Today’s victory for the left on same-sex marriage would not be complete without a victory lap by President Obama. Time magazine has the text of his speech, which, in all fairness, had its conciliatory gestures toward those — who like Obama himself prior to his 2013 evolution — oppose these unions. “I know that Americans of good will continue to hold a wide range of views on this issue,” he said in his prepared remarks, delivered in the White House Rose Garden. “Opposition, in some cases, has been based on sincere and deeply held beliefs. All of us who welcome today’s news should be mindful of that fact and recognize different viewpoints, revere our deep commitment to religious freedom.”
But Obama giveth and Obama taketh away. In the very next paragraph he said:
But today should also give us hope that on the many issues with which we grapple, often painfully, real change is possible. Shift in hearts and minds is possible. And those who have come so far on their journey to equality have a responsibility to reach back and help others join them, because for all of our differences, we are one people, stronger together than we could ever be alone. That’s always been our story. [Emphasis added]
The highlighted phrase is worth re-reading. The clear implication is that those who hold a traditional view of marriage need to be brought forward — out of the darkness, if you will. It’s a preposterous statement. Try to imagine the liberal reaction to a conservative president speaking to the responsibility of those with deeply held religious beliefs “to reach back and help” confused gays see the light.
I might be willing to concede that the phrasing was merely inartful (not unlike the wording in the subsidy language in the Affordable Care Act!) if these were off-the-cuff, unrehearsed remarks. But the president appeared to be reading from a script prepared by his speechwriters.
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