Another hurdle for Bush
The first three years of George W. Bush’s presidency has been like a yachtsman a long way off shore for the first time. Instead of enjoying a calm Sunday afternoon sail there have been high winds and wave after wave crashing into the boat.
It all came one after the other. The 9/11 terrorist attacks, a weak economy, high unemployment, the threat of more terrorist attacks, corporate scandals, the war in Iraq, the Middle East crisis, the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden still at large.
If this was a Texas barbecue then the president hasn’t much room left on his plate.
But now Bush has to make room to accommodate another sensitive subject as the focus slowly begins to turn to the 2004 presidential election.
And this is whether the United States will allow same sex marriages. The question has already been raised. Over the years there has been a loosening of laws allowing gays to have rights and the move for legal same sex marriages has been gathering momentum.
Now it appears that Canada will allow same sex marriage it has opened the door in the United States – for discussion, anyway. If that occurs what will happen if two men or women from the United States marry in Canada and return here. Will the U.S. recognize their certificate of marriage?
Right now it is like a train a long way away in the middle of the night, but it is slowly getting closer and closer and its whistle is getting louder and louder, almost like a warning to the White House, mayors and governors.
The gay community, over the years, has slowly but surely gathering strength and influence. There are now openly gay people in public office, they have their own organizations and machinery to get their message out. It will be an emotional issue. Radio and TV talk shows will dine on this. Religious orders will weigh in on the subject. It will divide dinner discussions and after work drinks just like pro-life and the woman’s right. Same sex marriages has been coming for a long time, but have been pushed aside because it did not have the clout to do anything about it. Now they have clout.
Last year about 50 same sex marriages, which were not recognized by the city or state, were held at the same time near Central Park in New York. It was a festive occasion with their families and interested onlookers. Some had children from previous marriages and were willing to talk about their new life and partner. It was no longer a thing that they whispered about. They were prepared to be interviewed by the media and appear on camera with their partner. The gay community believes they are entitled to a marriage and that it should be recognized by the city and state.
But the real question remains: Is America ready for same sex marriage? It is a major step in any society and it is already on its way beyond City Hall and the state capitol. It is heading for the White House and it will be on the agenda when America votes for the presidency in 2004. There has already been talk that it could influence the election albeit in a minor way.
It is just something else for the Bush camp and his advisers to think about as they plan to try to win a second term with an already full plate.
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