Obama Endorses Marriage Equality
As had been anticipated, President Obama today made a statement supporting the right of same-sex couples to marry. From MSNBC:
President Barack Obama endorsed the right of same-sex couples to marry on Wednesday, a landmark pronouncement made in light of mounting pressure from gay rights advocates.Some observers, for instance Chris Matthews, have suggested that perhaps supporting marriage equality is too risky a political move, that the President might end up alienating key voters that he will need in the upcoming election. On the other hand, his statements about "evolving" were transparently ingratiating, it was too clearly a case of a politician avoiding discussion of a controversial topic that he obviously had an opinion about. Only time will tell whether this declaration works for him or against him in the long run -- and let's not forget that he is the master of eleven-dimensional chess. If I were a Republican I would not feel too smug right now.
Obama became the first U.S. president to back the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry, a reversal from views expressed during the 2008 campaign, when he said he opposed same-sex marriage but favored civil unions as an alternative.
Obama told ABC News that, after reflection, he had "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."
In making his announcement, Obama completes what he had described as an “evolution” in his views on this issue, hastened by growing fervor this week involving gay rights. The growing pressure was capped Tuesday by North Carolina voters’ approval of a constitutional amendment banning not only same-sex marriages, but civil unions for gay and lesbian couples, as well.
Obama’s shift not only speaks to a broad swath of the electorate, which has exhibited increasing acceptance of same-sex marriage in opinion polls, but also gay and lesbian voters who compose a core part of Obama’s base, and have been major fundraisers for his re-election. Obama: 'I think same sex couples should be able to get married'