Gaga and Obama Love the Gays

President Obama made big news yesterday, through Eric Holder, when the administration announced that they would no longer be defending the Defense of Marriage Act in federal court.  This, of course, is great news for those us us who hope for marriage equality in our country.  Earlier this month, Bill Maher caused a bit of a kerfluffle by suggesting, on his show, that Obama is not really against gay marriage, and that he is not really a Christian.  Instead, Maher said, he suspects that Obama is secular humanist, like his mother was.  Guest and outspoken liberal Christian Cornel West wasn’t buying it:

It seems that Maher was right, at least on the issue of same sex marriage.  I have long suspected that Obama’s hesitancy on issues of marriage equality was an issue of political pragmatism, at which he seems to be a master.  In fact, the timing of this shows Obama’s savvy: buried behind headlines of revolution in the Middle East, protest in Wisconsin, a massive earthquake in New Zealand, and the always simmering economic news, Obama drops the first shoe on same sex marriage.  A topic that would, in quieter times, make the front page is now below the fold, and will be subject to little analysis.  It won’t be on the cover of TIME next week.  It’s just another quiet step on the journey to equality.

Meanwhile, Lady Gaga made some headlines here in Minnesota, the headquarters of Target.  She had a meeting with that corporation and demanded that they treat GLBT persons with equity, or they wouldn’t get to have a special deal on her new album.  The Gaga said,

Lady Gaga at the National Equity March in 2009 (Wikicommons)

That discussion was one of the most intense conversations I’ve ever had in a business meeting.  Part of my deal with Target is that they have to start affiliating themselves with LGBT charity groups and begin to reform and make amends for the mistakes they’ve made in the past … our relationship is hinged upon their reform in the company to support the gay community and to redeem the mistakes they’ve made supporting those groups.

The mistakes to which she refers are the large campaign contributions that Target made to “pro-business” groups that supported the ill-fated gubernatorial run of Tom Emmer here in Minnesota.

Politicians and mega-pop stars are using their clout to quietly but firmly stand up for marriage equality.  Those of us in church leadership should, too, which is why I’ve challenged clergypersons to Stop Performing (Legal) Marriages.

  • Kyle

    Progress aside, it is discouraging to see Obama, who campaigned on all sorts of promises of doing things differently, resorting to all the familiar ways of Washington. His ideologies may differ (ever so slightly), but it turns out that when we elected him instead of “Hope and “Change”, we got “Mostly the Same”.

    Meet the new boss; same as the old boss.

  • Christopher Rose

    I always find it troubling when someone passes judgement on what they believe someone else’s faith is or is not. For me, calling a professing Christian a “Secular Humanist” is on the same page as calling him a “Muslim.” Not that either of those titles are a bad thing. But, they are equally unjust as they equally call someone a liar. As faith is an intimate issue, it isn’t ours to name for another.

  • Charles

    Both items are a good thing. Equality for all is an American mantra; it’s about time we practice what we preach. Speaking of preaching… Kudos to Tony for his challenge on marriage equality. The church is about 40 years behind on this one. And just to add to discussion, check this out: Rev Dr Janet Edwards, “The Bible Supports Same-Gender Marriage,”

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  • Matt Doyle

    I agree with Christopher. A lot of my political views align well with secular humanists, and many people (Christians and atheists alike) have been not just surprised but flabbergasted to hear me profess my Christianity. Every time I state my religious beliefs and someone says “…Really? *You?*” I grow a little more annoyed at such assumptions.

  • Larry

    Doesn’t this just give the POTUS another way of vetoing a bill? If the president doesn’t like the contents of a bill, can he have DOJ refuse to defend it when someone challenges it in court. I don’t necessarily disagree with the results that this tactic will likely bring about, I think it is a dangerous precedent. The President should defend all of the laws that Congress has lawfully passed. The next time a President tries this trick, it may be overturn a law that _you_ like.

  • Daniel

    @Larry – Very true, I could see the tone of this post being a bit different if it were a conservative President employing the same tactic on…say…Roe vs. Wade.

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