Barack Obama told ABC's Robin Roberts, against all odds, that he supports a concept that many kick against.
According to The Huffington Post, Barack Obama is the first sitting president to publicly declare support for same-sex marriage, and this "act of political bravery" could have drawbacks.
LGBT issues are contentious and many advocates of LGBT rights pay a price either by being perceived "gay" or "lesbian", arrested or fined for spreading "gay propaganda". For President Obama, backing gay marriage could cost him votes in so-called swing or battleground states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and North Carolina in the upcoming 2012 presidential election. The president chose human rights over politics by expressing support for a "politically poisonous" issue. This is commendable.
Cherished principles of equality and freedom demand us to respect people's choices and orientations - whether we agree with them or not - and to treat everyone without discrimination of any kind. Obama's support for gay marriage is in line with basic human rights principles, including principles of equality and freedom of expression. The move that has attracted mixed reactions was welcomed by Amnesty International.
All persons deserve the same rights and protection without discrimination. It is important to understand that limitations on the rights and freedoms of others pose a threat to our own rights and freedoms. A state that has the power to infringe the civil rights of a group of people has the power to infringe the civil rights of all its citizens. Limitations on civil rights and liberties should not be celebrated even if they do not affect us directly.