"I’ve just concluded that for me personally ... I think same sex couples should be able to get married."
This morning, supporters of same-sex marriage might have thought they were on the ropes – having just received a punishing one-two legislative punch from North Carolina and Colorado, states which hours earlier had made it that much harder for gays and lesbians to have their commitments legally recognized. But instead, the day looks as if it will finish with marriage equality advocates boasting a powerful new ally – in the form of none other than Barack Obama, President of the United States.
In an interview for ABC, President Obama took a step back from his former position, in which he’d supported same sex civil unions, but not marriage itself, and cited an “evolution” in his thinking about the issue.
He told reporter Robin Roberts: “You know, Malia and Sasha, they have friends whose parents are same-sex couples. 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.”
While the president’s support will undoubtedly have re-energized the campaign for marriage equality, there are some who are quick to point out that Obama’s shift of positioning came conveniently after some of the toughest battles for marriage equality had been fought (and lost). An endorsement of same sex marriage just a day earlier could have seen the legislative battles in North Carolina and Colorado turn out differently – possibly even with victory for same sex marriage advocates.
But similarly, a defeat following his endorsement could have been a big blow to Obama’s November reelection campaign. Cynics suggest this is why he waited.
Nevertheless, it now appears “Barry” has put his mouth where the money is, and even if your response to his announcement was “It’s about fucking time!”, there’s no denying that his support of same sex marriage will set a precedent for many elections to come.
What do you think? Should Obama have stepped up to support same sex marriage earlier? Or do you support his decision to only talk about the issue now?
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