During a recent television interview, US President Barack Obama came out* with a bold statement regarding his views on same-sex marriage: "At a certain point I've just concluded that, for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married."
If you fell asleep during the 22 words he used before he got to the point, in a nutshell, it was "Whatever dude, they're in love, stop harshing their buzz". All of which is entirely awesome and momentous to anyone with a brain, obviously.
But then the "Talking Points" were leaked, and they weren't quite as straightforward**. In fact, reading between the lines, they worked pretty hard*** to downplay the awesome momentousness of the occasion.
In the interests of full transparency, I've translated some of the Talking Points so that we all understand what exactly is the position of the White House****.
TALKING POINTS (ie. hey, relax, we're just talking here, ok?)
· The President's personal view (ie. this isn't policy, it's just a guy talking) is that it's wrong to prevent couples (ie. no threesomes, just wholesome regular gays) who are in loving, committed relationships (ie. no drunken one night stands that go a bit too far and next thing you know you're in Vegas), and want to marry (ie. you don't have to if you don't want to, seriously what's the rush?), from doing so (ie. he's not saying they should, he's just saying we shouldn't stop them).
· It's no secret (ie. we've dropped loads of hints about this to soften you up) the President has gone through some soul-searching (ie. he's got soul because he's your first African-American president remember) on this issue. He's talked to his wife about it (ie. he's married to a woman and definitely not gay), like so many couples do (ie. he's just like you - not gay). He's heard from folks (ie. not advisors or pundits, just some "folks") -- gay friends (ie. some of his closest friends are gay) in long-term, loving relationships (ie. not the single gay people because obviously they're all out having crazy gay sex which is not what we're not talking about here, unlike most of the people vehemently opposed to gay marriage who secretly wish they could be having crazy gay sex); brave young servicemen and women he got to know (ie. some of his best friends are gay soldiers) through the fight to end Don't, Ask Don't Tell (ie. don't forget he shut that shit down); staff members (ie. some of his favourite staff members are gay); folks (ie. see above) who sent compelling letters about their lives (ie. he reads each and every one of your letters, because he cares). It's no doubt they've shaped his view on this issue (ie. this is not entirely up to him but he's listening because that's the kind of guy he is, he listens).
· In the end, the values (ie. this is about values, we're not introducing any legislation or anything so don't panic if gay people scare the bejeesus out of you OK?) that the President cares most deeply about (ie. he cares - deeply) is how we treat other people (ie. stop being mean to him, OK?). The President and First Lady are both practicing Christians (ie. not Muslim), and obviously (ie. except to those Christians who insist on passing judgement all the freaking time) this position may be considered to put them at odds with the views of others (ie. because there's that stupid thing in the Bible about "not lying down with another man" or whatever, but come on, isn't there a bit in the Bible that also says that people of colour should be property?), but when we think about our faith (ie. he thinks about his faith a lot and that's almost like praying), the thing at root (ie. Roots was a great miniseries, remember that?) that we think about is not only Christ sacrificing Himself on our behalf (ie. we think about Jesus a lot because, once again, not Muslim), but it's also the Golden Rule: Treat others the way you'd want to be treated (ie. we're going to ignore the stuff in the Bible that we disagree with, but we really dig this bit).
· We make it absolutely clear (ie. for the single-digit IQs out there and also Fox News) that we are talking about civil marriages and civil laws (ie. this has nothing to do with federal legislation, but people keep asking the President about it, which is distracting when he's trying to rebuild the economy and withdraw troops and win an election and whatnot). This isn't a federal issue (ie. again, not legislating, just talking). We must be respectful of religious liberty (ie. you are allowed to be a bigoted asshole as enshrined in the Constitution), that churches and other faith institutions (ie. um you know, those other things that we're not going to mention because if we do you'll just say the President is a Muslim again) are still going to be able to make determinations about what their sacraments are, what they recognize (ie. you stay out of our government business, we'll stay out of your religious business).
· We need to recognize that people are going to have differing (ie. wrong) views on marriage and those views (ie. still wrong), even if we disagree strongly (ie. because we're right), should be respected (ie. you have every right to be bigoted assholes).
The Talking Points then end on a lengthy and impressive list of the Obama Administration's record in support of the LGBT community (ie. remember to vote for Barack Obama, especially if you're gay - oh who are we kidding, of course you're going to vote for him).
I trust this clarifies the general thrust of the length and depth of the whole same-sex marriage issue for you all.***** It's definitely a hard one****** to figure out but worth close and careful analysis*******.
* intentional pun
** intentional pun
*** intentional sexual innuendo
**** intentional subliminal suggestion of sexual position
***** blatant sexual innuendo designed to keep you slightly aroused by this column even after you finish reading it.
****** That's what he said.
******* Sorry about that one. Don't know what came over me. (Sorry for that one too, seriously I can't help it.)