Finally, Obama Confirms His Support for Gay Marriage
In an interview with Robin Roberts of ABC News, Obama confirms his support for gay marriage. Obama said this:
“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,”
Recently, Vice President Biden also came out in favor of gay marriage in an interview on Meet the Press Sunday, saying:
“I’m absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women… are entitled the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties, and quite frankly, I don’t see much of a distinction beyond that.”
On top of that, Education Secretary Arne Duncan also confirmed his support for gay marriage when asked on an interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe when he was asked if he supported same-sex marriage. His response was “Yes, I do”.
This is a clear signal I believe that the Obama Administration is prepared to make it part of its campaign platform for their reelection bid. There has been pressure from the media and rights groups recently for Obama to finally come out in support after both Vice President Biden and Education Secretary Duncan confirmed their support for gay marriage.
There will certainly be forthcoming attacks from conservative Republicans as their own presidential candidate Mitt Romney has made it clear that he doesn’t support same-sex marriage or even civil unions. This is an issue that will surely be brought up in upcoming presidential debates and may affect the presidential election in November to some extent.
Probably the most likely path the Obama Administration will take is to seek to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act which they have already refused to defend in the courts with its Justice Department. It’s difficult to say how it will affect the upcoming election as the president’s endorsement of gay marriage might cost him some votes but then it could also motivate his base and young people who he needs in great numbers if he is to defeat Romney.
In an email message to his supporters, President Obama added this to what he already said before on his television interview:
“I’ve always believed that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally. I was reluctant to use the term marriage because of the very powerful traditions it evokes. And I thought civil union laws that conferred legal rights upon gay and lesbian couples were a solution.
But over the course of several years I’ve talked to friends and family about this. I’ve thought about members of my staff in long-term, committed, same-sex relationships who are raising kids together. Through our efforts to end the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, I’ve gotten to know some of the gay and lesbian troops who are serving our country with honor and distinction.
What I’ve come to realize is that for loving, same-sex couples, the denial of marriage equality means that, in their eyes and the eyes of their children, they are still considered less than full citizens.
Even at my own dinner table, when I look at Sasha and Malia, who have friends whose parents are same-sex couples, I know it wouldn’t dawn on them that their friends’ parents should be treated differently.
So I decided it was time to affirm my personal belief that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.
I respect the beliefs of others, and the right of religious institutions to act in accordance with their own doctrines. But I believe that in the eyes of the law, all Americans should be treated equally. And where states enact same-sex marriage, no federal act should invalidate them.”
As a gay man, I have a great deal of respect for both President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden as this is a very courageous act for both of them to do. Gay people already supports them fully as the Obama Administration has done more for gays than any other president has ever even attempted to do. For that I speak on behalf of all gays in saying I wish them both great success in holding on to the White House and taking us into another great four years in which we can expect to see our country move forward not only for gay rights but for all minorities and those who have had little to no voice in our government. And finally I’d like to say; we have a president that really gets it.