USA Today Editorial—Obama’s Same Sex Marriage evolution mirrors the nation’s

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Symbolically, Obama's comment to ABC News that "same-sex couples should be able to get married" is an important, even historic, marker of how far public opinion has shifted. No previous president has endorsed gay marriage.

Politically, his declaration injects another hot-button social issue into the presidential race, to uncertain effect. Republican candidate Mitt Romney promptly reiterated his view that marriage "is a relationship between a man and a woman," setting up a sharp contrast for the fall campaign.

But practically, Obama's "evolution" changes little. Marriage remains a state matter. Same-sex marriage is unlikely to become the law of the land any time soon. And polls aside, the idea has yet to catch on where it matters most: with voters.

Read it all.

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

18 Comments
Posted May 11, 2012 at 6:54 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Br. Michael wrote:

Romney says that he is, however, fine with gay adoption.  http://news.yahoo.com/romney-says-hes-fine-gay-couples-adopting-children-180004105.html

I would not be surprised to find that his support for man/woman marriage is political and he will swing totally pro-gay when he deems it safe politically.  I think I just moved from holding my nose and voting for Romney to just sitting this one out.

May 11, 9:13 am | [comment link]
2. Saltmarsh Gal wrote:

Mr. Obama will discover that the postion he has taken on gay marriage will most likely have an unstated but highly detrimental effect on his (and our country’s) credibility with the Muslim world.  Whether or not this was carefully choreographed with Biden remains to be seen, but the global effect will not be good.  This is, as I don’t need to remind this readership, precisely what our brothers and sisters in the Global South parts of the AC have struggled with because of their association with TEC.

May 11, 9:52 am | [comment link]
3. QohelethDC wrote:

The point about the Muslim world is interesting, and I hadn’t thought of that. That leads me to wonder a bit: In some parts of the world, we offend Muslim sensibilities by allowing women to drive, work outside the home, hold offixce, appear with their faces and heads unveiled, and so forth. Should we rethink these policies/positions to bolster our standing among the Islamic world?

May 11, 10:33 am | [comment link]
4. Capt. Father Warren wrote:

#1, I truly agree Romney is a politican first and foremost, which means he knows how to count votes and that his core principle is getting votes.

The other guy, however, is a committed socialist, hell-bent on transforming the country into a hard-left socialist state and destroying the vestiages of freedom and liberty which we still have.

If you, and a lot of others, sit this out; I don’t think in 4 years you will be better off.  On the other hand, after 4 years of a Romney administration, you may be better off.  And if after those 4 years you disagree with Romney, you can work to push your agenda of issues.

After 4 more years of “the ONE”, pushing your agenda might get you lined up against a wall to suffer lead poisoning.

May 11, 10:57 am | [comment link]
5. Br. Michael wrote:

4, I hear you, but I now longer thinks it makes any difference.  The US is already socialist.  I think I might want the end to come sooner rather than later.  At best Romney will only slow it down.  It’s almost like being asked to choose between Lenin and Stalin.

If I sound discouraged I am.  I really wonder if the US is ever worth defending any more.  If it is to be felt up at the airport, as happened the last time when the x-ray machine alerted on my plastic comb, or hearing the leftest pro-gay propaganda on NPR I think I might like my totalitarianism in a more pure form which is more likely to be achieved under Obama.

May 11, 11:13 am | [comment link]
6. Scatcatpdx wrote:

We intrusted our education institution to people who are sin and trespass as a result we face a hostile and secular educations system. We intrusted marriage institution to a humanity who are sin and trespass now we deal with inclusion of gay marriage. Am I the only one who see a pattern? For centuries America Protestants had thought society was built on quasi-Christian principals but ignore total depravity. We are not a Christan nation but a nation of sinners who some of us had been called int Christ by faith.
With is in mind it why I am and individualist. Yes it means some will chose to use they liberty for sin but as long as they do not infringe on the liberty of others. In a way it tend to isolate issues like gay marriage.  If society wants to go to the dogs, just remember dogs do eventually die, as the Roman empire.  It may be difficult but the church will survive.

May 11, 12:54 pm | [comment link]
7. Capt. Father Warren wrote:

Br. M, I think we are agreed that this country as it is currently running makes a poor argument for putting everything on the line to defend it.  If it was just my sorry butt I was worried about, I would check out because I can probably live fairly comfortably no matter what talking head occupies the White House.

But I have a son [who fought in Iraq for….............oh, I forget] and a daughter-in-law and 4 beautiful grandchildren and I will be damned if I will give up and consign them to the type of totalitarian hell that Obama and those who side with him want to turn this country into.

And then there are the words of Ronald Reagen, that this country is the last beacon of freedom on earth, there is no where else to run.  And if we lose freedom here, it may be GENERATIONS before mankind tastes true freedom again.

And I guess last of all, to the extent I care about my earthly legacy, I do not want it to be said of me that I sat down on my butt and gave up!  As for my spiritual legacy, I have given all to Christ.

To try and get back on topic: I have no illusions about Romney.  In my mind he is but a tactical move to buy time.  Time in which we may wake up enough of this country to repent of its sins and seek God’s forgivenss and beg for His mercy on us.

On another note; it is plain weird to me how much one can learn from history.  I remember my grandparents talking about their grandparents and the time after the Civil War and how the family had been divided to the death by the war.  I got the same thing going on now.  I have some family members who are so far up Obama’s ...........well, let’s just say they can count the fillings in his teeth.  And there is no compromise, no acknowledgement that something about how this country was founded is good.  There is only the dreamy drive to utopia.  How sad….....

May 11, 2:33 pm | [comment link]
8. QohelethDC wrote:

Capt. Father Warren: I’m sorry to hear about the lack of openness to compromise, which (as we know all too well here in DC) does indeed lead to gridlock. What sort of compromises have you suggested?

May 11, 2:50 pm | [comment link]
9. David Keller wrote:

One of the biggest problems in Washington is that too many (most) politicians don’t know Sam Rayburn is dead. They’ve gone along to get along for 70 years and now we are in gridlock because senators and congressmen still think Sam Rayburn is alive and well. The last hope of ending the insanity will occur on November 6, 2012.

May 11, 3:50 pm | [comment link]
10. Sarah wrote:

RE: “Obama’s Same Sex Marriage evolution mirrors the nation’s”

Mmm hmmm.  Just like in North Carolina.  . . . Oh—wait . . .

Isn’t it funny how the polls all say that people are more “open” to gay marriage and then when it’s actually voted on . . . in 32 US states . . . it’s resoundingly defeated.

Of course, there’s another way that Obama’s “evolution” doesn’t mirror the nation’s and that’s that Obama was already *for* same sex marriage 10 years ago!  So the only way he’s “evolved” is that a week ago he realized that gay donors were closing off the pocketbooks for his campaign and he needed them to open the pocketbooks back up.

So the USA Today thesis is wrong not just on one count but on two.

May 11, 4:12 pm | [comment link]
11. David Keller wrote:

Sarah, You are absolutely correct about the donor aspect of his announcement. It has everything to do with money. Of course the gay lobby wil. Be expecting a pay back. Another reason 11/6 is important

May 11, 4:59 pm | [comment link]
12. Ross wrote:

#10 Sarah writes:

Isn’t it funny how the polls all say that people are more “open” to gay marriage and then when it’s actually voted on . . . in 32 US states . . . it’s resoundingly defeated.

Nate Silver (of fivethirtyeight.com) acknowledges that “It should be remembered that support for same-sex marriage in polls has not necessarily translated into support at the ballot booth. On Tuesday, North Carolina became the latest state to adopt a Constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and did so by a margin of about 20 percentage points, somewhat larger than polls forecast.”

But he also points out that, “support for same-sex marriage has been increasing, and opposition to it has been decreasing, at a relatively steady rate of perhaps two or three percentage points a year since 2004.”

So I have hope that, in due time, those “32 US states” will eventually reverse their stance.  Am I right to be hopeful?  Only time will tell.

May 11, 5:54 pm | [comment link]
13. Capt. Father Warren wrote:

#8, last try was tax reform to boost economy, drive investment, make US industry competitive.  Most family members are CPA’s and Lawyers.  Translation; the more tax laws the better [from the CPA contingent] and industry is inherently evil and needs to pay [from the barristers].  Not much wiggle room there…......sigh…....

I’m glad Sarah called USA Today on the dumb title, totally missed that!

May 11, 6:28 pm | [comment link]
14. Capt. Father Warren wrote:

Ross, what do you wish to be hopeful about?  If you want the State to give you a civil contract that details rights and obligations between you and a partner, I think you can go ink something like that today and the phone book is probably full of attorneys who could help you devise such a contract with as many detailed obligations as you might want.

If you want the State to call it marriage, that is tougher once the will of the people is heard.  And even if people change their minds, God won’t [see below].

If you are looking for an ordained minister to be God’s agent to confer the sacramental blessing of Holy Matrimony upon you and your [same sex?] partner, we can’t do that.  And the minister who tells you that he/she can [or the Church that tells you they can] are giving something away that is not theirs to give, for the simple reason that it violates the witness of Holy Scripture [the Bible] and is contra to the authority of Scripture.  Simply said, there is no grace conferred in the ceremony of Holy Matrimony on a same-sex couple.

I would pray that the thing you will be hopeful about is your Salvation.

May 11, 6:36 pm | [comment link]
15. Dan Ennis wrote:

#12 Ross, there is a school of thought that the proliferation of these amendments is —counterintutively—a sign of the kind of hope you appear to be seeking.  The consensus definition of marriage in America had been so widely held until recently that there was no need for the amendments and laws that we now associate with “defense of marriage.”  Until the late twentieth century, that marriage could only occur between a man and a woman was self-evident. 

The decay of that consensus is being driven from below, by younger people who don’t see this issue as a big deal.  The “defense of marriage” is driven, strongly if you look at the polls, by older voters fighting a rearguard action to “defend” that which until recently didn’t require a defense.

These amendments may ultimately delay a fundamental shift in marriage access, but they are legal speed bumps in a nation where (according to the Pew Forum) two thirds of people born since 1981 favor gay marriage.  The staunchest age group opposed to same-sex marriage is the 65+ (they are only 22% in favor).

So if you have patience, you can just wait.  The kids are going to make this call.  The Republican NC Speaker of the House admitted as much, saying that the amendment would be overturned by younger people as they move into voting age.

Lost in all this is that the very generation that is now writing and passing referenda to protect marriage failed to inculcate in the following generation an inherent respect for traditional marriage.  These amendments would not be needed if there was still a consensus on who marriage is for and what it is supposed to look like.

May 11, 11:58 pm | [comment link]
16. Sarah wrote:

RE: “two thirds of people born since 1981 favor gay marriage . . . “

Blessedly, those people grow up and become sentient grown-ups.

And even more ironically—those born since 1981 are, thanks to abortion, far far far far more limited in percentage of the population than they would have been 50 years ago.

It’s an old-folks society, libs.  Lotsa luck with that! 


Signed,

A former 20-something   ; > )

May 12, 1:02 am | [comment link]
17. SC blu cat lady wrote:

Can we hope that that by the time the generation that has voted down gay “marriage” is gone that the post 1981 people will eventually ‘see the light’ and realize what marriage really is? Otherwise, it will only take time before gay marriage is legal everywhere.

May 12, 9:37 am | [comment link]
18. wmresearchtrianglenc wrote:

An observation about polling on this marriage-related issue. Even though a poll is something that may technically be in the category of a private communication, I believe a significant number of polled individuals will consider a response in another light. Thus, an individual’s response is in effect influenced by the possibility of an individual making a statement that may somehow reflect negatively on him or her, with the result for a significant number of polled individuals—especially with regard to very controversial issues—the response to a poll has been skewed by the possibility of an individual’s feeling of having to place himself or herself as a person out of favor with what is “trending” or what has some popularity as what might be seen as flowing as the “current-of-the-moment”, etc. Lazy journalism in the media also contributes to this effect because of the excess of repetition of what is “trending”, etc. The poll numbers related to the issues relating to marriage will, I believe, soon prove to be other than what is more likely to result from the polling places in November. I’m reminded of a high-level officeholder who was decidedly on the wrong side of national trends in the views of media journalism but who nevertheless continued to be retained in office by the voters regardless of the negative views of the media. It was mentioned to me how few individuals would speak of having voted for this officeholder—obviously, many certainly had done exactly that. Underneath this situation seems to be a fear by a significant number of voters of taking a position that involves identification in opposition to a momentary current. However, in the actual privacy and serious and subdued atmosphere of voting, different instincts and beliefs seem to be able to surface to swim against any momentary current that might well have been driven by a fear of “swimming against.”

May 12, 3:02 pm | [comment link]
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