May 9th was an intense day for same-sex marriage supporters. Days before on NBC's Meet the Press, Vice President Joe Biden said that he supported same-sex marriage. On May 9th, during an interview with ABC's Robin Roberts, President Obama voiced his support for same-sex marriage as well and admitted that his views were "evolving."
To hear the president and vice president support same-sex marriage was comforting to those striving for LGBT equality. The Obama administration's statements serve as another reminder that American society is moving forward on the issue of LGBT rights.
Unfortunately and predictably, the Religious Right was disgusted.
- In a May 9th commentary at the Concerned Women for America website, Penny Nance warned that the president should not called same-sex marriage opponents bigots. She complained that some LGBT voices are perfectly comfortable with "bullying" Christians due to their religious beliefs about marriage, and that an increasingly hostile environment toward the First Amendment has "poisoned our freedoms." (See www[dot]cwfa[dot]org/content.asp?id=21161)
- In a May 9th press release, Family Research Council expressed disappointment with President Obama's support for marriage equality. FRC president Tony Perkins accused the president of undermining "the spirit if not the letter of the law" by taking measures in favor of LGBT rights. Perkins insisted that "redefining marriage" is not a mainstream idea in the U.S., citing North Carolina's recent vote on Amendment One. (See www[dot]frc[dot]org/pressrelease/obama-ends-hypocrisy-on-homosexual-unions-frc-criticizes-his-support-for-redefining-marriage)
- In a May 9th statement at the National Organization for Marriage website, NOM president Brian Brown accused President Obama of being "disingenuous" on the issue of gay marriage. Brown insisted that the Obama administration has tried to "dismantle" U.S. marriage laws it its refusal to support DOMA. He called President Obama an "activist politician" who is indebted to marriage equality advocates for campaign funds, and stressed that marriage is not an institution that can be changed "according to presidential whim." (See www[dot]nomblog[dot]com/22746/)
- In a May 9th statement at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website, USCCB president Cardinal Timothy Dolan called President Obama's words "deeply saddening." Dolan wrote that Americans cannot remain silent "in the face of words or actions that would undermine the institution of marriage, the very cornerstone of our society." He accused the Obama administration of taking measures that ignore or undermine marriage. (See www[dot]usccb[dot]org/news/2012/cardinal-dolan-president-obama-remarks-on-marriage-deeply-saddening.cfm)
- In a May 10th blog post, Vision Forum president Doug Phillips was livid over President Obama's "legally protected justification for perversion." He claimed that the president's position on same-sex marriage was "publicly raising his first at the Heavens" and endangering the American people by supporting same-sex marriage. President Obama, he insisted, has turned marriage into "a convention of convenience for the children of Sodom" and thereby crossed a line. (See www[dot]visionforum[dot]com/news/blogs/doug/2012/05/10125/)
- In a May 10th statement at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website, Franklin Graham lambasted President Obama for having "shaken his first" at God, who allegedly defined marriage as heterosexual. Graham insisted that marriage should not be defined by political figures, polls, or the media. (See www[dot]billygraham[dot]org/articlepage.asp?articleid=8673)
Let the Religious Right complain all it wants. LGBT equality is gaining momentum as more and more Americans recognize LGBT persons as human beings. Despite setbacks such as the Amendment One vote in North Carolina, same-sex marriage has much more support than it did in the past. Kudos for President Obama and Vice President Biden for supporting marriage equality!