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Michael Moore

Michael Moore is an Academy-Award winning filmmaker and best-selling author

May 9th, 2012 8:28 PM

About President Obama's Statement in Support of Gay Marriage

I am deeply moved by the announcement made a short while ago that President Obama has gone back to his original position in 1996 and come out publicly in support of same-sex marriage. It may seem like a risky move, but the majority of Americans already support the equal rights of gays and lesbians to marry. Public opinion has completely flipped since 2004. It's been a faster change than anyone could have predicted. But the older generation with their anti-gay views are replaced with a younger generation who are not as rigid, hate-filled, frightened, and bigoted as many of their elders. Hate to have to put it that way, but that's the truth. It's why we were able to have an African American president, and it's why I believe, in spite of all other proof to the contrary, things WILL get better in this country.

One other point: One reason the majority's opinion on this issue has changed is due, in large part, to the many of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters who have taken the risk and come out of the closet. By doing so to their friends, family, neighbors, classmates and co-workers, they have forced people to deal with them as human beings. It is much harder to hate when that gay person is your son, that lesbian is your aunt, that homosexual is the person who covers for you on the job when you've got a sick kid, and that gay couple next door have the best-kept yard on the block (I'm not saying they're better at gardening, I'm just saying, they're neighbors, like anyone else). So, the more people said they were gay, the faster that fear and hate peeled away.

To all of our gay and lesbian citizens who have had to suffer for far too long in this "land of the free," thank you (and President Obama) for making us a true home of the brave.

Addendum #1: Yes, Obama did the wrong thing not speaking out before the North Carolina vote to ban gay marriage yesterday. I don't know the guy, but let me suggest this: perhaps he was as disgusted by that vote as the rest of us were today and just couldn't remain silent any longer. For those of you who are commenting and saying that this was just a calculated political move on his part – well, what politician, the day after the public votes one way, comes out the OTHER way. This is a swing state. A slick pol, on this day after, would have either remained silent or said something to show he is "with the people." He didn't do that. He took the position opposite to the one the majority of people in North Carolina took. Look, I have a lot of criticisms of Obama. I have been profoundly disappointed by him. But when he does the right thing, he needs to hear from the majority that we support what he did. You can't stay stuck in your cynicism every single day.

Addendum #2: I agree there are many older people who aren't bigots and who are more open-minded than their peers. But the polls are very clear on the age issue: According to ABC News tonight, 61% of those under 40 are in favor of legalizing gay marriage. But for those over 65, the majority are opposed and believe it should be illegal, with only 40% in favor of same-sex marriage. That is a HUGE generational gap – and a testimony to the older boomers who raised these "kids" to grow up to be loving, accepting human beings.

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