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2. Obama’s support for gay marriage is groundbreaking.
When President Obama came out last month and staked a position on same-sex marriage that, as critics noted, Dick Cheney held back in 2004, it was nonetheless heralded as a grand moment in the gay rights struggle. Newsweek even dubbed Obama America’s “first gay president,” burying James Buchanan deeper into the nation's historical closet. What did Obama do to earn such accolades from supporters? Although he voiced support for same-sex marriage early in his political career, as president Obama waited until the day after North Carolina voters amended their Constitution to prohibit same-sex unions before telling ABC News about his personal support for gay marriage. While the president has instructed the Justice Department to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act in federal court, both the president and his aides have indicated that Obama sees gay marriage as an issue best left up to the states. Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson, on the other hand, supports the right to gay marriage on a federal level.