U.S. President Barack Obama endorsed gay marriage on Wednesday.
Better late than never.
Canada legalized same-sex marriage in 2005. Nine other countries – Argentina, Belgium, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa and Sweden – also allow it.
But it remains illegal in much of the world, and is not recognized by the U.S. government, yet.
Hopefully, Mr. Obama’s public stance will help change that, help encourage a move towards equality for all.
For him, though, he had little choice.
Changes in public opinion and culture have created a new reality – many, if not a majority no longer see any reason not to open marriage to people of the same sex. Courts support that.
And, politically, the gay community and progressive voters wanted action on marriage equality. He needs them as much as they need him.
The time had come.
So the debate heats up all over again.
Possibly, in the end, a consensus will be achieved.
The whole debate is about equal rights over the sanctity of a perceived holy institution.
Social conservatives and religious leaders, of course, condemned Mr. Obama’s decision.
But they are out of touch with reality.
Mr. Obama is the first sitting president to endorse same-sex marriage.
Stephen Harper has never done as much.
His party introduced a bill in 2006 to reinstate the traditional definition of marriage, but it was defeated.
That is not leadership.
Just think, a generation ago, legalizing same-sex marriage was as unthinkable as it is today to not recognize the rights of gays and lesbians.
Everyone deserves to be treated equally.
It’s a pretty simple position.