Posted by Brad @ 3:22 pm on May 9th 2012

Obama Now Backs Same-Sex Marriage

I guess.

“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 Iíve 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,” he told ABC.

I get why this is a semi-important symbolic step, and weirdly I am generally of the opinion, contrary to Rojas (who has always urged gay rights activists to take the President at his word rather than reading his statements and policies as some kind of elaborate jiu-jitsu), that in fact this was a case, broadly speaking, where Obama capitulated to political advice and tried to use taking a position in opposition of same sex marriage as a political tool purely for the advancement of his own career. So how you read his coming out today is, I suppose, dependent on how you have read Obama on this matter. Is he now expressing an honest change of heart? Or is he just shedding a cynical political tactic that no longer bore him much in the way of returns?

I tend to believe the latter, which makes this a decidedly “meh” announcement for me. I have always thought poorly of him on this issue; now I think of him less poorly, but still not particularly well, as I don’t really believe his positions either pro or con had much to do with his views on civil liberties and hence I don’t trust that these positions generalize.

But, between this, DADT, DOMA, and a few other key things, it is getting pretty hard to not put Obama in a clearly positive category as it pertains to gay rights. Both relative, of course, to his opposition, but also relative to his party, and modern Presidents or presidential candidates. So, I’d have a hard time arguing, for gay rights activists, that Obama doesn’t merit their support. I am just not all that thrilled with his general foot-dragging cowardice/cynicism in getting there.

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.