Larry Elder

Why does President Barack Obama enjoy a no-fly zone on gay marriage?

The Republican presidential contenders, with the exception of libertarian Ron Paul, have never supported gay marriage. Barack Obama, on the other hand, in a span of 16 years, has gone from supporting it, to "undecided," to opposition, to a position that he currently describes as "evolving."

Obama, right now, opposes gay marriage -- just as does Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum. In 2008, presidential candidate Obama sounded Santorum-like when he said: "I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian ... it is also a sacred union. God's in the mix."

When Santorum, the pro-life, anti-gay-marriage former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, was challenged in New Hampshire by pro-same-sex-marriage teenagers, he attempted to use the Socratic method to explain his opposition:

"How does it affect you, personally, if two men or two women get married?" Santorum was asked.

"Are we saying everyone should have the right to marry?"

"Yes!" shouted the crowd.

So anyone can marry anyone else?" Santorum asked.

"Yes!"

"So anybody can marry several people?"

This elicited some silence, mumbles and a few "no's."

"So if you're not happy unless you're married to five other people, is that OK?" Calling the crowd back to order, Santorum continued, "If your point is, people should be allowed to do whatever makes them happy, right?"

"As long as they don't harm other people," a young woman replied.

"Who determines whether they're harming people or not?"

"Well, anybody can understand that."

"Everybody can understand it. ... So we're not going to have courts?" said Santorum.

"This isn't, it's morals, like ..."

"So there is some objective standard?" asked Santorum.

"It's morally right for two men to have the same rights as a man and a woman."

"If it makes three people happy to get married, based on what you just said, what makes that wrong and what you said right?" said Santorum.

"That's irrelevant. ... That's not what I'm talking about."

"I know. ..."

"I'm talking about the basic right that you give you and another woman."

"OK. You know, it's important if we're going to have a discussion based on rational, reasoned thought, that we employ reason. OK? And reason says that if you think it's OK for two, then you have to differentiate with me as to why it's not OK for three."

The young people wanted nothing to do with Socrates.


Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com.