The LGBT community and progressives are understandably celebrating yesterday’s interview with Barack Obama in which he announced his support for marriage equality. He did so with considerable political risk, because he knew that, in addition to galvanizing support among LGBT folks, he would also galvanize his opposition among the uber-conservatives.
With his announcement, everything change and nothing changed.
Everything changed, because for the first time, an American president has publicly stated his full support for true equal rights.
Nothing changed, because in practical terms, the needle hasn’t moved one bit between May 8th (the day before he made the announcement) to May 10th (the day after he made the announcement).
There are still monumental hurdles to be overcome before LGBT people enjoy the same rights and freedoms that the rest of Americans enjoy.
How and when that parity is to be achieved is still to be determined. If it’s via the legislature, there’s truly a steep uphill climb to convince many of our less-than-forward-thinking Senators and Representatives to move away from the dark side. If it’s via the courts, there are likely years of court battles and challenges ahead.
But we can take a moment to feel pride and relief that this president has chosen to be on the right side of history.