American president Barack Obama is being put under pressure to engage in discussion about the issue of gay marriage. Obama has been silent throughout the legalisations of gay marriage in several US states, including Iowa.
“We’ve elected probably the most pro-gay president in history; he’s very good on the issues but he is not good on gay marriage,” Steven Elmendorf, a gay Democratic lobbyist told the New York Times. “From the gay community’s perspective, he and a lot of other elected officials are wrong on this. My view is that over time, they’re going to realise they’re wrong and they’re going to change.”
Obama has said that he opposes same-sex marriage as a Christian but describes himself as a “fierce advocate of equality” for gay men and lesbians and support same-sex civil unions. He recently urged Congress to pass a hate crimes bill, a high priority for gay groups, and promised to repeal the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy as one of his key campaign promises.
However, in addition to his silence on gay marriage, the President has also been criticised for not moving quickly enough on his promise to end the ban on gays and lesbians serving in the military.
“Everybody knows the Democrats are for equality for the gays. The Republicans have spent a gazillion dollars telling everybody that for the past 18 years or so. So when a Democrat back tracks and falls all over himself to answer a ‘gay’ question, it shows fear. It shows dishonesty. And nobody’s buying it,” said Huffington Post blogger Lane Hudson.