Pioneer-in-Chief: How Obama opened the door for marriage equality

Well looking back on it, we are now safe to assume that May 9th, 2012 will be a historical mile-marker in the history of GLBT Civil Rights. Sure, President Obama is one man, but he’s also the President. His stance in support of same-sex marriage rights didn’t change any laws, but it has had a firestorm of consequences.

Public Opinion on same-sex marriage was already turning rapidly, but with President Obama’s completed “evolution”, it’s now swung the other way. For the first time in history, a majority of our country now supports same-sex marriage rights. The numbers get even crazier on a state basis. Take Maryland, where Gov. Martin O’Malley and the legislature just legalized gay marriage in March. The new law is facing the ususal opposition though, and a referendum is expected to make the November ballot. But after the President revealed his opinion, opposition among blacks is literally falling off of a cliff. Last month, the black community in Maryland opposed gay marrige by 55%. Now it has swung in the other direction with 57% of black Maryland residents in favor. Almost overnight.

Following fast on the heels of Obama’s announcement, the NAACP has now formally marriage equality, stressing that “Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law.” This doesn’t mean that all black churches agree with the religious institution of homosexual marriage, but they can all agree that all citizens are entitled to civil marriage, and to let churches do as they wish. Thus, opposition to gay marriage has eroded swiftly in the black community. Again it’s not law, but where organizations like the NAACP go, so goes public opinion, and ultimately a change in the law.

And so the tide turns… prominent celebrities like Will Smith and Jay-Z have joined the President’s stance. With each day, support for equality grows, and so grows the confidence within the gay community. Perhaps you see it too.

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