After years of “evolution,” President Obama today switched his past opposition to same-sex marriage and says that he now supports the right. Obama stated that he only came to this realization after speaking with his family and gay and lesbian associates, but he now personally supports same-sex marriage. He continues to maintain however that the question of same-sex marriage must remain a state issue, which would indicate that he does not view this as a right protected under the Bill of Rights. Obama however has now distinguished himself as the only major candidate in the general election who will not oppose same-sex marriage as a personal matter.
In an interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts, Obama stated:
“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.”
That statement falls short of stating that this is a constitutional right as opposed to personal view. In past cases, the Obama Administration has opposed arguments that sexual orientation should be given the same protection as race — even after changing its position on “don’t ask don’t tell” and the “Defense Of Marriage Act.” However, this remains an important, if belated, recognition of the unfairness and inequity facing gay and lesbian couples.
The support of state authority on the question will help Obama control the political backlash in states like Virginia and North Carolina. However, it creates an interesting contrast to the position of the Administration in court in cases ranging from medical marijuana to health care to immigration where it has rejected claims of state authority.
At the moment, it remains dangerously undefined for the Administration: is same-sex marriage a constitutional right or a personal choice in the President’s view? If it is a constitutional right, can gays and lesbians claim heightened scrutiny of review associated with race or at least gender? That does not appear to be the thrust of Obama’s comments. The fact that the Administration continues to crackdown on state medical marijuana laws as a federal question, same-sex marriage would appear to rank below the question of the use of marijuana for terminally ill patients as a legal question.
It is hard to know how to react to the news. Civil libertarians are obviously less than enthused with the long opposition of the President or the view that the President had finally reached a point where even the normally favorable White House press corp was openly mocking his position. Even Democratic stalwarts this week were denouncing Obama and telling him to “man up” and take a stand on principle. It should not take a conversation with your daughters to recognize a fundamental right after years as a state legislator, U.S. Senator, and U.S. President. Yet, he has at least finally dropped his opposition and that puts him in a better position than Romney on the question.
The President should now offer a better idea of the constitutional footing of this right. His description of his thought process notably does not reference notions of equal protection as much as basic fairness:
“This is something that, you know, we’ve talked about over the years and she, you know, she feels the same way, she feels the same way that I do. And that is that, in the end the values that I care most deeply about and she cares most deeply about is how we treat other people and, you know, I, you know, we are both practicing Christians and obviously this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others but, you know, when we think about our faith, the thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it’s also the Golden Rule, you know, treat others the way you would want to be treated. And I think that’s what we try to impart to our kids and that’s what motivates me as president and I figure the most consistent I can be in being true to those precepts, the better I’ll be as a as a dad and a husband and, hopefully, the better I’ll be as president.”
The Golden Rule basis for this right leaves if on the same level as other personal choices and social disagreements — as opposed to a matter of equal protection or privacy. Yet, in a process of evolution, we are now at least in the same rough genus of rights. He also can rightfully claim to be the first president to support same-sex marriage.
205 thoughts on “Evolutionary Progress: Obama Embraces Same-Sex Marriage After “Evolving” Away From His Prior Opposition”
Bron, go ahead and write the screenplay. When it is time for casting, I want the actor who plays “The Most Interesting Man in the World” in the beer ads to play my part.
great thread! Wow, now this is entertainment. You cant make this stuff up.
Do I see a 2 person play? AD against a composite character in a dialogue of 2 acts.
Scene begins in kitchen with family all around preparing for Sunday dinner all in their Sunday best. Casual conversation and then AD and our composite character retire to the back porch to continue their “discussion”.
Play ends with AD realizing she is gay and embraces our composite character saying “damn your ass is incredible”[I know that needs some work]. She has a total catharsis and becomes a Hari Krishna at LAX passing out California Poppies for a $1.00 donation
Our composite character has to be a lesbian for this to work. OS, Tony, Mike Spindell, Gene H, et al, hope you dont mind some artistic license.
gbk: I am so stealing that, if you don’t mind. Priceless.
junctionshamus: ( laughing) no one ask you to post…why the anger? You’re the one with the problem, not me…I’m not angry…besides, you’ll never know the real reason why I’m here…its been enlightening and extremely EXPECTED…you just gave me material I did not have for a speech I need to make. But I did get into major trouble for being on here…you guys were very very mean and rude to me..which kind of helps me understand some things, but its also very troubling. The only reason you knew I was a girl was because I thought you would not be as RUDE…but you got worse. ( I never lied, I am female) The gays I know personally do not seem to have these kind of attitudes, although they know what I believe, they also know that I would never in a million years hurt them…and they don’t just TOLERATE ME. When Don died, it almost knocked me off my feet. I had known him the longest, and our friendship was real. If I could go back and visit with him just once..just once…I would be thankful..so thankful…I will not forget him on this side…I don’t want him to be gone…he left to soon. But he was nothing like those I’ve encountered here…nothing…and he’d be mad at you for treating me in such a crude manner. This has affected me in a negative way and has caused me to reflect more on why there are so many unexplained incidents in certain lifestyles..but at least I have material..only the curse words and bad words will be eliminated..SCHOOL TIME!!
Well, I was going for “full of shit, lady,” but decided I should be nice.
AD – I think I’ve got you somewhat figured out… You see yourself as fighting for the souls of everyone on what ever list you infect, and pathologically derive pleasure from the “sacrifice” you feel your making. The more you feel you have to argue, the greater your resultant triumph, at least in your own mind.
So, howl away, wail like St. John in the Wilderness, wear your sack cloth and ashes, eat your locusts and honey. Whatever floats your ecclesiastical boat. No salvation of souls to be gained here; apparently some folks already left their tracts in our collective screen door, and we’ve chosen to believe whatever we feel it is right, whether expressed as a personal theology, a personal philosophy, or inherent moral conviction to treat others as we would want to be treated.
I will admit, at one time in my immature life, I felt repugnance toward those of the GLBT lifestyle, until MY heart was turned by God. I realized the sickness was in my own heart, not theirs, and resolved to make the appropriate changes. I think I’ve done well, and my heart corroborates it.
If I have any grudge, it’s that I’ve allowed myself to be sucked into frivolous arguments, but hey, it’s been a slow news day here on Colorado’s beautiful Western Slope. I don’t believe Lucifer himself could have been any slicker or more persistent than you. I wish you well in your “Andromeda Strain” travels, but remember, even that little bug burned out.
I never thought I’d miss Brent. Then again, I never thought I’d miss William F. Buckley either.
“it sure helps me know what people are made of.”
I’m surprised you don’t know this yet. Here’s a quick rundown:
Boys are made of
Slugs and snails
And puppy-dogs’ tails
Girls are made of
Sugar and spice
And everything nice
Religious zealots are made of
Bitters and bile
With a pinch of guile
Hope that helps.
gbk: but that’s just my point…I hate RELIGION…I am a believer in what Jesus taught, which is SALVATION…I perceive that you know absolutely EVERYTHING about RELIGION…but ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT SALVATION…( Which seems to be your main problem) …wait till I get back to reply because Dad said I need to study. Thanks.
GTGF: (gottogofellers) My dad is calling me ( not suppose to be on here) Hes told me more then once to get off NOW…and hes a little mad at me now…
Gene, we really need to solicit better quality trolls. junctionshamus, it was before your time, but I would bet the regulars remember Brent. Now Brent was a high-quality troll. His insults were creative and plumbed new depths of ignorance and bigotry. Brent bailed on us after he found out the Klan would not get their own customized Mississippi license plates.
Otteray Scribe: Absolutely, and furthermore I don’t have to be ashamed when I go out in public…
junctionshamus: actually it stands for [ fear of SLAVERY] Not the kind a normal person would assume…
junctionshamus, AD has learned the terminology, but clearly has not read the research literature. She has it bass-akward.
I wonder if she can see her reflection in a mirror?
AD, it would be great to feel like I knew everything and was privy to the Real Truth of everything and everyone. Unfortunately, and unlike you, I am not a know it all. I have been running across like minded folks all my life: Often wrong, never uncertain.
FOSL? – Full of self-loathing? Hey, I got it!!
Otteray Scribe: oh but I thought you were the one who needed to so fully educate me, instead of the other way around…and if you’re so fully sure that what you believe and act upon is correct, then you have nothing in me to condemn…I’m not your mama…(laughing)
Hey, I just realized that this thread has no one on here making comments except “gays” and myself….(FOSL)
Otteray Scribe: I would think that’s a little more YOUR preference..plus the fact that since I’m not the one intimidated, your words are empty and shallow…plus the fact that you’re not going to stand before me once you cross that final bridge and find out that your soul will never die…(uh oh) I’m not angry either, just because I express my beliefs…I have just as much right on this thread as anybody else..plus the fact that the more I read these posts the more I know..I just signed up for this one..it sure helps me know what people are made of.
I think it was E.E. Cummings who said, “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
Good words to grant to all for the effort required.
And waste perfectly good fruit and perfectly good symbolism? ;D
Gene, have you noticed when a sharp needle pricks their balloons, how cute they are as they flail around for an appropriate insult and come up empty? Do you think it would help if we tossed the righteous one a banana?
“Disapproval of homosexuality cannot justify invading the houses, hearts and minds of citizens who choose to live their lives differently.” – Justice Harry A. Blackmun
“Homosexuality, is regarded as shameful by barbarians and by those who live under despotic governments just as philosophy is regarded as shameful by them, because it is apparently not in the interest of such rulers to have great ideas engendered in their subjects, or powerful friendships or passionate love-all of which homosexuality is particularly apt to produce.” – Plato
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