Less than 24 hours after North Carolina became the latest state to ban same-sex marriages and civil unions, President Obama announced today that he now supports same-sex marriage, and thinks same-sex couples should be able to legally marry. (See the FULL video of his interview here). Between Amendment One in North Carolina and Biden saying this week that he would be “absolutely comfortable” with allowing same-sex couples to wed, Obama was forced to finally take a stance on an issue that he has waivered on in the past.
No matter what your view is on the topic, this is huge. Obama becomes the first president to openly support same-sex marriage. POTUS has oft been criticized by the left for not strongly supporting or advocating certain controversial liberal ideals, including his health-care plan that some thought was too much of a watered-down version of the plan he laid out prior to his election. Now, with the health care plan in real danger of being struck down by the US Supreme Court, Obama can cite yet another example of his social liberal values in order to appease his core base. Politically, I think there is no loss here for Obama, as most of the people who oppose gay marriage are not people that voted to put him in office in the first place. Some are applauding him for putting morals over politics because they think it will negatively affect him in swing states, but I’m not so sure the backlash will be very strong with voters on the left and in the middle. The LGBT community and its allies, who have criticized Obama for not taking a stance on this issue, will now be in full tow when November comes.
No word on whether or not Obama will try to pass legislation to this effect (he’ll wait until the Supreme Court decides the Perry v. Brown California same-sex case most likely), but this will not be the end of this issue by a long shot. With Obama firmly on the side of same sex marriages, the fight has just begun.
I won’t go too much into my own beliefs on this topic, but I’ve long been an advocate for marital equality, so this is something I’ve been waiting for Obama to do for a long time. Whether or not he was backed into this position by Biden’s remarks and North Carolina’s recent amendment, I applaud our president on stepping out in front on this issue. Love is love, and today, we’ve come that much closer to allowing gay people all over the country the fundamental right and privilege of marriage.
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