I hope you'll take a moment to watch the conversation, consider it, and weigh in yourself on behalf of marriage equality:I watched. What struck me was how much he struggles to drag the statement out of himself and, specifically, how intently he stared down and to the left. There's some evidence that a person's eye direction indicates whether a person is accessing their memory or making something up. For a left-hander like Obama, looking down and to the left happens when the person is experiencing an internal dialogue — talking to himself.
Back to the email:
I've always believed that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally. I was reluctant to use the term marriage because of the very powerful traditions it evokes. And I thought civil union laws that conferred legal rights upon gay and lesbian couples were a solution."Affirm" is such a studied word choice. I think he's pretty directly saying I decided to stop lying.
But over the course of several years I've talked to friends and family about this. I've thought about members of my staff in long-term, committed, same-sex relationships who are raising kids together. Through our efforts to end the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, I've gotten to know some of the gay and lesbian troops who are serving our country with honor and distinction.
What I've come to realize is that for loving, same-sex couples, the denial of marriage equality means that, in their eyes and the eyes of their children, they are still considered less than full citizens.
Even at my own dinner table, when I look at Sasha and Malia, who have friends whose parents are same-sex couples, I know it wouldn't dawn on them that their friends' parents should be treated differently.
So I decided it was time to affirm my personal belief that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.
I respect the beliefs of others, and the right of religious institutions to act in accordance with their own doctrines. But I believe that in the eyes of the law, all Americans should be treated equally. And where states enact same-sex marriage, no federal act should invalidate them.
In the end, he's going to leave it to the states. Would he support a federal law to require states to recognize same-sex marriages from other states?
If you agree, you can stand up with me here.