Same sex marriage is one of the most controversial issues in society today. On May 8, 2012 North Carolina was the latest state to ban same sex marriage. The following day, President Obama openly admitted to his support of same sex marriage. This announcement has caused many people to question the authenticity of his stance. With the next presidential election just months away, is it possible Obama suddenly supports same sex marriage in order to appeal to a wider variety of voters? It is openly known that Obama’s opponent, Mitt Romney, strongly supports marriage between one man and one woman, and so it is possible Obama’s sudden support of same sex marriage could be focused on gaining votes. With the possibility of a close presidential election, Obama’s announcement could be the deciding factor between a Democrat or a Republican in the White House.
In government this trimester, we have studied different strategies presidential candidates use to attract voters. Many presidential candidates gain the attention of their voters through campaign commercials. These commercials are often geared toward gaining the attraction of younger voters. Just as campaign commercials are aimed at attracting votes of the younger generations, Obama’s support could be geared toward attracting the support of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Or Transvestite (LGBT) members of The United States. According to a poll taken by CBS, roughly thirty eight percent of the population believes that same sex marriage should be legalized. Although this is not a large percent, these are votes Romney will certainly not pick up in the presidential election. Generally Democrats identify themselves as supporters of same
sex marriage while Republicans typically do not support this belief. Since Obama most likely has the support of the Democratic candidates, and Romney the support of the Republicans, this announcement is focused more toward gaining members of the Independent party.
It is also entirely possibly that President Obama’s announcement will not affect his reelection campaign at all. In an ABC interview, President Obama openly admitted that his support of gay marriage might hurt his reelection campaign. According to US Today, sixty percent of people agree that President Obama’s support of single sex marriage will not affect his reelection campaign. Out of the forty percent that said it would affect their votes, twenty six percent agreed that Obama’s support of same sex marriage would make them less likely to vote for him in November. Although Obama’s motives for announcing his support of same sex marriage may never be known, it will be interesting to see what the outcome leads to.
Our first trimester of government was focused on the Constitution. This unit greatly expanded my knowledge over the foundations of our government. We learned about the groundwork of the Constitution and why, as a country, we believed a Constitution was necessary. First, we discussed the viewpoints of the advocates and the opponents for the Constitution. During our class time, we read articles from the Federalist’s and the Anti-federalists articles and discussed their attitude toward the ratification of the Constitution. This was especially helpful because it provided insight as to why the Constitution was needed. Second, we learned about the Constitution as a whole and its contents. Before this section I had a basic understanding of the Constitution, however I was not aware of its contents or how it has shaped and affected the rights of citizens today. Of the all the projects, and daily assignments we had for this section I enjoyed the Constitutional Research Project the most. In the Constitutional Research Project, we were given current hypothetical situations and based on the Amendments, we were to determine if they were constitutional or unconstitutional. I learned through the Constitution unit and project that the Constitution does not always clearly apply to modern day situations and in most cases the outcome is based on interpretation from the courts.
I enjoyed this project because it gave me an opportunity to apply what I was learning during class to real life situations. In many of my other classes I have found myself questioning the importance of what we are learning, and often asking myself questions such as, “How is this relevant in todays society?” or “When will I ever use this information?” However, this was not the case with this unit. I found that I was eager to find out if the hypothetical situations given were Constitutional. I enjoyed this project because the scenarios were modern enough to grab my attention and the answers were not clearly stated in the Constitution. This assignment allowed me to realize that even though the Constitution is the basis of our government, it does not cover many modern day problems that society faces. Because of this, the Constitution’s interpretation is not always as clear.
This assignment taught me that the Constitution does not always apply to contemporary situations. Through this project I learned, the Constitution’s interpretation is in the hands of the judge of the Court; and when it comes to the rights of citizens, they are not always black or white. This assignment reinforced the idea that the Constitution does not provide a clear-cut answer and much of the outcome is up to interpretation of the reader. The Constitution was relevant when it was written in 1787, but over the last two hundred years, the relevance has faded because society has drastically changed. George Washington said, “The Constitution is the guide which I never will abandon” 2). This quote illustrates the importance of the Constitution to the citizens when the Constitution was first written. Nevertheless, the Constitution is not modern enough to be relevant to present day situations but should still continue to be the governing document of our country.