In another sign that we’re finally starting to take the Constitution seriously when it talks about equal rights, New York has become the sixth, and largest, state to recognize same-sex marriage.
That’s largely because of the political leadership of Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former President Bill Clinton, Dick Cheney, Barbara Bush, and Laura Bush.
Notice who’s missing from that list: President Barack Obama.
In response to my question at yesterday’s White House Briefing, Press Secretary Jay Carney gave two explanations.
One, the president believes this decision should be left up to the states. But, surely, we don’t let states decide whether or not to grant basic constitutional rights. We didn’t on civil rights, and we shouldn’t on same-sex marriage.
Two, on the Defense of Marriage Act and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the president has demonstrated his commitment to gay rights. But on gay marriage, his position is still “evolving.”
Well, at least he’s not dead set against it. But that’s still not good enough.
On an important constitutional issue like this one, it’s time for the president to lead, not follow.
That’s my parting shot for today.