Hold Your Applause

On Wednesday, President Obama publicly came out and announced his stance on same-sex marriages.  This is a few days after Vice President Biden announced his position on it as well, but with less fanfare. 

To no surprise to me, both have said that they are in support of same-sex marriages, which was something that the LGBT community have been seeking from both men since the 2008 presidential campaign.  In the past, the feeling was that the President has been lukewarm and not “all-in” to the issue. 

Today, everyone is using words like “courageous”, “heroic”, “brave”, and others, to describe the President. 

That is all well and good, but let’s hold our applause for President Obama and Vice President Biden.  They did what they are supposed to do:  take a position that will make some people happy and some people unhappy. 

I tell you where those applauses should be given to…

…the individuals, couples, and supporters of same-sex marriages and LGBT rights who have toiled and fought in the quest to change the perception and the laws that will make same-sex marriages acceptable in our society. 

They are the “courageous” “brave” heroes who deserves your applause.  Nothing against the Prez, but what he did Wednesday pales in comparison to what groups like One Iowa, same-sex couples, and supporters have done. 

What makes them courageous and brave is that they don’t quit.  Yes, they suffered a setback when the North Carolina General Assembly, not the people who live in the state, the legislature voted against same-sex marriages.  But unlike some supporters who are throwing up their hands and giving up because one group of lawmakers said “no”, these committed individuals are persistent.  They get up after being knocked down, dust themselves off, and go at it again. 

Those who are so quick to give up and be frustrated clearly do not understand that it is a long journey, not a race.  You can’t get all 50 states and society to change overnight.  It’s not that simple.  One loss doesn’t (or shouldn’t) define your legacy.  Neither does one win.  Ask the pioneers of the Civil Rights movement about having patience and faith when they could have easily given up.  Don’t give up. 

For every North Carolina, there’s Iowa, albeit it was the state Supreme Court that made the decision in re Varnum v. Brien

Getting the folks in this building to support same-sex marriages is tough, but so is getting ourselves to do the same thing as citizens.

As we spend most of our time  obsessing over elected officials and campaigns, the pro-same sex marriage groups doesn’t get enough credit or full support for what they do.  Ninety minutes after the President told the country that he was in favor or same-sex marriages, over $1 million dollars were donated to his campaign. 

Don’t you think that money could have been sent to the groups who are on the front-line of changing the attitudes and working towards ensuring legal rights for lesbians, gays, bi-sexual, and transgendered individuals? 

Kenneth Weishuhn should have received your support and encouragement for coming out.  Instead, people turned on him, used cyber-bullying, and faced hostility.  He didn’t have to commit suicide because of the blowback he received for being gay.  He should have lauded for being brave for announcing he was gay. 

President Obama’s decision to support same-sex marriages isn’t as brave or courageous as some want to make it out to be.  His support, however, greatly helps in the effort to change the attitudes towards this issue and the LGBT community in general. 

Those who are not in the public eye who are supporting same-sex marriages are not celebrated and lauded.  Those are the ones we should be lauding and supporting. 

They are the real heroes of this crusade.  Let’s not forget them. 

Death threats, rejection, push back, misconceptions, and other factors are what they face every day.  And yet, they continue on with the fight.  Nothing deters them.  They know the next day is a new day to make a difference. 

What is considered “courageous” and “brave”? 

When all of us, as citizens, are willing to learn how important the issue of same-sex marriage is to the LGBT community, and the openness to support it, not just in spirit, but also financially. 

Don’t you think it’s time that the individuals, couples, and groups who are working towards changing the societal and legal attitudes towards LGBT and same-sex marriages get more of our applause for being brave, heroic, and courageous for taking the risk of doing what is right? 

It’s long overdue, if you asked me.

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