Commentary: Obama’s position on same-sex marriage is bold

Columnist Derrell Connor weighs in on Obama's decision
Commentary: Obama’s position on same-sex marriage is bold

By Derrell Connor
Special To Channel 3000

President Obama’s announcement last month that he supports same-sex marriage caused many of us to speculate the impact it would have on the November election. For those who have been longing for President Obama to make some sort of statement of support, especially on the heels of ending Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, this was music to their ears. As for the opposition, that’s another story—they’ve used the bible and their religion to argue against gay marriage.

Just last week, a video of a 4-year-old Indiana boy singing a song about how “homos” won’t make it to heaven in front of a cheering church congregation went viral. While I have much respect for people’s religious beliefs, using children as tools to promote the bigotry of adults is wrong. And when I hear people say they don’t agree with same sex marriage because it ruins the sanctity of marriage itself, I have to disagree.

Perhaps people have forgotten that we live in America, where in 2012, more than half of all marriages end in divorce. There is a very popular television show that pits eligible bachelors and bachelorettes together with the objective of getting engaged. We have celebrities that marry for six months, three months, even a weekend—and then do it again four, five and six times. And while there are still many of us who take marriage seriously, others treat it as a joke, with little respect for the “sanctity.” So why do we look the other way when it comes to this stuff? Why aren’t we asking for limits on the number of marriages a person can have?

Some people marry for convenience. Some couples have open marriages. Some religions allow men to have more than one wife. Why are those things acceptable while allowing people of the same sex marry isn’t? How does this affect marriage between heterosexuals in any way? I can honestly say that neither my sexuality nor my marriage have ever been threatened by the possibility of two people of the same sex getting hitched. So what are we afraid of? Is the mere idea of any type of marriage other than between a man and a woman too much for some people to handle?

I have been especially disappointed with those who quote Bible passages such as 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 to justify their prejudice against gays, while conveniently ignoring the rest of the scripture, which also denounces fornication, adultery, drunkenness, idolaters and thieves. I find that hypocritical, as well as disappointing.

As a person, and in particular as an African American, I don’t believe in discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion, disability and in this case, sexual orientation. I feel that it would be wrong and hypocritical of me to deny others the same freedoms and rights that I have just because I happen to be heterosexual. Even though I believe in and value the Bible, the fact is that I’m not God, and neither is anyone else. I’ll leave the judging to Him.

As for President Obama, his stance on same sex marriage may very well hurt him in November. Whether you feel his view is political or not, it is bold, and I admire any politician that has the guts to take on issues that many won’t touch.