Obama Will “Evolve” on Gay Marriage until Nov. 7, 2012

When he ran for President, then candidate Barack Obama said that he opposed gay marriage. Earlier this year, President Obama said that his views on gay marriage were “evolving.” George Stephanopoulos pressed him on the issue again yesterday, and the president once again would not endorse gay marriage (see above). He did however reiterate his opposition to DOMA, his support for gays in the military, and his belief that gay couples should have all the same benefits as married couples. If that sounds schizophrenic to you, it’s because it is. That is why the headline in New York Magazine is right on the money: “President Obama Won’t Say If He’ll Stop Pretending to Oppose Gay Marriage Before the Election.”

At this point, the President’s statements on this issue have gone past the point of absurd. In his policies and public statements, everything he says and does would seem to favor the gay rights agenda in general and gay marriage in particular. Most notably, he calls the Defense of Marriage Act “unconstitutional” and has directed his justice department not to enforce this law. At the same time, he will not openly endorse gay marriage in so many words, though he says his views are “evolving.” What gives? Is he for it or against it?

It is a truism that you will know them by their fruits. President Obama’s actions speak much louder than his words. His tepid statements to the effect that he does not favor gay marriage just don’t really look all that convincing. And I am not alone in this opinion. Chris Cilliza of The Washington Post says it this way:

There’s also the matter of the campaign next year… Obama risks losing the support of at least some of his base by embracing gay marriage. The black and Latino communities remain steadfastly anti-gay marriage, and high turnout among both of those populations was a big reason Obama did so well in 2008… Even as gay marriage has gotten significanly more popular in the intervening years, it remains a risky proposition (no pun intended) with black and Latino voters, and Obama needs them in 2012.

There is a take-away here for supporters of traditional marriage but who otherwise favor progressive policies and Democratic candidates. The President appears to be angling for your vote. He reads the polls and knows that he risks losing you if he comes out openly in favor of gay marriage. That is why you are unlikely to see him lay his cards on the table until after he wins the 2012 election. It appears that he made a political calculation and that he’s saving the announcement until after the potential for political damage is past.

If there’s still anyone out there who is thinking that the President is with them in opposing gay marriage, think again. There is more than enough evidence that he is not. In fact, I think you can expect President Obama’s evolution to come to an abrupt end on Wednesday, November 7, 2012.


  • RD

    Well, it might simply be that his personal view on the matter isn’t clear. As leader of the executive branch of the federal gov’t he likely views denial of same-sex marriage as discriminatory and something the gov’t should oppose. Personally, though, he might believe that marriage should remain an arrangement between a man and a woman while allowing for some other form of legally recognized union for same-sex couples. I know a good many people who aren’t in favor of upsetting the long-standing definition of marriage who still think that same-sex couples should be afforded legal union. One can be opposed to legalizing gay marriage while still supporting an alternative legal union for same-sex couples.

  • Michael

    What RD is arguing makes little sense.

    Why would someone who favors man-woman marriage also oppose the California marriage amendment, the Florida marriage amendment, the Arizona marriage amendment, the North Carolina marriage amendment and now the Minnesota marriage amendment — not to mention the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman?

    Sure, someone could be for civil unions while being against gay marriage, but very few of them oppose the very laws that would keep the traditional definition in place. That’s nonsense.

  • RD

    As president he might feel that the various amendments you site are unconstitutional and discriminatory. My understanding is that he was asked about his personal views. His personal views might be in conflict with his position as the country’s chief executive. As president one often has to make choices that might go against personal beliefs. I see him being completely honest, thinking through the various sides of this very important issue, trying to balance his responsibility as president with his own personal convictions on the subject.

  • Sandra

    RD, you are using circular reasoning, and it truly does not make sense. His responsibility as president is to follow the laws of the land and enforce them, not pick and choose what he thinks is right in the laws. Listening to what he says, one can’t argue that his personal views are as clear as the fog over a Louisiana swamp at dawn. What everyone sees is what he is actually doing. He has done everything he possibly can to undermine the institution of marriage as being between one man and one woman.

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