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President Endorses Gay Marriage

 
 
snood
 
Reply Wed 9 May, 2012 01:05 pm
I think the announcement will be any minute now... He's having an interview with Robin Roberts of ABC news.

What will the repercussions be? I think he was pushed into this announcement about 6 months early...
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Type: Discussion • Score: 34 • Views: 14,864 • Replies: 264

 
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 May, 2012 01:13 pm
@snood,
Good for him. I have no idea what the reprecussions will be, but it's basically no different than what his admin is already doing.

Note that the Prez didn't endorse passing a national law legalizing it - he specifically said that states should make their own rules on it:

Quote:
“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.”

The president stressed that this is a personal position, and that he still supports the concept of states deciding the issue on their own. But he said he’s confident that more Americans will grow comfortable with gays and lesbians getting married, citing his own daughters’ comfort with the concept.

“It’s interesting, some of this is also generational,” the president continued. “You know when I go to college campuses, sometimes I talk to college Republicans who think that I have terrible policies on the economy, on foreign policy, but are very clear that when it comes to same sex equality or, you know, sexual orientation that they believe in equality. They are much more comfortable with it. You know, Malia and Sasha, they have friends whose parents are same-sex couples. There have been times where Michelle and I have been sitting around the dinner table and we’re talking about their friends and their parents and Malia and Sasha, it wouldn’t dawn on them that somehow their friends’ parents would be treated differently. It doesn’t make sense to them and frankly, that’s the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective.”


Cycloptichorn
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 May, 2012 01:21 pm
@snood,
I have mixed feelings about it. I think he's always been basically for gay marriage but thought that cost/ benefit-wise it wasn't a good idea to make a big deal about it. He had to get into office to do anything, and this is something that was coming along anyway. Stating his support wouldn't really do that much, bottom line.

This is what I wrote to Andrew Sullivan about two years ago (April 16th, 2010):

Quote:
Andrew, I'm with you all the way on the need for equality. Gay people should have the same rights as straight people, period.

But you also know Obama too well to know that he's not going to fly too far ahead of public sentiment on this one -- yet. This isn't to say he won't do it, but he has way too much to do to spend a pretty good chunk of political capital on this one issue, this early. It's way more his style to go gradually and get the most egregious pieces of inequality out of the way first -- the stuff that nobody can reasonably disagree with, and that just makes the unreasonable people who manage to disagree with it look unreasonable -- and THEN, down the line, he'll get to this. Gay marriage, real equality, the big sweeping stuff that he can't afford right now.

And I do think he will.


February 24th, 2011:

Quote:
You've probably already seen this, but very interesting:

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2011/02/obamas-gay-marriage-test.html

This is vintage Obama. He's going to get it done, but it's gonna be subtle and jujitsuey.


So, this is about what I expected, but sooner than I expected. And the "pushed into it" thing is what worries me, a little.

Overall I'm happy about it though.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 May, 2012 01:37 pm
@snood,
I think the negative reaction he will get from people who disagree with him will be offset by the good reaction he will get from people who just want politicians to say what they believe and not pander so much.

So I think this will be pretty much a wash for him; no net loss or gain politically.
0 Replies
 
Joe Nation
 
  4  
Reply Wed 9 May, 2012 01:38 pm
I am overjoyed.

Joe(My sister has been with her partner for 38 years)Nation
0 Replies
 
snood
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 May, 2012 01:48 pm
My whole trepidation is that I hope those wanting Obama to "do something about Gay marriage" don't find that they have given the right a bludgeon.
He was painted into a corner by Biden and Arne Duncan's public statements - he couldn't afford to at all appear wishy-washy.

This might be just the right shade of red meat for the uneducated and ultra religious and those with other reservations about gay marriage. There's undoubtedly voting clout there...
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 May, 2012 01:52 pm
@snood,
They were unlikely to vote for him anyway, though.

It does now put the ball in Mitt's court, and take away more opportunities for centrism. (He can't possibly afford to be wishy-washy on this now, before he's even officially the nominee.)

Also this whole thing is already far enough along (various states, repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, etc.), that Obama saying so doesn't really make the meat much redder than it already was.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 May, 2012 01:53 pm
@snood,
snood wrote:
He was painted into a corner by Biden and Arne Duncan's public statements


the media chatters up here have been speculating since sometime last week that the other announcements were setting up an announcement by Obama - the general feeling was that Biden/Duncan/'somebody else I can't recall' weren't speaking randomly - it was part of a 'strategy'
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 May, 2012 01:56 pm
@ehBeth,
Yeah, I'm seeing that too. I had been wondering about that.

Meanwhile, re: cost/ benefit, there's stuff like this:

Quote:
I am not gay but this issue is important to me and many of my friends. This was one of several issues that had convinced me that Obama was a political coward and kept me from donating time or money to his campaign. I am happy to be proven wrong. I just sent the Obama team $15 with a note explaining why. Everyone who cares about civil rights should donate something NOW. Let's show the President that we will have his back when he does the right thing.


From a reader of the Dish. Andrew's promising his thoughts soon, I'm interested in that.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 May, 2012 01:57 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Quote:
“It doesn’t make sense to them and frankly, that’s the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective.”



it still feels (to me) like this change is still a work in progress for Mr. Obama

It's what I like about it - the sense that it's not necessarily what he believes, but he's ok with others having different beliefs. I'll never be an Obama fangirl, but I can appreciate his approach to this.
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 May, 2012 01:58 pm
@snood,
I am happy that he has finally spoken out. I think the repercussions may be positive in terms of making liberals happier with him.

But, without recognition of gay marriages on the federal level, the people in these marriages will still be denied certain benefits, rights, and privileges, making them not fully equal to heterosexual marriages. Obama still isn't calling for federal recognition, but, hopefully, his position will lend strength to the efforts to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act and lead to recognition of same sex marriages on the federal level.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 May, 2012 01:59 pm
@firefly,
firefly wrote:
I think the repercussions may be positive in terms of making liberals happier with him.


maybe centrists will be happier. Liberals will need much more.
0 Replies
 
snood
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 May, 2012 02:01 pm
@sozobe,
sozobe wrote:

They were unlikely to vote for him anyway, though.

It does now put the ball in Mitt's court, and take away more opportunities for centrism. (He can't possibly afford to be wishy-washy on this now, before he's even officially the nominee.)

Also this whole thing is already far enough along (various states, repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, etc.), that Obama saying so doesn't really make the meat much redder than it already was.


I don't know about the whole "weren't gonna vote for him anyway" deal... I feel like this whole thing is a lot more in play than that. It's in play enough that this vote yesterday in NC shocked a lot of people. Its in play enough that there could definitely be room for the seedier operatives on the right to make some hay.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 May, 2012 02:02 pm
@snood,
"Unlikely to vote for him anyway." Not "weren't."

This is growing on me more as I'm reading various things. There's this jolt of positivity after the extreme negativity of NC that's very Obama.
snood
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 May, 2012 02:05 pm
@sozobe,
Not sure I understand what you mean. "Jolt" from who? And this vote in NC can't really be dismissed that easily, can it? It's one of 7 states consistently named as vital battleground states. "Very Obama" how?
snood
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 May, 2012 02:09 pm
Maybe its because I'm from NC and living here now. But I know there is a very real, viscerally emotional argument that's been kept very alive and well against same sex marriage. And I think it would be folly to simply say "well, they're wrong" and act as if the fight is down hill from here.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 May, 2012 02:09 pm
@snood,
The jolt of positivity, from Obama. My Facebook feed is going crazy with people who are delighted by this. I think that ultimately other things are more important -- legalization of gay marriage in individual states, which he doesn't have much to do with -- so while I'm very pro-gay marriage, this statement by itself makes me happy but within limits. However I'm seeing a whole lot of really really happy reactions.

Some of them are gay, one person has been working hard for gay marriage here in Ohio. But a lot of them are straight liberals who have been fairly quiet about Obama since 2008.

The NC vote can't be "dismissed," no, of course not. More, that this depressing thing happened yesterday, and now here's a heartening thing today.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 May, 2012 02:10 pm
@snood,
snood wrote:
And I think it would be folly to simply say "well, they're wrong" and act as if the fight is down hill from here.


Who is?
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 May, 2012 02:12 pm
Quote:
Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, called the president’s statement “a watershed moment in American history” that would aid efforts to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act barring federal recognition of same-sex marriage.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York said, “No American president has ever supported a major expansion of civil rights that has not ultimately been adopted by the American people, and I have no doubt that this will be no exception.”

Some supporters saw the president’s announcement in more political terms.

“For thousands of supporters who donated, canvassed and phone-banked to help elect Barack Obama in 2008, this is a powerful reminder of why we felt so passionately about this president in the first place,” said Michael Keegan, president of People for the American Way, a liberal interest group.

“I’m almost in tears,” said Steve Clemons, director of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation, a nonpartisan research group. Mr. Clemons, who is gay and was married in California in 2008, said the announcement would ignite progressives at a time when there was some ambivalence on the Democratic left as to how forcefully to support Mr. Obama’s re-election bid.

Mr. Clemons compared that ambivalence to that of evangelicals on the Republican right toward Mr. Romney. But now, in one single step, Mr. Obama, at least, has erased any ambivalence his base might feel toward his candidacy, Mr. Clemons said.

Opponents of same-sex marriage said, however, that the president’s position would hurt him in November.

“Considering that 10 of the 16 battleground states have marriage amendments that could be overturned by the president’s new policy position on marriage, today’s announcement almost ensures that marriage will again be a major issue in the presidential election,” Tony Perkins, the president of the conservative Family Research Council, said in a statement.

Gary Bauer, president of American Values, a conservative organization that opposes same-sex marriage, faulted Mr. Obama for diverting his attention from the economy.

“Every American who can’t find work, whose home is under water or who can’t afford to fill up his gas tank should be wondering why the president is spending even one second of his time thinking about how to radically transform the institution of marriage,” Mr. Bauer said in a statement. “It’s a political move meant to energize his left-wing base and distract Americans from his disastrous economic policies.”

Mr. Obama’s comments came in an interview with ABC News’s Robin Roberts that was arranged by the White House, knowing that Ms. Roberts is a popular correspondent, well-known especially among female viewers as a cancer survivor and among African-Americans, a group in which there is widespread opposition to same-sex marriage.

The interview was intended to be wide-ranging, but it inadvertently became the outlet for Mr. Obama’s long-awaited evolution on same-sex marriage in a week that began with the remarks of his vice president, Joseph R. Biden Jr., all but embracing same-sex marriage in an expansive answer to a question on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.

Mr. Biden’s well-publicized comments increased the pressure on Mr. Obama to take a stand, with his press secretary, Jay Carney, pummeled with questions from White House reporters. Newspaper editorials, columnists and bloggers assailed the president’s ambivalence, demanding clarity before the election. On Tuesday, Mr. Carney signaled that Mr. Obama would soon address the matter.

But the timing was forced on the president in other ways.

On Thursday, Mr. Obama is to attend a fund-raiser in Los Angeles at the home of the actor George Clooney, which is expected to raise about $12 million, much of it from Hollywood people active in the gay-rights cause. On Monday, Mr. Obama is scheduled to speak at a campaign fund-raiser and reception of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Leadership Council in New York City, where the special guest is Ricky Martin, the singer who is gay. On June 6 Mr. Obama is scheduled to return to Los Angeles to speak at a gala benefiting the gay, bisexual and transgender community, with tickets costing up to $25,000. And this summer, Democrats will begin meeting to draft the party’s platform for the national convention that will nominate Mr. Obama in September, and some gay-rights activists are pushing to include language endorsing same-sex marriage. The president and his advisers in the White House and at the campaign headquarters in Chicago knew Mr. Obama would repeatedly have to parry questions and criticisms on the issue. That prospect, several Democrats said, suggested that the greater political risk for Mr. Obama was not in coming out for same-sex unions but in appearing to be politically calculating, especially given that most supporters believe he personally has favored same-sex unions.

“He’s been on this evolution since November 2010, and it’s been getting kind of awkward,” said Fred Sainz, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign. “The word evolution signifies change that has an ending at some point.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/10/us/politics/obama-says-same-sex-marriage-should-be-legal.html?_r=1&hp

Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 May, 2012 02:14 pm
@snood,
snood wrote:
He was painted into a corner by Biden and Arne Duncan's public statements - he couldn't afford to at all appear wishy-washy.

Well, good. More power to Biden!

snood wrote:
This might be just the right shade of red meat for the uneducated and ultra religious and those with other reservations about gay marriage. There's undoubtedly voting clout there...

The uneducated, ultra-religious right will vote against Obama anyway. Those people already believe that the president is a radical, Kenyan-born, Socialist Muslim. His support of gay marriage won't make a difference to them, so he might as well do the right thing. Hung for a lamb, hung for a sheep.
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