President Obama comes out in favor of same-sex marriages

First, Vice President Joe Biden and then the President of the United States came out in favor of gay marriage. What an historic day. And even more special for my partner and myself, our boss, Arne Duncan,the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education also clearly came out in favor of gay marriages. Arne is one of the President's closest friends and top advisors. We Americans can be so slow and thick headed at times, but for once, we are doing the right thing!!

Sign me up for some of that wild boar!!!

Thanks for the info on the grill. We Texans must have a grill to be considered a real man. Guns are also required but this is where I disagree with everyone else.

It is funny that you call the Washington Post pro-republican. In the United States, republican means they are extremely conservative. We would call the Post pro-Democratic because it is very liberal. It is interesting the different meanings a word can take on.

You're funny! No problem with the BBQ though. I am originally from Texas so I do know how to BBQ. Will have to search for a gas grill over in France.

Our new home has two huge bedrooms so you can have one of them. But can you cook? lol

Catherine, this is the first time I have ever been involved in a social network discussion. It has been fun and great that people have interacted and have actually adjusted their way of thinking. I have noticed that some people seem jaded about their experiences in France. I lived in Germany as a kid and as an adult and have travel all over Europe as an Air Force aviator. I am excited about living in France. All those little challenges are what makes life exciting and interesting. Perfection can be quite boring at times.

Shirley, thank you for listening and understanding. It is not a perfect world so sometimes you have to go down different roads to achieve what is right. Maybe we will meet some day. You know I think we would probably get along real well. You wouldn't even realize I was gay. This is just one part of who I am.

What a great discussion!

Shirley, great talking with you. I hope the weather is nice where you are. It is going to be a beautiful Spring day here in Washington, DC.

Statutes and decisions are written to apply to a "spouse." A "spouse" is defined as one party to a "marriage." All common-law rights are likewise dependant upon the definition of a "marriage" or "spouse" With thousands of benefits, rights, obligations, Statutes and decisions, that's alot of human effort and change required to obtain the same rights and priviledges that a simple "marriage" creates.

Sanford, thanks for your comments. 65 years together!!!

Shirley, one more point. Just because a man and a woman get married in a church does not mean the relationship automatically is blessed by God. I would venture to say that a majority of couples get married in a church because that is what you do. Often they do not have a relationship with God or they are getting married for the wrong reason (like sex!).

I was married in a church by an ordained minister. Are you telling me that my minister is committing hearacy because he is not following the teachings of the Catholic Church?

Just because something is a fact does not make it right. The Nazis killed 6 million Jews, a fact. And it was wrong. In the United States, for many years used the Bible to prove how inferior Blacks were, a fact. And it was wrong. I could go on and on. Anytime people are excluded, it is a way to subjugate people. I gave a solution in an earlier post just for you. The governments of the world should quit issuing marriage licenses. They should give only civil union licenses to any couple that wants to share their lives together which guarantees equal rights under the law. If only churches are able to issue marriage certificates, than you would exclude others according to your religion. I am tired of a bunch of men deciding what God has to say as if we can't go directly to God in prayer. With all the pedephilia in the Catholic church, I have problems with unmarried priests giving out moral intruction. My relationship is as good if not better than most straight relationships. The average straight marriage today is lucky if it makes it to the 5 year mark. I have been in a gay relationship for over 18 years. If the government is going to continue to give out marriage licenses, than I expect to be treated equally and demand a marriage license too. In the USA, black children were kept out of white schools for decades but the laws guaranteed seperate but equal facilities and services. In was not equal, and that's a fact. It was not equal until they where forced to go to school together. Most of church laws today were written by men, not God. My God loves all his children, and is a God of truth and tolerance.

@Christopher: Thanks for the Betty Bowerslink; it was amazing.

@Shirley: I have two gay male friends who are in their 80's and have been together since they were 17 and the courage they harnessed over 65 years ago is amazing. I also know 5 other couples who have been together as long as you have. My first partner and I were together for 17 years and now, 18 years after we ended that relationship, we are still best friends talking fives times a week. Just so you know, I do not believe that "the 'gay' community feel[s] they must now be like the 'heterosexual' community", no indeed; all we want (in the USA) is the same rights that the heterosexual married person is entitled to the moment they get "married"; the right to hospital visitation of our partner, inheritance benefits, the rights to our partners social security benefits, to name of few. And not to worry dialogue is good and can be productive!

Yes, there is an election coming up. But recent history would make you think that this could hurt Obama rather than help him. I am sure that politics plays into it. But I think Obama is a leader that believes and supports diversity and equal rights for all. Regardless of his motive, I think he is courageous to speak out on a "moral" issue right before an election. He has given hope to a large segment of American society that has felt marginalized for way too long.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Please, get real, Isn't there an election due soon

Thanks Simon for your post and information. Although I do not have a partner at the moment, I was quite concerned about the inheritance tax issues down the road; both when I have another partner and when I'm gone.

When we bought in France, we had it stated in the papers that we were legally married. We were told that would avoid the taxes. Probably need to have it clarified just to be sure.

It might be worth pointing out that marriage is a contract, a contract entered into between two adults. Weddings are something else entirely. Any couple whether gay or straight is, in my view, entitled to full protection under contract law should they choose to share a life, and for example, acquire property together. The fact that this is not currently available to some people is discriminatory. Weddings on the other hand are a celebration, before friends, of that couple joining their lives together, and often the two events go together. If, at some point, things don't work out, the two people are entitled to end the contract, i.e., divorce. In the event of the death of one party to the contract, certain rights are afforded to the other party (and no, don't get me started about the situation in France).

So, regardless of sexual orientation, two people who wish to share their lives together, acquire property, and so on, should have equal status with everyone else.

The laws in France allow for any couple whether same or opposite sex to enter into a PACS agreement; my understanding is that this overcomes the rather excessive inheritance taxes due. Recently France has accepted to recognise the UK's Civil Partnership as an equivalent, thus non-resident gay couples who who are civilly partnered can benefit from exemption from inheritance taxes otherwise due to the surviving partner. But unless this is in place a common-law surviving partner could be liable for some hefty taxes. The other point to this debate, which Jerry makes, is one of equality in law. What the UK currently have is pseudo-marriage (and in my opinion the UK government spent a whole load of tax-payers' money constructing a parallel law with hundreds of sections and consequential amendments just so they didn't upset the Church) whereas they could have just made a few minor tweaks to the Marriage Act to achieve full equality. If we want a fair society, then we should avoid creating double-standards. Love is love, no matter what gender your partner is.