Obama says that his girls were those who helped him to understand what differs marriage from civil unions. ‘I have to confess my children generally had an impact on me,’ he said Some time ago the President used to think that there is no need to label a gay civil union as marriage, because they have the same rights. But Sasha and Malia could convince his father that he was wrong.
My notion was initially that labeling those partnerships as marriage wasn’t necessary as long as people were getting the same rights and it would disentangle them from some of the religious connotations that marriage had in the minds of a lot of Americans. However with the help of Malia and Sasha, as well as marriage equality activists and gay couples, he was able to see that the issue isn’t just about ‘rights,’ but also the ‘stigma’ faced by every same-sex couple in society. People I loved who were in monogamous same-sex relationships explained to me what I should have understood earlier,’ the president said, ‘Which is it was not simply about legal rights but about a sense of stigma. He added, ‘If you’re calling it something different it means that somehow it means less in the eyes of society.’ Really, there are cases when our children are much wiser than we are.