Online Staff Report
With the Nov. 6 general election six months away, President Barack Obama (D) has come out in favor of same-sex marriage.
In a May 9 interview with ABC News, Obama said: “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.”
The president once opposed such marriages, but said his views had evolved.
“I had hesitated on gay marriage, in part, because I thought civil unions would be sufficient,” Obama said. “I was sensitive to the fact that — for a lot of people — that the word marriage is something that provokes very powerful traditions and religious beliefs.”
Meantime, Obama’s presumptive opponent in the Nov. 6 general election, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R), opposes same-sex marriage and has pledged to push for a Federal Marriage Amendment to the Constitution.
As stated on Romney’s campaign website:
“The values that Mitt Romney learned in his home have enriched his life immeasurably. With his parents’ example before him, he married, had five sons, and now basks in the joy of 16 grandchildren.
“Marriage is more than a personally rewarding social custom. It is also critical for the well-being of a civilization. That is why it is so important to preserve traditional marriage — the joining together of one man and one woman. As president, Mitt will not only appoint an Attorney General who will defend the Defense of Marriage Act — a bipartisan law passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton — but he will also champion a Federal Marriage Amendment to the Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman.”
As reported by Nate Silver in the New York Times May 9, “According to surveys included in the PollingReport.com database, an average of 50 percent of American adults support same-sex marriage rights while 45 percent oppose it, based on an average of nine surveys conducted in the past year.”
Obama’s announcement came one day after North Carolina became the 31st state to pass a constitutional amendment affirming natural marriage between one man and one woman.
Mat Staver, chairman of the conservative lobbying organization Liberty Counsel Action, said May 9: “The president has made the issues in this election very clear. Today, Gov. Mitt Romney said he unequivocally supports natural marriage and opposes ‘marriage between people of the same gender,’ drawing a stark contrast in the upcoming election. For most voters, this election will now be an easy choice.”
In his April 25 “Ready for the Fight: Rolling Stone Interview with Barack Obama,” Rolling Stone Publisher Jann S. Wenner asked Obama the following: “You’ve shied away from demanding marriage equality for all. Are you at least willing to say that you support it on a personal level?”
Obama replied: “I’m not going to make news in this publication. I’ve made clear that the issue of fairness and justice and equality for the LGBT community is very important to me. And I haven’t just talked about it, I’ve acted on it. You’ll recall that the last time you and I had an interview, we were getting beat up about ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ in the LGBT community. There was skepticism: ‘Why’s it taking so long? Why doesn’t he just do it through executive order?’ I described very specifically the process we were going to go through to make sure that there was a buy-in from the military, up and down the chain of command, so that it would be executed in an effective way. And lo and behold, here we are, and it got done.
“Ending ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’” Obama continued, “has been the dog that didn’t bark. You haven’t read a single story about problems in our military as a consequence of the ending of the policy. So whether it’s on that, or changing the AIDS travel ban, or hospital visitation rights, or a whole slew of regulations that have made sure that federal workers are treated fairly in the workplace, we’ve shown the commitment that I have to these issues. And we’re going to keep on working in very practical ways to make sure that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters are treated as what they are — full-fledged members of the American family.”
Posted May 10, 2012