Roger L. Simon

Gay Marriage as a Distraction

Unlike Barack Obama, I have been an unwavering public supporter of gay marriage since first writing on the subject on my blog almost ten years ago. I remain so today. It is a clear human rights issue to me.

That said, I think same-sex marriage is being shamelessly exploited by the president whose constant vacillations on the topic are the stuff of farce — first supporting it, then not, then “evolving” a policy, then being absolutely against it (only a year ago, according to a spokesperson) and finally, May 9, 2012, claiming to have sufficiently “evolved” to be for it.


Barack Obama has been for same-sex marriage (to the extent he is for anything other than himself) since he declared himself a supporter back in the nineties in Chicago. He just changed his mind publicly for electoral expediency. Now he is changing his mind back for the same reason, but it’s amped up. He wants to put Mitt Romney – who polls are showing to be a formidable presidential opponent – on the spot on an issue the governor would rather not talk about (and probably shouldn’t).

Obama and his people are seeking to change the subject of this election from the dreadful financial condition of our country to same-sex marriage or anything else that sticks.

Don’t fall for the bait.

In Romney’s words: “It’s the economy — and we’re not stupid.” (We better not be!)

Keeping the focus, however, won’t be easy. You can bet the media will be beating the drum constantly on this one, gay marriage being a far more emotionally potent issue than the trivial nonsense they’ve been flogging of late, dogs on car roofs, etc.

Moreover, our gay friends and relations are going to be angry about being asked to have their rights put on the back burner again. It may be of little use to remind them that they too are suffering from the unending economic meltdown whose greatest indicator is the similarly unending decline in the Labor Particiption Rate. More and more people of all sexual orientations have simply given up on finding a job.  Even the high 8.1% unemployment rate is a fake. The real numbers are staggering.

The day Obama finally declares for gay marriage, the news that we should all be paying attention to is the Fed has approved China’s first U.S. bank takeover. Will America ever be the same? What will happen to our freedoms?

On that note, our gay friends may not be consoled either by a reminder of Obama’s policy on Iran — a country where (forget marriage!) gays are hanged for their sexual orientation. In what was for me the most reprehensible presidential foreign policy moment of my lifetime, Barack Obama failed to give support to the democracy demonstrators in Iran, preferring to engage in negotiations with Ahmadinejad that might reflect glory on the president himself. Result? More prisoners (homosexual and heterosexual) rotted and continue to rot in Tehran’s Evin Prison and Iran remains a soon-to-be nuclear hotbed of Islamic fascism.

But there’s one more thing, as Steve Jobs would say, that just might console our gay friends and their allies and help them keep their eyes on the economic ball this election. At least it should: Gay marriage is already virtually a fait accompli.

Those of us who live in urban America see it all around us — tons of gay couples, sometimes in large communities, living together, working, having kids (adopted or in vitro or sometimes from broken heterosexual marriages), and doing almost everything straight couples do. And nobody seems to care. Almost nobody, anyway.

Yes, there are still some legalities that need to be adjusted, but that will come, especially since the polls show the younger generation overwhelmingly in favor of same-sex marriage. It is only we geezers who object. (Okay, I don’t.) And, as we know, the minorities. As of now, same-sex marriage is a white man’s game (Obama excepted, of course).

Nevertheless, whatever your opinion of gay marriage, I am writing this article to urge you not to engage. The issue is a sideshow intended to distract. If our country goes the way of Greece – and writing this from the City of Los Angeles, it’s not so hard to imagine – you can forget any issue, whatever your favorite one is.  You won’t be living in America anymore.