"I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don't Ask Don't Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point 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."
-- President Barack Obama
Whether you believe this decision to be politically motivated doesn't really matter -- the bottom line is that it's historic, it carries significant risk for any sitting president up for reelection, and it affirms in no uncertain terms Obama's ongoing commitment to gay rights in this country.
Yesterday's blow struck against both basic civil rights and the march of progress by the scared-shitless yokels of North Carolina means almost nothing in the long run. As I've said many times here -- freedom expands. And no matter how many asinine laws are passed out of ignorance and prejudice, the genie is already out of the bottle and gay marriage will become a reality throughout the nation eventually.
It's only a matter of time -- and there's nothing anyone can do to stop it.
Adding: Andrew Sullivan's take on this is, not surprisingly given the subject matter, especially lovely and powerful.
Adding Further: This. The president needs to draw the line between himself and his opponents in the Republican party as distinctly as possible right now. And by taking the stand he did, he couldn't have made the choice any clearer.