Media Blog

Keith Olbermann vs. Prop 8

Keith Olbermann had a “special comment” on the Proposition 8 gay-marriage vote in California on last night’s program. An excerpt:

If this country hadn’t re-defined marriage, black people still couldn’t marry white people. Sixteen states had laws on the books which made that illegal… in 1967. 1967.

The parents of the President-Elect of the United States couldn’t have married in nearly one third of the states of the country their son grew up to lead. But it’s worse than that. If this country had not “re-defined” marriage, some black people still couldn’t marry…black people. It is one of the most overlooked and cruelest parts of our sad story of slavery. Marriages were not legally recognized, if the people were slaves. Since slaves were property, they could not legally be husband and wife, or mother and child. Their marriage vows were different: not “Until Death, Do You Part,” but “Until Death or Distance, Do You Part.” Marriages among slaves were not legally recognized.

If Keith Olbermann felt so strongly about gay marriage as he seems to from this special comment, than why didn’t he say anything prior to the actual election? Here’s Senator Obama’s answer on gay marriage from the Saddleback forum:

REV. WARREN: Okay. There’s a lot more I’d like to ask on that, but we got 15 other questions here.

Define marriage.

SEN. OBAMA: I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. (Applause.) Now, for me as a Christian, it’s also a sacred union. You know, God’s in the mix. (Applause.)

REV. WARREN: Would you support a constitutional amendment with that definition?

SEN. OBAMA: No, I would not.

REV. WARREN: Why not?

SEN. OBAMA: (Applause.) Because historically, we have not defined marriage in our Constitution. It’s been a matter of state law that has been our tradition. Now, I mean, let’s break it down. The reason that people think there needs to be a constitutional amendment, some people believe, is because of the concern about same-sex marriage. I am not somebody who promotes same-sex marriage, but I do believe in civil unions. I do believe that we should not — that for gay partners to want to visit each other in a hospital, for the state to say, you know what, that’s all right, I don’t think in any way inhibits my core beliefs about what marriage are.

I think my faith is strong enough and my marriage is strong enough that I can afford those civil rights to others, even if I have a different perspective or a different view. (Applause.)

This is a perfect example of how then Senator Obama was never challenged on his wishy-washy answers. The above means nothing, yet there’s something in there for both camps.

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