Readers Respond to Obama's Complex Stance on Gay Unions

Readers respond to his lack of support for gay marriage after voicing support for gay couples.

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By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country

Many readers vented outrage over my attempt to reconcile President Obama's recent remarks that "you will see a time in which we as a nation finally recognize relationships between two men or two women as just as real and admirable as relationships between a man and a woman" with his refusal to support gay marriage.

I argued that Obama isn't necessarily being inconsistent. Many of you disagreed.

Here's Robert St. Genis of Louisiana:

We should have learned that separate but equal is anything but. We should also not allow the rights of the minority to be subject to the tyranny of the majority. Women did not gain the right to vote by popular vote. Interracial marriage was not a proposition that the populous voted upon.

Hector of Florida argues that civil unions, which Obama supports, don't reflect the president's assertion that gay relationships are as "real and admirable" as straight ones:

If indeed civil unions were legally equal to marriages, there would be no problem. But they are not. The same people who state they are then go around when confronted with a civil union and they say they don't recognize it because it is not marriage. We have this situation in New Jersey, where insurance companies are rejecting coverage because of "the wording is not marriage". This, despite the NJ law supposedly being equal in every way but in name.

And John of California proposes a novel way to get straight people to sympathize with the plight of gap couples:

The problem with civil unions is that they don't exist and would have to be specially created for gay people, even if the plan were that all existing marriages would become civil unions and in the future everyone would get a civil union.

While we were waiting for civil unions to be created, opposite-sex couples could still get married. There would be no urgency to create civil unions. I can only imagine how much foot dragging Congress would engage in, not to mention state legislatures.

So let's have an agreement. No more marriages from here on. The clerks' offices are closed. No one is getting state recognition of their unions until the government actually addresses this in a fashion that does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. Treat every couple as legal strangers. That might give things some urgency.