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Michael Eric Dyson: Obama’s Gay Marriage Support Forced Us To ‘All Come Out Of Closets’

With President Obama’s announcement of support for same-sex marriage still at the top of the news cycle, today’s Now with Alex Wagner panel debated the significance of the announcement and whether the hype, particularly a certain Newsweek cover, was somewhat overblown. Georgetown Prof. Michael Eric Dyson thought the hype was on par with the significance, taking the Newsweek ball and running with it, asserting that President Obama’s declaration of support for gay marriage “forced us all to come out of closets.”

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The discussion was prompted by the bizarre Newsweek cover declaring President Obama the “first gay president” and endowing him with a rainbow flag halo. Dyson explained that he saw nothing wrong in the gay community appropriating the first black president (after Clinton, of course). “Until you get one, you’ve got to borrow one,” he noted, and he thought the title was legitimate in using “gay as a signifier for an identification with the beleaguered and those vulnerable to state rebuff.” He praised the President for his impact in “culturally unleash[ing] a big, huge kiss from the White House of legitimacy on the foreheads and other places of the gay imagination,” and, in doing so, “he’s forced all of us to come out of closets.”

The panel seemed to agree on the impact of the declaration from the President, though not on why this news appeared this week. Rolling Stone‘s Matt Taibbi joked that, “clearly, if Obama is the first gay president, he was outed by Joe Biden,” though he agreed the announcement was “a profound moral thing that has happened.” Alicia Menendez added her voice to Taibbi’s in believing there was no fundraising ploy involved in the declaration.

The segment via MSNBC below:

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