A man dressed as President Obama holds a sign reading, 'Obama, a

world 100% without bias, Yes We Can,' at the Gay Pride Parade in Rio

de Janeiro, Brazil, last October.



Brazil Politicians Pale in Comparison to ‘Courageous’ Obama (Carta Capital, Brazil)


“Brazilian politicians are just reflecting public opinion. But reflecting or echoing what the population thinks is not the mission of a leader. Leading is having the courage to guide people to the right path and making everyone understand that fighting to block equal rights for all is putting oneself on the wrong, and cruel, side of history.”


By José Antonio Lima



Translated By Brandi Miller


May 10, 2012


Brazil - Carta Capital – Original Article (Portuguese)

Another Brazilian man dressed like Obama protests corruption at Brasilia's Esplanade of Ministries in April.


TELESUR VIDEO, VENEZUELA [STATE-RUN]: Obama's stand on legalizing gay marriage generates controversy, May 10, 00:02:05RealVideo

This Wednesday, May 9, United States President Barack Obama made a rare demonstration of courage that will go down in history. Six months away from a presidential election and amid a bitter debate, Obama chose to take a stand on one of the most divisive issues in American society: he said he was in favor of gay marriage. It was an act of courage worthy of a leader concerned with equal rights for all citizens. It was an act that Brazilians, regrettably, are still waiting to see.


Obama made the remark in an interview with American TV network ABC News. According to Obama, the first U.S. president to declare himself in favor of same-sex marriage, his new position on the issue is the result of an “evolution.” Up to now, Obama had limited himself to supporting “civil unions” between homosexuals. For him, this was “sufficient” for ensuring basic rights for homosexual partners and didn’t conflict with the religious and traditional sensibilities of certain groups in society. The “evolution” came, according to Obama, from talking to friends and family and in realizing that there are excellent government and military officials, gays, who still felt constrained for not being able to get married.


In Brazil, this “evolution” has not yet occurred. In the obscurantist uprising of the 2010 presidential elections, several social groups fell victim to all types of religious conservatism and which threatened to declare holy war on politicians who went against them. Gays were the main victims. President Dilma Rousseff and former São Paulo Governor José Serra spent weeks denying they were in favor of gay marriage. Both limited themselves to saying, as Obama did before, that they were in favor of “civil unions.” Marina Silva, the Evangelical who finished third, was seen as virtuous or maintaining her strong initial position - also in favor of “civil unions” but against “gay marriage.”


Obama’s speech is symbolic because he gave it in an atmosphere that is even more tense than Brazilian candidates experienced in 2010. As in Brazil, U.S. religious people of all kinds are mobilizing to stop homosexuals from having the same right to marry as they, the religious, have.



[The Toronto Sun, Canada]

[Click Here for More Cartoons]


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Franve TV, France: Is France Behind America on Same-Sex Marriage?
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Guardian, U.K.: How Obama's Gay Marriage Move Changes Presidential Race
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The Zimbabwe Mail, Zimbabwe: Obama's Gay Stance ‘Worst Form of Satanism’
La Informacion, U.S.: In Latin America, Only Argentine Leader Stands with Obama
Liberation, France: Mr. Obama and Gay Marriage: ‘Courage’
Mail & Guardian, South Africa: South Africa: Pride, Vigilance, on Gay Rights
Globa & Mail, Canada: From Obama, a Bid to Broaden Stream of American Life
Toronto Star, Canada: Obama Tilts Scales Toward Compassion and Equity
Macleans, Canada: Obama Passes the Leadership Test
Irish Times, Ireland Mr. Obama's 'Brave and Welcome' Move
Irish Examiner, Ireland: Let's Be Honest About How We Live Our Lives
Independent, U.K.: 'Full Marks' to President Barack Obama
Independent, U.K.: At last, Obama Asks U.S. to Open Door to Acceptance
Guardian, U.K. Obama's Historic Affirmation of Gay Marriage
Economist, U.K.: Good for Obama; But Bad for Gay Marriage
Telegraph, U.K.: Import of U.S. Culture War Backfires on Cameron



Also on May 9, the state of North Carolina approved by referendum a ban on gay marriage by establishing that marriage can only be between a man and a woman. North Carolina was the 31st U.S. state to approve such legislation. There, Obama’s new position may complicate the vote. A conservative state, it is strategic in the electoral-college calculations in place in the U.S., and it may lean toward Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate.


Obama’s act, though courageous, must be understood as a political act taken under pressure. This week, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden declared himself “comfortable” with gay marriage. And for the first time in history, a public opinion poll showed that more than half of U.S. people (53 percent) think marriage between two people of the same sex should be considered valid under the law.


In the same way, the position taken by Brazilian politicians is also a political act. In July 2011, two months after the Supreme Court legalized civil unions for homosexuals, 55 percent of Brazilians said they were against the decision. On that basis, one can deduce that Brazilian politicians in 2010 were just reflecting public opinion. But reflecting or echoing what the population thinks is not the mission of a leader. Leading is having the courage to guide people to the right path and making everyone understand that fighting to block equal rights for all is putting yourself on the wrong, and cruel, side of history.




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[Posted by Worldmeets.US May 15, 3:02am]


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