet they are a powerful group of citizens.
When Obama announced on Wednesday for his support of gay marriage, the conservative right said he was using social issues instead of economic issues as the center of the presidential race. They screamed he’s doing this for ‘political reasons’ and making this an issue when unemployment should be the driving issue.
But the conservative have been using social issues all year long to drive support for Republican candidates at the expense of discussing the economy and education.
And it is insane. Earlier this year Congress had to act on one of the dumbest provisions ever: that employers can refuse coverage for birth control under insurance plans if it “morally offends them.” That’s just one example of Congress and politicians making social issues more important than economic issues.
I would not be surprised if gay marriage becomes the center of attention this year like it did in 2004. George Bush Jr ran on the promise of a “constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman.”
He won. No amendment ever came to pass, or even close to it, but Bush successfully divided and destroyed the country’s ability to function as a united front in one go.
This time, I hope Americans come to the conclusion that gays are people too. That gay rights is a human right, not states’ right. Just like abortion was a state issue until Roe v Wade and interracial marriage was a state issue until Loving v Virginia, gay marriage will make its way to the Supreme Court one day.
Some rights are just bigger than a state’s right, and this is one of them.
Until then, let’s hope for a more open and tolerant America. Or, a banishment of idiots who pander on Fox News (brought to you by the same friendly wire-tapping parent company, Murdoch).
I will leave you with quotes from across the US from this past week. Some hilarious and some, downright frightening.
From Mitt Romney, Republican presidential candidate
“My view is the same as it’s been from the beginning,” Mr. Romney told a CBS affiliate in Denver. “I don’t favor civil unions if it’s identical to marriage, and I don’t favor marriage between people of the same gender.” Asked why he opposed civil unions, in particular, he explained that in many cases they represent marriage by a different name for gay couples.
“If a civil union is identical to marriage other than with the name, why, I don’t support that,” he said Wednesday.
From Stephen Colbert, comedian:
“I would like to read to you what The Jesus said about homosexuality. I’d like to but he never said anything about it. Evidently. Evidently, Jesus was so filled with rage that he was speechless.”
From Jon Stewart, The Daily Show:
Don’t you love Fox News and their viewpoints on everything in life?!