Gay marriage is a civil rights issue and a free society doesn't treat segregation as a topic with two sides. Gay Americans are upstanding contributors to society. We teach, we minister, we heal the sick; we counsel, we invest, we create art and play music. We also play professional sports. And we sign-up in substantial numbers (relative to our percentage in society) to defend our country around the world. Gay Americans are to be found in every field of endeavor. And yet, we are segregated in society as undeserving of the human right to fall in love with whom we please.
This great country was founded upon the principle of Liberty. The Declaration of Independence boldly declares the right of every human being to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." The churches may not like with whom we pursue our happiness and may close their doors to us, but the country may not. Such is also the guarantee provided under the Constitution.
As is typical of a politician, President-elect Obama tries to have it both ways: paying lip service to the civil rights of gay Americans while nodding his tacit approval to the bigoted evangelicals with his appointment of Pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration. Very few "liberal" politicians have stood firm in their commitment to gay civil rights. But we can't blame them; they're only doing what politicians do. Until gay Americans are once again willing to put it ALL on the line, rise-up once again like at Stonewall and finally do *whatever* is necessary to claim our rightful inheritance of equality under the Constitution, we will not enjoy our liberty.
There is a truism here: When the oppressed become powerful they become the oppressor. Barack Obama is where he is today because people like me marched and fought for his right to equality under the law. He owes his life to any number of gay Americans who stood with all the other Americans to declared that bigotry and segregation is repugnant to a free society. It's damn well time he pays us back!