Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Clear Choice for 2012

I've been holding back on putting together my thoughts on why I'm for Barack Obama and against Mitt Romney for President. Yesterday, however, convinced me to begin to express my thoughts. With luck, they'll be succinct, perhaps even understandable.

President Obama, in yesterday's interview with Robin Roberts on "Good Morning America," said, "I've always been adamant that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally." Equality under the law is a concept written into the U.S. Constitution (14th Amendment, Section 1). For gays and lesbians, President Obama's position has "evolved". He now supports this concept more fully.

Gov. Romney, in contrast, said, “I don’t favor civil unions if it’s identical to marriage, and I don’t favor marriage between people of the same gender.” Asked why he opposed civil unions, in particular, he explained that in many cases they represent marriage by a different name for gay couples. “If a civil union is identical to marriage other than with the name, why, I don’t support that,” he said Wednesday."

Mr. Romney's statement left me wondering just what benefits granted hetero married couples Mr. Romney would deny LGBT couples, and why. What state interest is advanced by denying any benefits, now granted married couples, to gays? Name one.

Another question occurred to me: were Mitt Romney to be elected President, God forbid, how could he take the oath of office without perjuring himself? Remember the Presidential Oath of Office?
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. (emphasis mine)

Vice President Biden expressed what I believe to be the key framing issue in his Monday interview. "Who do you love," asked Mr. Biden, "Who.Do.You.Love?" he repeated, with emphasis. No government, State or National, can or should be in the position of encouraging or discouraging its citizens to love or not love another person of his or her choice. Amendment 1 of the Constitution, lead-off hitter for the Bill of Rights. 30 or 31 states, however, have placed themselves in the position of denying equal benefits to their LGBT citizens and encouraging all their citizens to hate gays and lesbians.

In the period Oct 1787 - Aug 1788, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay published a series of 85 papers in an effort to promote the ratification of the new U. S. Constitution. We know these papers today as The Federalist Papers. Federalist 10 discusses "the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority," a concept now referred to by the phrase "tyranny of the majority". de Toqueville popularized the phrase, using it as the title of one of the chapters of his book, Democracy in America, in 1835. Ayn Rand, with whom I agree only infrequently, stated in Collectivized Rights, that individual rights are not subject to a public vote, and that the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and that the smallest minority on earth is the individual--her extreme individualist views is where we part company).

Yet here we are, with 30 or 31 states whose majorities are conducting a campaign of oppression against LGBT persons. 29 states do not prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. You could be fired if your employer thinks you're gay.

President Obama's and Gov. Romney's positions are sufficient for me to support Barack Obama for President this year.

No comments: