Obama Supports Same-Sex Marriage
By Carol E Lee
President Barack Obama said Wednesday he supported gay marriage, reversing his position on a controversial social issue just six months before the November election and adopting a stance fraught with uncertain political implications.
Mr. Obama had been under intense pressure this week to lay out a clear stance on same-sex marriage after Vice President Joe Biden and other top advisers endorsed it. Mr. Obama said that after years of lengthy discussions with friends and family, including his wife and two young daughters, he now “personally” believes gays and lesbians should have the right to marry.
“I’ve been going through an evolution on this issue. I’ve always been adamant that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally,” Mr. Obama said in a television interview with ABC. “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.”
More at the link.
Your Editor wonders: if President Obama has changed his mind on same-sex “marriage,” why did he wait until the day after the North Carolina primary election, in which Amendment One, a provision to amend the state constitution in a manner which states that the Tarheel State will recognize only legal marriages between one man and one woman as a domestic unit, a provision which would also exclude any sort of civil unions statute, to speak his mind? The voters approved Amendment One by a landslide margin, making this the 32nd time that same-sex “marriage” has been put before the voters for their approval, and the supporters of such “marriages” are 0-32.
Twenty-eight states have constitutional amendments that ban gay marriage; another ten ban it by statute. Until today, North Carolina was the only state in the South did not have a constitutional ban. Republicans took over the state legislature in 2010 after 140 years of Democratic rule, setting the stage for the ban.
Politico came up with probably the most biased headline imaginable:
Black voters remain divided on gay marriage
By Joseph Williams | 9 May 2012 6:39 PM EDT
African-Americans voted 2-1 in favor of the North Carolina amendment banning gay marriage Tuesday, but the White House is betting that black voters there and beyond will stick with the president, despite broad resistance to legalization.
Your Editor wonders just how another editor could approve a headline saying that black voters “remain divided” on a topic in which they just voted by a two-to-one margin for one particular position. No actually responsible editor should approve such a misleading headline.
The article continued:
While there’s faith that African-Americans will turn out strong at the polls to protect Obama’s legacy, pollsters point out that while opposition to same-sex marriages has fallen in the black community, it’s still just a point shy of 50 percent — enough to affect black turnout, at least theoretically, in an election where every vote will matter.
Really? Though the article cited (but did not link) a Pew Center poll which said that blacks have “softened” their opposition to same-sex “marriage,” and that opposition in the black community had dropped to 49%, that hasn’t been how blacks have actually voted:
Obama’s statement rocked the political world. But it also underscored a widely-held belief that African-American voters are closer to Republicans than Democrats when it comes to gay marriage.
“A lot of the people that I have spoken to that are self-identified Democrats are completely and totally against gay marriage – they believe it’s a sin,” said Michelle Bernard, president of the Bernard Center for Women, Politics and Public Policy.
In the 2008 general election, Proposition 8, banning same-sex “marriage,” was on the ballot in very liberal California. Barack Obama defeated John McCain by a huge margin in the Pyrite State, 60.9% to 37.3%, but Proposition 8 passed, 52.2% to 47.8%. The Los Angeles Times noted that “black voters, traditionally among the most reliably liberal in the state, voted overwhelmingly to ban same-sex marriage.”
Although many of the state’s black political leaders spoke out against Proposition 8, an exit poll of California voters showed that black voters favored the measure by a ratio of more than 2 to 1. Not only was the black vote weighted heavily in favor of Proposition 8, but black turnout — spurred by Barack Obama’s historic campaign for president — was unusually large, with African Americans making up roughly 10% of the state electorate.
There have been various polls which suggest that the majority now approve of allowing same-sex couples to marry, but your Editor has to ask the obvious questions: if the majority approve, why has every single state which has voted on the subject voted against recognizing same-sex unions as marriages?
The supporters will try again, in November, with four states having such referenda on the ballot; supporters think that they have a chance to eke out a victory in the reliably blue state of Maryland. Your Editor will be amused if they fail there as well.