President Obama declares support for same sex Marriage

Posted by Kendall Harmon

President Obama today announced that he now supports same-sex marriage, reversing his longstanding opposition amid growing pressure from the Democratic base and even his own vice president.

In an interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts, the president described his thought process as an “evolution” that led him to this place, based on conversations with his own staff members, openly gay and lesbian service members, and conversations with his wife and own daughters.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralOffice of the PresidentPresident Barack Obama

Posted May 9, 2012 at 2:18 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Yebonoma wrote:

Loved his quoting of the Golden Rule as the theological underpinning for his evolved position.  He also said he had discussed his decision with his daughters.  Shades of Jimmy Carter hearing from Amy how worred she was about the nuclear weapons doctrine of mutually assured destruction.

May 9, 3:38 pm | [comment link]
2. Publius wrote:

In my view, the President is simply admitting publicly what he has long thought privately.

Politically, this public statement shows that money (from homosexual contributors) trumps votes (from economically liberal voters who are culturally conservative, such as African American Christians). This statement also shows the president’s calculation that his culturally conservative voters will vote again for him notwithstanding his statement.

May 9, 3:43 pm | [comment link]
3. RandomJoe wrote:

> This statement also shows the president’s calculation that his culturally conservative voters will vote again for him notwithstanding his statement.

I think that’s exactly it. He trying to motivate his rich white liberal base and thinks he can do this while he keeps the minority part of the base. He may be right.

May 9, 3:55 pm | [comment link]
4. Robert Lundy wrote:

Guess his evolution is now complete…

May 9, 3:56 pm | [comment link]
5. Brian from T19 wrote:

I agree that he has always believed this, however, I do think this will damage his chances in the election…I think he will still win, but this was probably not the smartest political thing to do.  It was however, the correct thing to do.

May 9, 4:09 pm | [comment link]
6. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

I don’t think 1-3% of the population will swing the election for him, no matter which way he swings.  On the other hand, it is a clear windsock for the sought after second term and what OBAMA UNLEASHED will really be like.  Perhaps next he will “evolve” into nutritional support with fetal flesh ( or a full Soylent Green program.

May 9, 4:10 pm | [comment link]
7. KevinBabb wrote:

Up until the last couple of days, I have been drearily resigned to the idea of re-election. However, given yesterday’s events in swing states, or traditionally Republican states that B.O. won in 2008, I am actually encouraged (hope being the cruelest emotion). I think that this pro-gay marriage position on his part will weaken his support in states like Indiana, North Carolina, Florida, Virginia, and perhaps even Ohio, Nevada, New Mexico and Pennsylvania.  I don’t think that coming out (as it were) with this position is going to get him any votes he didn’t already have, largely because, as Brian points out in paragraph 5, he already held this position—and we all know it.

May 9, 4:25 pm | [comment link]
8. Katherine wrote:

Well, it’s certainly more honest than his previous position.  A wag on one of the blogs remarked that it is Obama who holds to Social Darwinism, since his opinions on social issues keep “evolving.”  “Flip-flop” is of course reserved only for people who become more conservative.

May 9, 5:46 pm | [comment link]
9. Ad Orientem wrote:

In other news; the sun rose this morning in the east.

May 9, 6:53 pm | [comment link]
10. Milton Finch wrote:

That’s news to me, Ad!  I thought we rotated to the easterly direction of our stance in the sun’s relative position.

May 9, 8:01 pm | [comment link]
11. Mark Baddeley wrote:

I think he’s decided he can beat the Republicans as long as his base doesn’t desert him for not being progressive enough - and ‘gay rights’ and ‘reproductive rights’ are pretty well the only two issues progressives seem to care about at the moment. Here’s hoping they’ve crunched those numbers wrong.

May 9, 8:07 pm | [comment link]
12. Lutheran-MS wrote:

It comes down to one thing - Votes, he would sell his soul for votes.

May 9, 8:30 pm | [comment link]
13. Ad Orientem wrote:


It comes down to one thing - Votes, he would sell his soul for votes.

I agree. But then I think the same thing is true of Romney.

May 9, 8:36 pm | [comment link]
14. Katherine wrote:

I think this is probably Obama’s real underlying opinion, although it’s hard to tell.

May 9, 8:39 pm | [comment link]
15. PeterL wrote:

Ad hominem comment about blog host deleted by elf.

May 9, 11:01 pm | [comment link]
16. Br. Michael wrote:

No surprise here.

May 10, 7:34 am | [comment link]
17. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

Well, I remember Obama being adamant when he ran for office in Illinois that he was in favor of gay marriage. I think this is a classic case of “I was for it before I was a’gin it.”

I do, however, think he has made a political blunder. He virtually just wrote off North Carolina and Virginia in the general election, which he won in 2008. I think he just made a toss up state of Ohio, which previously had a toe in his camp.

The only reason I can think of for him jumping head long into the culture wars is to get the electorate involved in a non-economic based issue. If he can get people riled up about something like this, maybe they won’t think the economy is so bad.

May 10, 9:04 am | [comment link]
18. Sarah wrote:


Thank goodness that Obama suddenly realized this was “the correct thing to do”—a couple of days after major gay donors said they wouldn’t financially support him.  ; > )

This was a classic rock and a hard place for our Dear Leader.  On the one hand, coming out and saying what you’ve always believed is a poor political move since, despite constant “polling” telling us otherwise, a majority of voters don’t want gay marriage.

On the other hand, when the money’s not flowing in to the campaign coffers as it once did, you gotta do something to loosen up the spigot.

Obama chose the latter.

Glad he was forced to make that Hobson’s choice.

May 10, 9:30 am | [comment link]
19. evan miller wrote:

Dog bites man.

May 10, 11:16 am | [comment link]
20. midwestnorwegian wrote:

Ludicrous that anyone would think Obama even had a choice in the matter.  “Hobson’s Choice” is right.

May 10, 12:15 pm | [comment link]
21. sophy0075 wrote:

“Declares support for his base,” is the truth of it.


Frankly, it is one more proof of the hubris of the man; that he thinks going on the side of a controversial issue will not hurt him; that his likelihood of winning the necessary electoral votes in the big, liberal states and the swing states is that good. But then, this is a fellow who wrote two autobiographies before the age of 50 and who announced that he had killed Osama Bin Laden.

May 10, 12:27 pm | [comment link]
22. Pb wrote:

His “change of mind” was the result of listening to folks telling their stories. Sounds familiar? Indaba perhaps?

May 10, 1:49 pm | [comment link]
23. Joshua 24:15 wrote:

This was an orchestrated political decision, pure and simple, with Biden and others clearing the path for Obama on the weekend talk shows.  All meant to rouse his base/shore up donations from his gay supporters, and probably divert attention from the the non-recovery from the Great Recession.

If the GOP and Romney are in any wise smart, they won’t be drawn into a long, drawn-out social issue slugfest, and they’ll hammer away at the president’s record, or lack thereof.  As James Carville said, “It’s the ECONOMY, stupid.”

May 10, 2:23 pm | [comment link]
24. QohelethDC wrote:

His “change of mind” was the result of listening to folks telling their stories. Sounds familiar? Indaba perhaps? 

Pb, you’ve mentioned this in two threads, and I can’t tell (not knowing you) if you mean it as a criticism. Listening to the stories of folks affected by a policy or issue strikes me as a wise step toward a decision, to be honest.

Dahlia Lithwick explains this better than I ever could in an essay for SLATE.

May 11, 11:26 am | [comment link]
25. Pb wrote:

I am sorry to be obtuse. We used to talk about scripture, tradition and reason. Now it is the stories of others - as opposed to bible stories. I do think we should listen to all. When my former diocese had dialogues on this subject, the ground rules said that scripture could not be quoted nor could anyone speak who had come out of a gay lifestyle. I mean it as a criticism if it the source of you values.

May 11, 2:58 pm | [comment link]
26. QohelethDC wrote:

Thanks, Pb! I appreciate it. I did one of those diocesan dialogues too, but I don’t recall either of those ground rules. Then again, it was years ago. I’m not sure our conversations changed anyone’s mind, but (at least for me) it helped turn “the other side” from caricatures into flesh-and-blood people. I remember saying in the wrapup discussion that the Episcopal Church seemed to welcome everyone except the people who were born there and being struck by how many folks nodded.

May 11, 4:53 pm | [comment link]
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