Friday, April 16, 2010

Good news, but now an opportunity to do something bigger and better

I do appreciate President Obama's mandate today to allow same sex couples rights of hospital visitation.

I would add, however, that gay couples still have to pay (at least $500 per couple) for the durable/medical power of attorney paperwork. This can be tough given that recessions hit gay folk as well. I also have to agree with lots of folks who have already aptly pointed out that waiting for all 1,136 federal rights of marriage to come to us one-by-one is a wait that lesbian and gay families cannot afford.

I guess what bothers me is a lack of Presidential statements of support that make it clear that "marriage" as a civil (federal and state) institution is the domain of all. I feel that the absence of this statement is allowing the ignorance of the public to persist with respect to marriage rights.

What if we asked President Obama to continue to seize this opportunity to state his support for legal marriage? What if he used this as an opportunity to say in a public address that this is not a religious issue, and that while 0 rights of marriage come from the church 1,400+ come from the state and federal government?

In my experience teaching the past 5 years, people do understand the need for fairness and equality under the law when presented with these facts. We are failing the public if we do not provide facts and unapologetic leadership on these issues.

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