After President Obama came out as a supporter of gay marriage last week, many began wondering how his public approval for marriage equality would affect his reelection efforts in the fall.
While many asserted that the President’s endorsement was a shrewd political move aimed at firing up the base and appealing to donors, others argued that the President’s stance would alienate voters and make his reelection effort that much more difficult in battleground states.
Despite the political calculations, however, most agree that President Obama’s approval of gay marriage is a historic moment considering he’s the first sitting president to do so.
Because of the President’s announcement, Newsweek dubbed Mr. Obama “The First Gay President.”
Andrew Sullivan writes:
Barack Obama had to come out of a different closet. He had to discover his black identity and then reconcile it with his white family, just as gays discover their homosexual identity and then have to reconcile it with their heterosexual family. The America he grew up in had no space for a boy like him: black yet enveloped by loving whiteness, estranged from a father he longed for (another common gay experience), hurtling between being a Barry and a Barack, needing an American racial identity as he grew older but chafing also against it and over-embracing it at times.
This is the gay experience: the discovery in adulthood of a community not like your own home and the struggle to belong in both places, without displacement, without alienation. It is easier today than ever. But it is never truly without emotional scar tissue. Obama learned to be black the way gays learn to be gay. And in Obama’s marriage to a professional, determined, charismatic black woman, he created a kind of family he never had before, without ever leaving his real family behind. He did the hard work of integration and managed to create a space in America for people who did not have the space to be themselves before. And then as president, he constitutionally represented us all.
Years ago, Toni Morrison called Bill Clinton “the first black president,” so I suppose it makes sense that President Obama—whose Administration has done more for the LGBT community than any other president–can be the first gay president. Or as Michael Eric Dyson said today on MSNBC, borrow one until you get your own.
What do you think of ‘Newsweek’ calling President Obama ‘The First Gay President’?