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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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President Barack Obama is seen on television monitors in the White House briefing room in Washington, Wednesday, May 9, 2012. President Barack Obama told an ABC interviewer that he supports gay marriage. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
NC: No. POTUS: Yes

Yesterday, voters in North Carolina said no to same-sex marriage.

- Same-sex marriage amendment vote is just wrong - Charlotte Observer Editorial

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- California, N.C.: Anti-gay-marriage soulmates - Los Angeles Daily News Editorial

Today, President Obama said yes.

- The President Speaks Out (Finally) on Marriage - Andrew Rosenthal, The New York Times

- Obama comes out for same-sex marriage, world ends - Alexandra Petri, The Washington Post

- Obama lets go of fear - Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Beast

- I am gobsmacked - E.J. Graff, The American Prospect

- President Obama and gay marriage -- it's about time - Stephen Henderson, The Detroit Free Press

I was trying to think of a strong historical analogy for President Barack Obama's sudden embrace of gay marriage this week, and the best I could come up with (thanks to my colleagues on the Free Press editorial board) was 1939, when First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt arranged for singer Marian Anderson to perform on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. That was after the Daughters of the American Revolution had prevented the renowned Anderson, who was African American, from singing for an integrated audience at Constitution Hall.

Didn't change the legal landscape. Wasn't decisive in ending segregation.

But it was a bold, emblazoned embrace of the concept of equality. And it was an outsized gesture from the president's bully pulpit, something that undoubtedly gave strength to the growing notion that government-sanctioned racial segregation was unacceptable. ...

As of now, only the North Carolina vote has the force of law anywhere. Obama's "evolution" is, technically, just one man's opinion.

But, I wonder, which of these events will be little noted and not long remembered?

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