Obama Dangles Carrot, Suggests Possible Support For Gay Marriage

Illustration for article titled Obama Dangles Carrot, Suggests Possible Support For Gay Marriage

Does anyone really believe that Barack Obama hasn't supported gay marriage because of his "understandings of the traditional definitions of marriage"? Still, he told liberal bloggers yesterday that he might stake out a less safe position on the topic.

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Obama supported gay marriage "unequivocally" back in 1996, but that was during a race for State Senator, before he had to deal with national politics.

Yesterday, he told Joe Sudbay of AmericaBlog that "attitudes evolve, including mine." He also said,

"I think that it is an issue that I wrestle with and think about because I have a whole host of friends who are in gay partnerships. I have staff members who are in committed, monogamous relationships, who are raising children, who are wonderful parents. And I care about them deeply. And so while I'm not prepared to reverse myself here, sitting in the Roosevelt Room at 3:30 in the afternoon, I think it's fair to say that it's something that I think a lot about. That's probably the best you'll do out of me today."

Given that he also referred to the momentum (in the courts and in some states) towards gay marriage, his remarks have been seen as a signal that he could change his position on gay marriage in time for the 2012 election. Not that it would be a magic bullet — after all, he formally opposes Don't Ask Don't Tell too — but it would certainly be a step, one that would cease ceding ground to conservatives who say their opposition to gay marriage is no less tolerant than the president's.

The president has clearly been trying to make targeted inroads to that disaffected liberal base: On Tuesday, he had an off-the-record meeting with opponents of Don't Ask Don't Tell; on Wednesday, he met with liberal bloggers who were critical of him, and then taped an appearance on The Daily Show.

Also, the ladies! He gave a speech about domestic violence yesterday. This Friday, Michelle Obama is having a "women leaders" conference call, "discussing some of the important changes that this administration has helped enact that benefit women — including historic health insurance reform, the Lilly Ledbetter Act, and new education policies that mean all of our children have a chance to learn the skills they need for today's economy."

Obama Says He's "Evolving" On Gay Marriage [Politico]
Transcript Of Q&A With President [Americablog]

DISCUSSION

kaisermachead
kaisermachead

The problem with all of this is that there seems to be a lot of beating around the bush. The way I see it, this can be greatly simplified into one basic premise. It's not a part of our culture and social structure that is dedicated to any religious organization. It's not something afforded to use strictly by any sect. It's something I can go to a courthouse and have done, along with licensing and it will be reflected on my taxes. That's it. If I as a taxpayer can go to a courthouse and be acknowledged of my wish to be joined in matrimony to someone else, every single citizen of consenting age should be afforded the same thing. I don't care who has gay friends. I don't care whose heart is bleeding over the matter.

The problem is that there's a serious double standard when it comes to the assumed equality that we hold for everyone, and is just as bad as all of those instances when someone refers to same sex marriage as a gateway for other "debasements" of partnership, like pedophelia and bestiality. I've encountered these arguments before, and it jiggers the imagination that some people actually think it's logical!

If anyone's ever watched FOX during its heyday of "Who wants to marry (insert media clown here)?", they should rest easy in the knowledge that marriage has already been beaten the fuck out of anyway.

Bah. I'm ranting again. I don't really expect him or any other single person to turn everything around, but I guess the angry curmudgeonly side of me always hopes someone would yell about it on TV. Dammit I wish I wasn't so camera shy.