|Obama annouces his decision on ABC News|
However, many of my friends have chosen to take this decision cynically, saying it was needed to shore up the gay vote and that it will result in an influx of money into the campaign from gay rights backers. Let me address why I think both of these points are flawed.
Firstly, let us look at the gay rights record of the Obama administration. He has repealed don't ask don't tell, the controversial policy forbidding gay military members from serving openly. He has extended rights to the same sex partners of federal workers and instructed the federal housing authority to ignore the sexuality of applicants applying for federal housing loans. He has also lifted immigration and travel bans on those living with HIV and AIDS and signed into law hate crime legislation. Under his guidance the Office of the Secretary of State has been guided to carry out work abroad taking into account the rights of LGBT citizens internationally. This administration has been the most pro-gay rights administration in the history of the nation and in a country where abortion rights are regressing and the arc of civil liberties does not always swing toward the progressive agenda this is no mean feat.
|How will his vote effect his support amongst African Americans?|
But there are two further great arguments as to why this endorsement should no be taken cynically. Firstly, Obama's most loyal supporters are African Americans, with 95% of voters in this demographic voting for Mr Obama (daily mail). This group is also one of the most staunchly anti-gay constituencies in the nation. Why risk alienating some of your most die-hard supporters unless it was something you didn't believe in .
|Gay Marriage Backer Dick Cheney|
Cynicism in politics is always the easiest avenue to take especially for the propagation of our own ideologies. There will always be those who are unhappy with current government and these tensions ill always be heightened in a system as polarised as that of America. However, no matter if we don't agree with his policies if you are a gay rights activist you have no right to claim this move cynical unless you realise Barrack Obama's administration as the most pro-life of any to date. While some will say he is not outspoken enough on the issue we must not forget the role no matter who unwarranted pragmatism plays in politics and the fringe groups who's small chorus of voices all too often drown out the whispers of the majority.