As an American who was employed at the UN for 20 years, I would add to the president's long list of accomplishments his advocacy for LGBT persons residing beyond our nation's borders. Since Obama took office the U.S. has become a key player in the global fight for LGBT rights.
A terrified gay teenager in middle America has just been told by the president that he or she has just as much a right to love and marry. And that teenager doesn't care about your intellectual meanderings of politicking. All that teenager knows is that it just got better.
Even if you accept Toni Morrison's premise that Bill Clinton was "the first black president," which of course Andrew Sullivan is working off of in his essay in Newsweek, it just falls flat when applied to Obama and gays.
Today President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation freeing 3 million slaves. Critics of the President were quick to condemn his action. The town crier shouted that that this was further evidence of the President's war on families.
I didn't have an extra $40,000 to go to George Clooney's party to support Barack Obama for president. I wish I could have gone. I worked with George 20 years ago. You only see the back of my head nodding. To me, that was a metaphor for how it was to be an openly gay actor back then.
I don't comprehend the jubilance that most felt when Obama threw us a bone yesterday. It's a soft bone that doesn't translate into any real policy, and I can't help but think that Obama is using a pro-gay-marriage stance as a smokescreen.
The president and his advisers must have calculated that the benefits of appearing resolute and firm outweighed the costs of alienating conservative democrats in swing states. In a sense, Obama pulled a card from George W. Bush's playbook, saying to voters, I am the Decider.
President Obama knows that a growing number of Americans and people of faith understand this as a simple matter of fairness for all families. Obama has chosen to stand in the gap, even as conservatives manipulate religion to undermine the core value of equal standing before the law.
Marriage, love, honor and commitment: Why are these words used only to describe heterosexual couples? How ridiculous is this? These are basic human rights and to deny one group the ability to have equal treatment and rights under the law is insane.
Angry voices on the so-called "Christian right" are already screaming about President Obama's "war on religion," but today's announcement regarding same-sex marriage was actually an inspiring religious pronouncement.
What does all this boil down to legally in the short term? Not much. Little will change immediately at the federal level because of the president's statement today, but it's doubtless psychologically meaningful for many people.
Leaders lead. Today our president showed us what leadership looks like by affirming that the equal protection guaranteed by the Constitution should actually protect all Americans -- including those Americans married to spouses of the same sex.