I’ve been on the fence for some time now between Hillary and Barack. In the beginning I preferred other Democratic candidates, mainly Joseph Biden and secondarily Dennis Kucinich (the only Democratic candidate who vocally supported gay marriage as equal in name and benefit to straight marriage), but I was also well aware from the start that they were doomed to be eliminated from the game. Americans have a long history of rejecting truth and honesty in favor of whatever the preferred mantra of the day is, and it’s never the truth. This race is just like any number of blind debates well written in our checkered past. I could have even voted for Ron Paul (the only Republican in my lifetime that made any sense whatsoever) but that’s not meant to be either, not by American standards of fantasy.
Today, though, I checked out both Hillary’s and Barack’s websites and I noticed something I hadn’t noticed before. Faith and religion. While I couldn’t find any direct links on Hillary’s site, particularly under her "Issues" menu, when I visited Barack’s and opened the "Issues" menu, there it was, staring me in the face, "FAITH".
Hillary has mentioned her faith on the campaign trail, even stating that she carries a bible with her, but Barack’s inference of the Almighty has been much more in our faces. He’s already had to work through the scandal of having a preacher participate in his campaign who has been known to be "anti-gay" and to even participate in gay healings. At the time, I paid attention to it, but I also allowed Obama the mistake. The media being the childish deception it is, and Barack not mentioning it to any threatening degree, I let it go. I think now, that I was a little too quick in that pardon.
When you look at the faith link through Barack’s website you’ll find a lot. There are a lot of quotes, a lot of beliefs, videos of speeches, etc. While you may say, "so what?", you may also want to remember who is leading the fight against the legalization of same sex marriage, and that demon is religion (as well as those who haven’t seen the inside of a church short of a wedding or major holiday but still support this insane trampling of the United States Constitution heralded by American Christians).
As much as I’ve debated American Christians on the topic of the separation of church and state in this country, and it’s been more than thirty years now, I still have no understanding of their opposition to equal civil rights for all American citizens. Gay people aren’t picketing Christian organizations or our government officials to push forward the closing of religious organizations or the stifling of the freedom of religion in this country. We’re simply protesting religion using their power to legislate against our constitutional rights. The last time I checked America was a country of individual freedom and equality, with an acceptance of personal religious belief. America is not, nor has it ever been (according to the principals of our founding documents) a country that writes laws restricting the freedom of some of it’s citizens at the whim of a group of citizens who believe in a particular mythology.
Don’t get me wrong. I like Obama and I like Hillary. I love listening to Obama speak, he truly is an inspiring vocalist. On the other hand, that scares me a little. In 2008, for me, it’s a little harder to get all teary eyed about inspiring words and enlightening speeches. While I understand how important and on the point they are, I also understand that I’ve heard them before, and what I really care about at this point is the actual changes that any candidate can and will implement.
But Barack’s obvious and flagrant pandering to American Christians, in which he insinuates over and over that the critical values for America are those based in Christianity, scares the hell out of me, as it should any gay American. American Christians are the ones who are working every day to deny our equal civil rights. They are, on this issue, our opponent. We have to get to the point in America when we realize that religion and faith are personal matters, and should not be entwined with government. To do that takes American Christians admitting that while they have every right to believe and practice their faith within that community, these things should never have the influence in government which allows them to restrict the rights of others or the landscape of the country.
Neither Hillary or Barack support the equality of same sex marriage. Instead, they endorse separate but equal civil unions. There’s only one thing that angers me more than the complete denial of LGBT American equal and civil rights, and that’s this separate but equal nonsense. Let’s face it, at this point, it’s all or nothing. No gay American should ever accept "separate but equal". It makes no sense and it counters the battle.
Since I have no candidate endorsing complete marriage equality for gay Americans, I’m forced to look at it in a different way. The similarity of Hillary and Barack’s positions on this has left me wavering, but the flaunting on Barack’s site of religious pandering has finally taken me to a different place. I don’t know if it’s right, because none of us knows what a candidate will do after they get in office.
I’m thrilled with the idea of either the first woman President or the first black President. Regardless of how this turns out, assuming either Hillary or Barack wins, I’ll be grinning from ear to ear and wiping tears from my face the day that either the first woman President or the first black President takes the oath of office. Either of those days will be a monumental leap forward for all American citizens.
I only hope gay Americans get to come along for the ride.