President Obama had blunt words for Republican candidates last weekend:”The good news is they probably won’t use marriage equality as a wedge issue like they did in 2004 because the country has come too far,” he said in a speech at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in New York. “In fact, America has left the leaders of the Republican Party behind.”
“In their world, everything was terrific back in 2008 when we were in the midst of a spiral into the worst financial crisis and economic crisis since the Great Depression,” he went on, “when unemployment and uninsured rates were rising and when our economy was shedding jobs each month, and we were mired in two wars, hopelessly addicted to foreign oil, and bin Laden was still at large.”
“Those were the Golden Years, apparently,” he said. “And then, I came in and messed it all up.”
He went on to cite specific comments made by members of the party regarding their views on LGBT rights and “religious freedom”: “One of [the GOP’s] leading candidates argued that going to prison turns you gay,” he said, referring to Dr. Ben Carson. As the crowd laughed, he added that he was “just stating the facts.”
“Another candidate boasts that he introduced an amendment to end nationwide marriage equality which isn’t even an accomplishment at all,” the president continued, this time referencing Senator Ted Cruz, to even more laughter from the audience.
“A third,” he went on, “says Americans should just disobey the Supreme Court’s ruling entirely. I’m sure he loves the Constitution except for Article III. And maybe the Equal Protection Amendment. And the 14th Amendment, generally.” This was in reference to not only Cruz but also former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. The men both defended Kim Davis, who notoriously denied marriage licenses to same-gender couples despite nationwide marriage equality and cited religious freedom as her reasoning.
The president also took the time to denounce their discriminatory beliefs, saying they are far behind the rest of the country.
The polling numbers verify the president’s assertion. According to aGallup pollconducted in May, 60 percent of Americans support gay marriage. Obama urged Americans to continue to “reject politicians who are supporting new forms of discrimination as a way to scare up votes.”
The president managed to end on a positive note, encouraging Americans to continue moving forward in the right direction showing that the president should be a voice for all American citizens, regardless of race, gender or any other characteristic.
“We speak up to condemn hatred against anybody gay or straight, black or white, Christian, Muslim, Jew, non-believer, immigrant because we remember what silence felt like when hatred was directed at us, and we’ve got to be champions on behalf of justice for everybody, not just our own,” he said.