After the election, I was so happy about Obama that I cried (just like half the country, it seems). But then the California results came in, and Proposition 8 has passed... meaning that a little more than half of my beloved state had decided to enact legalized bigotry, making gays 2nd class citizens.
A few nights later, I had dinner with a married ("Or maybe now the citizens of California have decided we're divorced?") gay couple. They had lived in Chicago for quite a few years, and one of them had met (and brunched with) Obama on occasion. They both said that our new President was a big fan of the gays, and always stuck up for gay rights while in office in Illinois.
"I noticed that he gave a shout out to the gays in his victory speech," I commented.
"Oh yea," said Charlie. "We understand that he had to get elected. But once he is in office, I fully believe that he will do what he can to forward the gay agenda, because he sees it as a rights issue as well."
So, when I browsed Obama's Change.gov website, I came across this:
"While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do. Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It's about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect." -- Barack Obama, June 1, 2007
The site goes on to note that he will oppose a constitutional ban against gay marriage (take that California, Arizona & Florida!), expand adoption rights to include gay couples (take that Arkansas!), and repeal "Don't Ask Don't Tell," among other things. It's all right here in his civil rights agenda.
I will keep my fingers crossed that in my lifetime, all of my fabulous gay friends will be able to get married, if they want to. No one should be denied that choice.