Obama Gay Marriage Stance is Victory for LGBT Rights, But Why Did it Take Him 4 Years?

President Obama came out in support of same-sex marriage on Wednesday, in a monumental step for the gay community. Joining Bill Clinton, Laura Bush, the majority of the United States, and most recently Joe Biden, Barack Obama made a honorable statement for equality. It has always been suspected that Obama is for same-sex marriage and gay rights, but assumed that the timing of reelection made him apprehensive to fully endorse.

While the news is a victory for the LGBT community, it comes at the same time as the devastating Amendment One being was passed in North Carolina, which bans same sex marriage. Forty-four states still actively discriminate by not granting same-sex couples marriage licenses. Continuously looming is DOMA, which Obama opposes, but which bans same-sex marriages and unions from being recognized on the federal level.

Obama has done more for LGBT Americans than any other president, but it has taken him four years to come out and say what we all thought he believed all along. This bold declaration is great, but how can the LGBT community and allies be sure that he will enact change, not just talk about it for another four years? The marriage issue should be put to bed, as it detracts from other more pertinent items that affect all Americans, not just lesbians or gays.

Regardless, it is an amazing leap in the right direction, and hopefully the American public will support him in November so that he can prove his actions are louder than words and ensure equal rights for all.