I am glad that the President has "come out," so to speak, on the side of equality. I have always believed that no matter how we are, no matter who we are, all human beings are created equally. This includes gays, blacks, whites, Hispanics, transgendered people, lesbians, Jews, Christians, atheists, etc.
As a small child, I learned to loathe hatred of others based on small-minded, backwards stereotypes. I married a black man in 1990 when I was 22 years old and had three children with him, in a time in this nation when miscegeny was still looked down upon, and I have proudly raised my mixed-race children to be proud, non-"raced" adults.
The reactions I received as a young "white" mother of coloured children, used to be pretty upsetting and unsettling. Today, however, it barely fazes me when I'm out with my kids and their friends or, simply, strangers, gawk when they hear my kids call me "mom."
Based upon my experiences as a "race mixer" (which I have been called, often, living as I do in the Deep South), I feel that marriage is simply a social construct, a contract between two human beings that promises a lifetime commitment. It is a contract that should always be honored by state, local and federal authorities - as it is a LEGAL contract and NOT a religious one.
Today's religious right says that we as a nation should adopt the Christian view of marriage - but they fail to remember that many times in Biblical history, "Christian marriage" was a social contract between one man and many women, the women having been offered to the man as a promise that he would then honor peace treaties or other agreements and alliances made with their family members. They forget that some of their best prophets engaged in things like incest (Lot), polygamy and fornication (as when Jacob slept with his wife's maid Hagar, to produce a son when his wife was slow to produce an heir), and domestic partnerships (Adam and Eve were never "married" by a judge or a pastor).
Christians believe that their concept of "marriage" today of one man + one woman = one marriage - is the only possible construct that should be honored by our (separation of church & state/nonreligious) legal system. They err in their judgment of what "marriage" really is, and their historical memory of what "marriage" has been used for in the past (treaties, repression, even as a means of furthering religious growth, as with the polygamy of the Mormons in the 1800's) - is sadly lacking.
When people confuse religious concepts with legal concepts, it is the job of our government to take the middle ground, to blaze the new path, to right the wrongs that are perpetrated in the name of the latest religious "crusade" or fad. We cannot allow religionists take over this country and use their religious views as a way to repress others and bully a nation into following the views of the few sectarians. That is not what this country is about, and it is not what our founding fathers intended when they wrote our Constitution.
I am happy that Mr. Obama has the vision to see through the emotional, religious hysterics, to the real issues at hand, and that he has the courage to openly speak about his position in the matter, even in the face of the maelstrom of vitriol that he knew his statements would unleash. Thank you, Mr. Obama, for staying true to your upbringing and for seeing the truth in this argument rather than being bullied into staying quiet or, worse, caving in to the tooth-gnashing vehemence of religionists who would strip this nation of its neutrality in things religious, if it were not for leaders of courage, vision and wisdom.