Thursday, May 10, 2012

President Barack Obama supports gay marriage

On 9 May 2012, a tweet by Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, drew my attention to a historic interview granted by President Barack Obama to ABC News. The tweet read: "If battleground states may be against gay marriage, then more power to Obama for standing in principle over politics." During the interview that will bring hope to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in states where homophobia and inequality are backed by law, Obama declared his support for gay marriage. Bold and principled move indeed by the "leader of the free world".

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search this Blog

Related Posts with Thumbnails