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Peter D. Rosenstein

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Michelle Obama, Please Come Out and Join the Fight

Posted: 06/06/2012 5:04 pm

For anyone who has followed the machinations over marriage-equality in California, or has seen the Dustin Lance Black play 8, you know the nastiness that will be coming in the fight to protect marriage-equality in states like Maryland. It appears that there will be ballot initiatives on the issue in four states this fall. In Maryland we have indications that there can be a different outcome. With hard work and the right support there is a real chance that it will be the first state in which the people vote for marriage equality and to grant gays and lesbians their civil rights.

On May 9th, a day we circle on our calendars in pink, President Obama fully 'evolved' and told the nation that he now supports the right of gays and lesbians to marry under civil law. It was an historic moment when for the first time a sitting president supported marriage equality. From the moment the president made his announcement many others, who either got courage or cover from his statement, have come out in support as well. It took only 13 days for NAACP President and CEO Ben Jealous to announce that they had passed a resolution supporting marriage equality and called it a civil right. This finally lay to rest the shibboleth that unfortunately gained traction in the California Proposition 8 fight that overwhelming numbers of African Americans are unalterably opposed to marriage-equality.

Those who have seen the polls know the truth is much more complicated and opposition is often based on how religious a person is, what their education is, and how old they are rather than their cultural or ethnic background. Since the president's announcement of support, that of the NAACP polling numbers in Maryland have been changing dramatically. For many of those who in their hearts have always felt they could support marriage equality, they can now say it out loud. The poll numbers of those in favor have jumped nearly 20 percent in about a month.

What we need now is someone to rally around and to help raise the money needed to counter the lies and irresponsible messages that those like Maggie Gallagher and the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) will spew out on the airwaves of Maryland. They will be using the same lies they used in California and other places to talk about how gays and lesbians being allowed to marry will hurt children and heterosexual couples. They have no proof of this as the trial over Proposition 8 has shown, but that fact has never stopped them from spewing hatred.

Today we plead to you, Michelle Obama, to come out and join the fight. Join with the people of Maryland and those across the nation, gay and straight, who will support the effort to protect marriage equality. Your husband, our president, took the first bold step and now you can begin to close the door on bigotry and homophobia and do it first in Maryland. You are admired for your hard work and the great job you are doing raising your children. You are a much admired wife and career woman and have charmed the American people. Your good work is influencing our children and others to live healthier lives. Well there can be nothing better than to teach our children and rally people around the idea that each and every one of us deserves our full civil and human rights.

I can think of no other person in the nation that would have the impact you will have if you stand with those in Maryland who want nothing more than to give everyone the right to enter into a loving relationship which will be recognized as marriage under civil law.

Michelle Obama, we need you to come out and join the fight. And yes it will be a fight because one has to work even harder when confronting people who have no compunction about lying and have unlimited resources to spread those lies. We are seeing that in the presidential race as well. We in the LGBT community, and our allies in Maryland and across the nation, will stand with you to make sure that your husband, our president, has another term in the White House. We will fight against the lies that are being told about him and his efforts to bring America out of the worst recession we have seen since the great depression.

We ask you to join in our fight. Together we can move mountains. If we hold hands and stand strong we will succeed in both efforts. We can protect marriage equality in Maryland and stand together on Monday, January 21, 2013 when Barack Obama is sworn in for his second term.

Achieving both these goals will go a long way to making America a better nation.

 
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