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Taking Heart and Umbrage at Obama's Stance on Same-Sex Marriage

Southland residents reacted Thursday—some positively, some negatively—to President Obama's public support for gay marriage. What do you think?

President Barack Obama's public backing of gay marriage met a mixed reaction Thursday in the south suburbs.

Obama said during a recent ABC news interview that he personally supports same-sex marriage, noting that he "already made a decision that we were going to take this position before the election and before the convention." In doing so, he became the first sitting president to publicly support the union. 

"I've just concluded that, for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married," Obama told ABC's Good Morning America.

said the proclamation was like a "breath of fresh air for the gay community."

"It's obviously very exciting," said the 29-year-old. She entered into a civil union with her longtime girlfriend, Marina Bassett, almost one year ago when Illinois became the sixth state in the United States to issue licenses joining any two non-married adults. 

"It's not just the president's reaction that's encouraging, it's many other reactions that have followed it," she said. "It's nice to see people who are so supportive." 

Krassitchkova does note, however, that decisions relating to same-sex marriage should not be made at the state level as Obama suggests during the interview. Area political figures, including 1st Congressional District Rep. Bobby Rush, have voiced similar opinions on the issue. Rush didn't immediately return voice mail messages left Thursday but leading up to March's primary election.

"Marriage is a matter for the individual states, and is not something in which the federal government should be allowed to legislate," he answered. "States should properly be left to decide how to define and regulate marital definitions, rights, obligations and benefits. I do, however, believe that same sex couples should be entitled to the same legal protections and benefits as other individuals in this country."

If that's the case, Krassitchkova doesn't understand why the decision would ever be left to the states.

"These are federal rights, not state rights," she said.

, the Blue Island mayor who's vying in the upcoming election for Rush's spot in the 1st District,. 

When asked before the primary for his take on social issues, including same sex marriage, he said he does "not believe that we need to create new laws to regulate society." He also did not return a message left Thursday. 

Krassitchkova said she hopes U.S. officials will embrace changes in laws benefitting the gay community in the future. Some, like Obama, are getting closer.

He has admitted in past years that his feelings on gay marriage are "constantly evolving." As a candidate for state Senate in Illinois representing the South Side, he went back and forth on the issue, at one point offering his full support and other times declining to back it. He declared his pro-civil union stance as a candidate for president in 2008 but didn't take the issue further at that time.

His evolution has confused those like conservative blogger Jill Stanek, of Mokena, who's known for her support for pro-life legislation. She likened the president's most recent announcement to "opening a can of worms."

"Well, of course, I think he's wrong," she said Thursday morning. "I think that he's opening a floodgate. Not only is homosexual marriage wrong but also if you take away the qualification that marriage is between a man and a woman, you open the gateway for any kind of coupling."

Fran Eaton, who writes for the conservative blog Illinois Review, echoed those sentiments. She questioned whether brothers would soon be able to marry their sisters or if more than two people would be able to join together in matrimony.

Allowing same-sex marriage would skew the definition of the union as it's stood "since the beginning of history," the Oak Forest resident said.

"What your neighbor does behind closed doors doesn't matter," Eaton said. "But once it affects public policy? … That does begin to affect us outside of the doors of our homes and that's just a huge issue."

Rev. Peggy McClanahan, senior pastor of Pilgrim Faith United Church of Christ in Oak Lawn, said she was pleased with Obama’s public backing of marriage equality for same-sex couples.

“I think President Obama was right on target when he framed it ‘do unto others and you would want them to do unto you,’” the pastor said. “That’s the core of it for our church, treating everyone with love and helping them to be more loving in their own lives. Everyone ought to be able to commit to the one that they love.”

Last September, the congregation of Pilgrim Faith decided together that members would support religious ceremonies for couples entering civil unions.

As of yet, McClanahan said she hasn’t had any requests from same-sex couples looking to seal their civil union with a religious ceremony, “but I would certainly love to do one.”

Patch editor Lorraine Swanson contributed to this report.

 

What do you think about Obama's public support of gay marriage? Tell us in the comments. And return to Patch Saturday to vote in our poll.

Sara Waters May 12, 2012 at 02:15 AM
John Morlan - Marriage is NOT religious. Not everyone gets married in a church under their "God's" eye. By that account are you claiming Atheists are not legally married? It's a legal contract. You have a marriage license that is issued by the state not a church. Religion has NOTHING to do with marriage unless the couple involved wants it there.
Dave W. May 12, 2012 at 02:19 AM
Juvenal, to 'refine' the argument...there is this...Bigamy/polygamy is actually already illegal in most states, as is beastiality. (Oddly, marrying a first cousin is NOT in some states...) While marriage has been around since before recognized, organized religion, and pair-bonding since humans walked upright, it is not a religious nor a civil invention. It was just two people who wanted to commit to each other...it really was originally just that, a committment ceremony. Sometimes it wasn't even 'witnessed' by anyone else, just the two people, sometimes not even anywhere special. Sometimes, even now, there is just a 'common law' marriage, with no special ceremony at all. So, technically, in the historical sense, there is no 'right' way or 'special rules' to dictate marriages. Those are all inventions of human society. They were long recognized as a natural right by any consenting adults (with the definition of THAT term changing over the years as well). We in the U.S. based most laws on English common law. Those laws are an amalgamation of Catholic and Protestant beliefs, Viking tradtions, older French laws, Celtic tradtions, etc. (The word “husband” is from the Old Norse husbondi.) Multiple partnerships were tried every so often, possibly most notably the Oneida community of New York. They never really work out though, when there isn't a sort of cult aspect to them. (Thus the suspicion of Mormons, even by other Christians, especially from the South.)
Sara Waters May 12, 2012 at 02:19 AM
My lesbian friend put it best today "I think it's super special that many people think it is perfectly acceptable to vote on if I should be treated like a human being." BTW, she and her wife and very happy together.
Sara Waters May 12, 2012 at 02:26 AM
Gay Marriage....it's just like your marriage, only gayer.
Heather May 12, 2012 at 03:01 AM
I was in a heated argument just this morning with one of my co-workers about this. I kept asking him why gays/lesbians shouldn't marry. His answer every time was "they just shouldn't". People can bring religion into it, people can bring politics into it, but when it comes down to it, everything is opinionated. I get people to hate me simply because I support the LGBT community. Personally, I am straight, so the reason for supporting the community is based simply on what I believe. I asked a co-worker why people get married. His response? "to have children". If that was the reason people get married you'd see a LOT less marriages. I know plenty of people who never had children but wanted to get married. Why? They love each other. Whether you are straight, gay, bi, whatever, you should have the same rights. Just a century ago women had barely any rights in this country simply because we are women. So it's ok to degrade and call someone names just because they are gay? This country has equality for sexes, race, etc. so why not sexual orientation? Be proud of who you are, not ashamed. As for other issues in this country, they are all important. However, this movement for equality amongst the LGBT community is getting closer to a solution, and I hope for all of those that are gay, lesbian, bi and transexual that they get treated with the same fairness of everyone else in this country as they should. "They just shouldn't have equality" isn't a good enough reason.
Heather May 12, 2012 at 03:02 AM
I love this comment, very well said Dave. The problem with this issue is those opposing it really don't have great support behind their reasoning.
Heather May 12, 2012 at 03:05 AM
Side note, I saw a saying once that went like this: "Don't blame the gays, blame the straight people that created them" I'm not gay but I do have gay friends and are so supportive of this whole movement.
David H May 12, 2012 at 04:16 AM
The one right thing Obama accomplished by putting out his "evolved" thoughts is that the last 156 comments were not about how successfull the ecomony is, how much less spending the government is doing, and how much we are already saving on health care costs. I think it is called wagging the dog or something like that.
Dave W. May 12, 2012 at 04:45 AM
Well, the economy is getting better, but far too slowly for any of our liking. The president SHOULD have made that a priority ahead of healthcare, though I suspect he could not have imagined the DEMOCRATS would be the people not passing his bills faster...Congress just sucks. The government spends too much, but it spends too much across the board, including on defense, thought that should be a little better with one war ending and the other winding down a little bit. Health care...now that one is tricky, because the saviings part, the part that the health insurance industry demonizes because they won't make gobs and gobs of money anymore (just regular gobs), THAT part IS still coming, you're right. It is also the same part that conservatives bemoan as 'scaring business because they don't know what will happen, and businesses NEED certainty'. Actually, they do know what will haappen, and they have certainty; because it is a law. Any uncertainty comes from the partisan U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the health insurance industry TELLING everybody they can that the law will never take effect. Having said that, I TOTALLY think the president waited on this issue until now to get votes and raise money. I think he felt this way for a long time, but sandbagged until now, coming up to the election. Having said THAT, I think EVERY president (and candidate for office) does the exact same thing, all the time, every election. ANYBODY acting like this is the first time is silly.
pro streeter May 12, 2012 at 05:20 AM
5 trillion in debt in only 39 months in office, unemployment at record high, gas prices more than doubled in 39 months in office, what part of the economy is getting better? If you believe what you hear on the "news"... But, what is getting better? No jobs paying over $11 per hour and most going overseas. Small businesses are folding almost everywhere. I've done some traveling and gone through entire towns that went bankrupt and are empty. I've seen more boarded up and empty business locations than I can ever remember. I've run out of unemployment myself and haven't had one job interview in over a year. 800 people showed up to an open interview for six open positions that I was sent to. Blame the Dems, Blame the Repubs. They are all at fault, THE SYSTEM HAS FAILED!!! Been only able to muster up a few side jobs since 2008, nothing steady....had to sell everything I owned, house, car, stocks...Where the hell is it getting better???
LocalRez May 12, 2012 at 06:28 AM
I feel all American citizens should enjoy the same freedoms and privileges as all of their fellow tax payers. Someone touched on this earlier - why not make civil unions the actual "marriage" contract for everyone? from this point in time forward only civil unions could be the legal contract. - no joint tax returns, no collecting social security, no hospital access, etc unless you have a civil contract. I really think that the previous "commitment ceremony" idea just didn't give them the same rights and that is why the continue to go for "marriage" - btw, if the god fearing people of this country really think the institution of marriage is so all important why is there a 50% failure rate associated with it and why would gays want to be associated with that?
d May 12, 2012 at 01:59 PM
.....well said pro streeter! Exactly the point I tried to make earlier. The country is in a financial mess, and all Obama has to talk about is the Gay marriage issue? Really? Anything to take our minds off what's really going on. Who cares who marries who? It's the economy people. I'm having a hard time just putting food on the table....I have not seen it this bad in my lifetime and I'm over 50!!!!!!!
Alan Perkaus May 12, 2012 at 02:13 PM
Chronologically challenged would be a better description. and I am definitely not Islamaphobic or homophobic. To many stick and stones here.
Steve Burke May 12, 2012 at 05:34 PM
because it's a slippery slope. once we allow gay marriage it'll open the door on man-animal marriage, for instance. Doesn't the bible say though shall not covet thy neighbor's ass?
Sara Waters May 12, 2012 at 06:10 PM
d- you think this issue was brought up to turn neighbors and friends against each other? It's bigots showing their true colors and quite frankly are NOT good neighbors or friends if they will cast judgement and NOT respect others as human beings. Since the dawn of time, homosexuals lived with everyone, got married and lived secret lives with their lovers. People should marry who they want. Period.
Sara Waters May 13, 2012 at 03:02 AM
I really wish everyone who's against gay marriage and spewing bigoted comments would post under their real names. But they can't. Cause then every one would know. It's easier to spew hatred without anyone knowing who you are, isn't it?
Kathie May 13, 2012 at 06:51 AM
All the personal attacks on both sides, so sad. Is gay marriage really at the top of our nation's list of urgencies? If you think this is being used for political posturing, then VOTE and settled it at the polls. November is right around the corner. If you think this is a religious issue, and you are solid in your beliefs, let God settle it. He is the final judge we have to answer to.
d May 13, 2012 at 10:24 AM
@Sara Waters...yes I do think this issue is political. Politics have pitted folks against each other since far before the Civil War(brother against brother.) I really don't feel gay marriage is the issue. People will believe what they will. Calling them bigots won't change a thing. Calling a gay person some type of slang won't change who they are. I don't understand why people feel they need to name call if someone else doesn't follow their views. When Obama was running for President, I didn't vote for him. Some people I know called me a racist. That was so far off track I was amazed. I did not like his Political views, plain and simple. I still don't. Race had absolutely nothing to do with it. Everyone has a right to their own opinions. Religion and Politics don't mix....never have. Religion aside....why isn't Gay marriage allowed? Seems to me that's a question for our Government. Religions don't make the laws, Governments do.
Matt May 13, 2012 at 11:04 AM
Well said, Kathie. :) There is so much more important right now. While unemployment rate may not be as high as 2 years ago, I know friends of mine that took months just to find a minimum wage job. It also seems crime is getting worse and worse. I think this world is slowly and continually falling apart and needs changes. Yet there are 167 comments on hear about tons of people crying about this subject, something as silly as this. Marriage is very important, yes, but people are entitled to who they want to love and what they want to believe in. I really liked Ron Paul's way of thinking. I support freedom to do what we want, to an extent of course. Anything that leads to crime should stay illegal. But marriage... how will 2 men or 2 women getting married cause crime or chaos to this country? It's just silly.
Edward Husker May 13, 2012 at 03:01 PM
I don't agree with same sex marriages and I never will, it's not the way I was raised by my parents. It just doesn't seem morally correct to me. As far as I know and I am not a genius in a religious manner, but I don't know of any religion that would endorse it in their church. If the government feels the need to waste their time on this issue when there are more pressing issues in country, that is even worse. There was no need for Obama to make this such a big deal right now while there is a struggling economy & wars going on.
Frank Williams May 13, 2012 at 10:33 PM
This whole discussion is very effectively taking our collective eye off the ball; what really matters. Our nation is threatened by financial collapse, plagued by endless, useless wars and is systematically being ruined by politicians from both parties who lie, cheat and steal to obtain power. All of this happens in violation of the US Constitution. And we find ourselves arguing over who may love and marry whom? We're getting everything we deserve, folks. Wake up, America! You're slumbering while the poison of soft tyranny encroaches upon every aspect of your lives.
Linda Daniels May 14, 2012 at 04:38 PM
So- there were never any Gay people on earth during the biblical times? No Gays in history? None? Let's just keep different people's living arrangements behind the door. Who is kidding who? Life is to be lived the best way each of us know how! Quite using scapegoats for your anger about your own life!
mr lahey May 14, 2012 at 11:45 PM
It must be a painful nightmare to be an acquaintance of dave w.
pcss May 19, 2012 at 01:45 PM
Barry condemns himself and his demon associations. He makes me want to puke.
Dave W. May 21, 2012 at 05:39 AM
I suspect it is for those who are against 'facts' or don't like answers that dispute their own opinion. Everyone else seems pretty happy in general, and quite pleased in particular. I'm honest about my thoughts and opinions, I'm not a radical to either side of the political spectrum. Curious why the personal attack, mr lahey (if that is your real name). What ruffled your feathers there, old chap?
Dave W. May 21, 2012 at 05:41 AM
pcss...HUH? Explain, please. The first part...we know what the second part means.
Dave W. May 21, 2012 at 05:47 AM
The only real problem I have with your post, d, is that the religious people WANT to make their views/beliefs the LAW. You are right, goveernments make laws. Too many people are using their religious view to make laws that take away the rights of Americans. They suppose that they are 'right' because THEIR god said so...except that god and government, church and state, are supposed to be separate in this country. We aren't a Muslim country, where the clerics are in charge, yet that is what the religious zealots here want, even as they demonize those countries for doing exactly what they are trying to do here.
Eowynn August 17, 2012 at 01:27 PM
Again, just words written by mortal men. You're not listening Michael. The bible is just a book. Do you not understand the difference between fiction & non-fiction? Homosexuality is not a sin. It is as natural as your eye colour, or your height. If two consenting adults are lucky enough to find each other & fall in love & want to get married, good luck to them, no matter whether they are gay or straight. I just don't understand why anyone could possibly think otherwise, and still call themselves a decent human being.
Eowynn August 17, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Well said!
Eowynn August 17, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Why do you have to be so negative? Do you not want people to be happy? It's really no big deal. Just live and let live. Life is too short.

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