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Calling Obama's Bluff on Marriage

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DOMA UNCONSTITUTIONAL
AP

I don't believe President Obama still has to "evolve" on the freedom to marry for gays and lesbians. The president is the most supportive president in history on LGBT issues. This week's historic announcement that the DOJ will no longer defend Section 3 of DOMA is more proof.

I don't buy it, because we have the president on record when he was in the Illinois legislature "unequivocally" supporting marriage.

I don't believe a man with a Harvard education in constitutional law "struggles" with same sex couples marrying. The concept is not a difficult one to grasp for people with even the slightest amount of intellectual curiosity.

I saw him hug members of our community when he signed the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." He was not afraid to embrace gay men in celebration. He is not a homophobic person. As his administration continues to move forward, he continues to prove that he can keep his promises to the LGBT community. Yes, there is more to do like pass a jobs and housing anti-discrimination bill, but I believe he will keep his promise on that when he sees the opportunity to win.

I don't believe his bluff on marriage. I think he always supported the freedom to marry, but he just has not admitted it nationally. Why?

Obama's acting a part for the American public. The elusive movable middle every pro equality campaign director constantly woos is Obama's character.

By speaking publicly about his personal "struggle" with the freedom to marry, others can see themselves in him. "Yes, I'm struggling with that too. I don't quite get it yet," the movable middle can say to themselves.

Then, when the timing is perfect, Obama will reveal his great awakening. Maybe it will be presented with a same gender wedding at the White House, or following a historic win in the courts striking down DOMA for good. Maybe he will make the announcement when he signs legislation repealing the entirety of DOMA. Whenever it happens, it will be one of the greatest acts of theater during his presidency. Through his character of the "struggling American" he will be a living example of how people can change and become supporters of the freedom to marry. "My struggle is over. It is clear to me that love between two men or two women is exactly the same as the love I have for Michelle," he could say.

"If President Obama can change, maybe I can too," people will think.

This strategy of leadership is far more subtle than many of us would like to see, but if it works, then maybe our community should renew our love for theater -- especially when our president is playing the lead role.