Obama's Newsweek Rainbow Halo Cover Stirs Controversy

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By Stoyan Zaimov, Christian Post Reporter
May 14, 2012|4:15 pm

President Barack Obama's endorsement of same-sex marriage is still making headlines, and Newsweek's upcoming colorful cover showing the Obama with a rainbow halo (or "gaylo," as some have called it) with the label "The First Gay President" has some Twitter users expressing everything from amusement to criticism.

The new Newsweek issue appears on newsstands on Monday, May 21, and continues the debate over gay marriage, which is unlikely to go away any time soon. The article, written by Andrew Sullivan, a prominent Newsweek political writer and outspoken member of the gay community, delves into Obama's past and surmises that although controversial, the president's argument for same-sex marriage is logical and should not come as a surprise to many.

 A selection of Twitter comments, reacting with amusement, criticism and support, included:

"Obama with a rainbow colored halo on the cover of Newsweek? Are you freaking kidding me?" wrote Neal Boorz.

"Obama Has a Halo; Newsweek Has No Shame," wrote political analyst Bernard Goldberg, who shared a link to a commentary on his website in which he writes: "The slobbering never ends."

"Carney says he is not sure if Obama has seen Newsweek cover. Who's he kidding? They've probably got it framed in the East Room," wrote toddstarnes, referring to Jay Carney, White House Press Secretary, who could not verify what Obama thought about the Newsweek cover.

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"I don't know if he's seen it and I haven't spoken to him about it," he said during Monday's White House press briefing, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Obama "Earned Every Stripe In That 'Gaylo,' commented Newsweek Editor Tina Brown, while a user named Tom O'Halloran wrote "President Obama is a Far Cry From Being an Angel."

"As I talked to friends, family and neighbors, when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed, monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together. When I think about those soldiers, or airmen, or marines, sailors who are fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that 'don't ask, don't tell' is gone, because they're not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I've just concluded that, for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think that same-sex couples should be able to get married," Obama explained in his interview with ABC News last Wednesday.

Sullivan expressed in his article an appreciation of Obama for the public endorsement.

"Like many others, I braced myself for disappointment," he writes. "And yet when I watched the interview, the tears came flooding down. The moment reminded me of my own wedding day. I had figured it out in my head, but not my heart. And I was utterly unprepared for how psychologically transformative the moment would be. To have the president of the United States affirm my humanity - and the humanity of all gay Americans - was, unexpectedly, a watershed."

The president's depiction with a halo, an obvious religious reference, likely will not sit well with evangelical Christian leaders, many of whom have been quite vocal about the president's same-sex marriage endorsement, reminding him that the traditional definition of a marriage is between one man and one woman.

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