Civil Liberties

Will Obama Endorse Gay Marriage Today? UPDATE: HE JUST DID!


Update (3:05pm): "I think same-sex couples should be able to get married." More, with caveats, etc., here.

Even as polls show that a majority of Americans favor same-sex marriage, the votes against it keep on coming. Most recently in the Tarheel State, which already banned the practice in law and now in its state constitution:

North Carolina is the 30th state to pass a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Six states — all in the Northeast except Iowa — and the District of Columbia allow same sex marriages. In addition, two other states have laws that are not yet in effect and may be subject to referendums.

The amendment passed easily, with about 61 percent of the vote. As important, it bans recognition of same-sex civil unions too.

Through a spokesman, Barack Obama called the result "disappointing," but as Jacob Sullum wrote earlier this morning, the president has long played both sides of the fence on the issue:

"I favor legalizing same-sex marriages," Barack Obama told a gay newspaper while seeking his first term as an Illinois state senator in 1996, "and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages." When Obama ran for re-election in 1998, he took the National Political Awareness Test, which among other things asked, "Do you believe that the Illinois government should recognize same-sex marriages?" His response: "Undecided." 

More here.

Now comes word via the Wash Post that "Obama may clarify position on same-sex marriage in interview today." Vice President Joe Biden's recent endorsement of gay marriage has helped put the spotlight on Obama's ambivalence and, possibly more important, the politics of the situation may have changed. Not only is gay marriage an issue through which Obama might separate himself from Mitt Romney, the president is risking alienating many of his biggest donors:

"My feelings about this are constantly evolving," he said in 2010. "I struggle with this. I have friends, I have people who work for me who are in powerful, strong, long-lasting gay or lesbian unions. And they are extraordinary people. And this is something that means a lot to them and they care deeply about."

But gay supporters grew angry Sunday after Obama aides tried to tamp down excitement over Biden's comments and dismiss any suggestion that the vice president's views differed from those of the president.

At least one in six Obama bundlers are gay, according to a Washington Post count, making it hard for the president to ignore the growing frustrations.

At the Daily Beast, Andrew Sullivan a few days ago had said that Obama's waffling didn't matter in the face of Romney's "rank hostility to gay people's equality." Now Sully signals that he's hoping that Obama does come out in favor of marriage equality.

So do I, though if Obama can "evolve," maybe Romney can devolve back to where he was on the issue when he ran for Senate in 1994 against Ted Kennedy:

I am pleased to have had an opportunity to talk with you and to meet many of you personally during your September meeting. I learned a great deal from those discussions and many thoughtful questions you posed. As a result of our discussions and other interactions with gay and lesbian voters across the state, I am more convinced than ever before that as we seek to establish full equality for America's gay and lesbian citizens, I will provide more effective leadership than my opponent.

I am not unaware of my opponents considerable record in the area of civil rights, or the commitment of Massachusetts voters to the principle of equality for all Americans. For some voters it might be enough for me to simply match my opponent's record in this area. But I believe we can and must do better. If we are to achieve the goals we share, we must make equality for gays and lesbians a mainstream concern. My opponent cannot do this. I can and will.

NEXT: Were McAfee Raid Tactics Born in the Third World or the U.S.?

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  1. Can't decide whether to vote for Team Flip or Team Flop...

    1. Obama "evolves". Romney flip flops. There is a difference you know.

      1. kinetically evolves

      2. If Obama comes out in favor of gay marriage now, he will have flip flopped. But until then, evolve seems fair. Doesn't "flip-flop" imply that a person has changed their position, then changed back to the original position?

  2. That's the ticket - delete the one that had comments on it already!

  3. The Squirrels strike again!

  4. This is not a federal issue. Obama, Romney, and the rest of the gang should keep their noses out of it.

    1. unless marrage is a civil right, as olsen argues.

      1. There is no evidence that the framers of the 14th Amendment considered same-sex "marriage" to be a civil right.

        1. What's your view of school desegregation and the 14th Amendment?

          1. There's a very good case that the authors of the 14th Amendment did intend for it to apply to segregation and other racial issues, even though the Supreme Court didn't read it that way at first.

  5. That jizz on his face isn't on the original cover, is it? If so, the editors at The Advocate are awesome.

  6. That Advocate cover can't be real, right?

    Some Reason wiseguy Photoshopped it, I'm sure.

    1. Beaten to the punch. 🙁

    2. Or Perez Hilton

  7. Deja vu

  8. Enshrining gay marriage bans in state constitutions seems like overkill, especially since you'll just have to pass another amendment to repeal it later.

    1. These bans are enshrined because state judges might find a "right" to same-sex "marriage" under the state constitution, just as polygamy bans were enshrined into several state constitutions for this reason.

      As a matter of fact, the first two such bans were enacted in response to court decisions.

  9. Even as polls show that a majority of Americans favor same-sex marriage, the votes against it keep on coming.

    Either the polls are wrong or irrelevant. How people vote is the only thing that matters.

    1. Stated vs. revealed preference, or your polling sample is not representative of actual voters. I'm sure the pollsters are going to go with A because to go with B gives them methodological problems on every other political poll.

      1. I think a lot of it has to do with the people against gay marriage being very much against it. There may be a majority of people who'd prefer gay marriage equality, but it doesn't effect most of them, and they aren't going to get off the couch to vote if that's the only thing on the ballot.

        1. I was shocked that my Pa actually voted (against the Amendment), but the reason he voted wasn't really because of the gays, it was because he hates fucking with Constitutions, and he thinks it's extra-super ridiculous to fuck with a Constitution for this particular issue.

        2. I think a lot of it has to do with the people against gay marriage being very much against it.

          This. I believe this is also the case with legalization. The people opposed are very opposed and mobilized, while supporters are more tepid.

          Stated vs. revealed preference, or your polling sample is not representative of actual voters.

          I think it's also that voters are not representative of the entire population. Voters, like opponents of gay marriage, skew older.

      2. I dunno, T. I think a pollster will go with "not representative", because "stated v revealed preference" invalidates the whole polling industry, while "not representative" poses no more than a technical challenge.

    2. The polls done in NC on Amendment One were pretty consistent on this issue for months, about 60% in favor.

      The national polls have shifted, but obviously not all states are the same.

  10. the president has long played both sides of the fence on the every issue

  11. On the way back from Vegas, I caught some talking head on an airport tv talking about this subject. She was in favor of LGTG rights and "wink, nod"
    says Obama is too but just can't say it if he hopes to win. So it is alright that he has no backbone on this issue as the vast majority of gays will support him anyway.

    1. Don't you feel like an idiot now.

    2. You have to reelect him to find out what he really thinks.

      And, while we're on the subject, can anyone else say "diversion"?

  12. Will Obama Endorse Gay Marriage Today?

    $500 donation to the Slaver-In-Chief's reelection campaign if he signals said "endorsement" by planting a long, slow, wet one right on Joe Biden's lips, on live television.

    $750 if he uses the tongue. An even grand if he verbally acknowledges STEVE SMITH, while so doing.

  13. Sometimes you just have to throw your hands up in the air and shout, Whos your Daddy!

  14. Following his endorsement of gay marriage in response to a temper fit thrown by the activists, that faux Advocate cover is looking really apt.

  15. Coming out in favor of something right after a vote on the subject already happened. It's like he's afraid of looking impotent.

    1. "Well, if I'm gonna be im-po-tent, I'm gonna LOOK im-po-tent!"


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