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My Response to President Obama

May 9, 2012

My Response to President Obama

In A Historic Announcement, And On The Heels of A Painful Defeat in North Carolina, President Obama Announced His Support for Same-Sex Marriage

Today marks the first time in history a President of the United States has stated his support for marriage equality. I am thrilled by this news, and I commend the President for taking what many pundits inevitably will say was an “unnecessary” risk in an election year. Such an assessment, however, sadly only underscores the second-class status many LGBT Americans experience daily, knowing that their rights and lives are nothing more than a political tool to be hauled out to rally the base, for or against.

It is time to stop the politics and address the basic question of fairness, for that is what this is about. We cannot say we are a nation that stands for equality, while in the same breath denying basic rights of happiness, financial parity, and state-recognized companionship to millions. Nor can we any longer trot out the tired notion that civil unions and marriages are the same. For if they were, we would not call them by different names. Separate can never be equal–a lesson we learned during the Civil Rights era that we have yet to apply to the struggle for LGBT rights today.

The President has done the right thing, and history will remember him for it. But for today, I am all smiles. On behalf of the LGBT community, and all those who support our cause, thank you, President Obama.

Today, I can proudly feel wholly American.

–George Takei