President Obama - photo by Charles McCain

President Obama Announces Support For Same-Sex Marriage

Human Rights, Marriage Equality 4

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”.

Yahoo / ABC – Obama declares support for gay marriage

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.


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David K. Sutton

Chief Writer and Editor of The Left Call - I'm a full-time IT engineer, part-time political blogger. I founded The Left Call in 2011 because I believe in social justice, economic equality, and the idea of forming a more perfect union. In addition to written content, I also host the LEFT CALL RADIO Podcast.

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  • Steve

    It’s about time!  Too bad he only did it so he’d be in lockstep with the VP.  Can’t people in an administration have differing opinions?

    • David K. Sutton

      I think the administration would have had no problem continuing to say Obama’s position on same-sex marriage is “evolving” even with Biden’s comments. It wouldn’t be the first time Biden said something outside the support of the administration. And if that’s the case, then clearly they decided now was the right time to move forward on this issue. It’s also possible the whole thing was planned (including Biden’s comment).

  • Steve

    P.Z. Myers’s recent post about this offered another good point, putting this statement’s significance in some perspective.

    • David K. Sutton

      I can understand where P.Z. Myers is coming from but I simply can’t take it to that level of negativity, even if I agree with him. :) I do happen to think it’s significant while simultaneously believing Obama’s “evolution” on this issue probably had more to do with political calculation. I agree a Democratic president should have taken this position a long time ago but instead it didn’t happen until this week. And regardless of whether it’s late or not doesn’t change the significance of the POTUS supporting marriage equality.

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