A couple of days ago I started the new poll question, “When will President Obama publicly support same-sex marriage?” The choices were “Before election”, “Second term (if elected)” and “Never”. When I started the poll I never imagined we’d have the answer so soon. I just closed the poll after only five votes because President Obama announced today that he now supports same-sex marriage. Out of five votes, nobody chose “Before election”.
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.
“I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama told Roberts, in an interview to appear on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Thursday. Excerpts of the interview will air tonight on ABC’s “World News with Diane Sawyer.”
I guess after the last few days of media speculation it’s not shocking that Obama finally supports (publicly) same-sex marriage, but it’s still a bit surprising that it happened before the election. I think it’s about time he supported marriage equality given all that his administration has done for equal rights for the LGBT community. I can’t imagine there is much of a political downside. Those who are opposed to same-sex marriage likely will not vote for Obama anyway. There might be a few exceptions, but I would think the effects are limited and offset by increased support from the left from those who might have been a bit disappointed in Obama’s centrist approach through the first three years of is presidency.