by Coley Bochman
The One Student campaign promotes the idea that one person can make a difference in producing change. President Barack Obama’s recent announcement publically declaring his support for same-sex marriage is an excellent example of one person having the ability to produce change. His announcement has ignited a spark of social change as many famous organizations and individuals have now publically declared their support for same-sex marriage including (but not limited to) the NAACP, Jay-Z and 50 Cent. On the surface, this is a call for celebration. The leader of one of the most powerful countries in the world lends his support to a step towards equality for all. However, as joyous as it may seem, some are skeptical about President Obama’s motivation behind his announcement. Specifically, some are questioning if President Obama made the announcement because of the upcoming election in November. Regardless of his intentions or motivations, President Obama did succeed in gaining national attention to an important topic. Discussions and debates need to be had for social change. Social equality needs to be discussed openly and often.
To the LBGTQ community, marriage isn’t something that should be debated politically. It is a step towards equality, for a community still battling age-old government legislation discrimination. As I feel this is a pressing topic, I decided to ask members of my local LGBTQ community to see how they feel regarding President Obama’s announcement.
What does marriage mean to you?
Johnny: Marriage means happiness, security and commitment.
Mollie: Two people that love each other forever, and can show everyone how much they mean to each other. As well as the benefits.
Clay: Now it doesn’t mean much. Celebrities ruined it. Back in the day people meant it.
How important is it that the President of the USA backs marriage equality?
Johnny: It’s important now because he’s the President, but if he doesn’t get reelected it doesn’t mean much.
Mollie: It’s ridiculously important; it’s the first step to marriage equality.
Clay: It’s cool because he is the first President to say it; however it doesn’t mean much because it’s an election year. It shouldn’t even be a big deal anyway, what year is it?
Do you think that this will get more people talking about it?
Johnny: Yes, the fact that he’s our President will help more people step forward.
Mollie: Yes, I hope so.
Clay: It’s getting talked about, at least it’s not being ignored.
Whether it was based on a political advancement or not, I believe it was a step in the right direction towards marriage equality. Same sex marriage is now becoming the pressing topic it should have always been. Legalizing same sex marriage would mean so much more than just a marriage; it would coincide with what our country was founded on, “Liberty and justice for all.”