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NY Times: Obama’s Gay Marriage Stance was Purely Political

A New York Times Sunday Magazine article that went up on the website Wednesday makes clear what everyone suspected – that President Obama’s opposition to gay marriage was wholly political and that he made the decision to change it only after Vice President Biden accidentally smoked him out.

Obama’s gay marriage stance is one of the best items in evidence that a man who presented himself to the public as some kind of un-politician who would change the way things work was really just a new type of political animal – born of the Chicago machine, no less – who was using authenticity as salable brand to get himself into the White House.

It’s clear from the piece that Obama, who has somehow moved in no time from an opponent of same-sex marriage to someone who sees the cause as a branch of civil rights movement, never really opposed gay marriage and tried to fool the public with a charade suggesting he was “evolving” on the issue.

From the piece:

Despite the president’s stated opposition, even his top advisers didn’t believe that he truly opposed allowing gay couples to marry. “He has never been comfortable with his position,” David Axelrod, then one of his closest aides, told me.

Long before Obama publicly stated that he was against same-sex marriage, he was on the record supporting it. As an Illinois State Senate candidate from Chicago’s liberal Hyde Park enclave, Obama signed a questionnaire in 1996 saying, “I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.” But as his ambitions grew, and with them the need to appeal to a more politically diverse electorate, his position shifted.

In the course of an unsuccessful run for a House seat in 2000, he said he was “undecided” on the question. By the time he campaigned for the presidency, he had staked out an even safer political position: Citing his Christian faith, he said he believed marriage to be the sacred union of a man and a woman.

Obama hid his support of gay marriage during the 2008, and while there was some argument made within the White House that coming out in support during his reelection campaign could help drive the youth vote, it doesn’t seem he was going to reveal himself in 2012 either.

In mid-2011, Michelle Obama counseled gay rights activist Chad Griffin to be patient.

At a fund-raiser in Los Angeles, Griffin had a private conversation with Michelle Obama, in which she indicated that her husband had given as much support as he could at the time.

Her message, he told his team, was clear: “Hang in there with us, and we’ll be with you after the election.”

Michelle wanted Obama to state his true position, though:

Inside the White House, the first lady urged her husband to declare his support for same-sex marriage. The Obamas had a number of gay friends, and though the White House kept it quiet, the first lady attended a wedding celebration for her hairdresser when he married his husband . . .

But other advisors were more cautious, and indecision reigned:

The assumption going into the 2012 campaign was that there was little to be gained politically from the president’s coming down firmly in favor of same-sex marriage. In particular, his political advisers were worried that his endorsement could splinter the coalition needed to win a second term, depressing turnout among socially conservative African-Americans, Latinos and white working-class Catholics in battleground states.

Obama’s political advisers remained worried that the costs outweighed the benefits — a fear that intensified as it became clear that North Carolina, a battleground state that Obama narrowly won in 2008, was poised to easily pass a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage . . .

By spring 2012, there still was no move to come out in favor of gay marriage. The Times piece makes the point that if he were going to do it, he would have wanted to do so as early as possible in order to let the dust settle. So it seemed he was on track to play it safe until Biden made perhaps his greatest gaffe yet, during an May 6 appearance with David Gregory on Meet the Press.

“And you’re comfortable with same-sex marriage now?” Gregory pressed.

“I, I — look — I am vice president of the United States. The president sets the policy. I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men and women marrying one another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties.”

The White House was not pleased.

When the White House press team received a transcript of the interview, tempers flared. Jarrett, who was still hoping that Obama might make a groundbreaking pre-election announcement, accused Biden through an intermediary of disloyalty. Campaign officials were also agitated. “They felt they already were vulnerable,” one White House official told me, “and they had not fully resolved yet what they wanted to do.”

The White House quickly tried to walk back Biden’s comments. “What VP said — that all married couples should have exactly the same legal rights — is precisely POTUS’s position,” Axelrod tweeted on Sunday, May 6, the day Biden’s interview aired. Biden’s office was told to put out a “clarification” echoing that sentiment: “The vice president was expressing that he too is evolving on the issue,” it said . . .

But this was obviously transparent nonsense.

Obama and his team knew that he had to take a stand, soon, or risk looking as if he were “leading from behind,” a portrayal the White House hated.

On Tuesday, the White House hastily offered Robin Roberts of “Good Morning America” an exclusive interview with the president the next day. She was a woman . . . and the White House liked her conversational style. She was also African-American, which provided a chance to reach out to black voters.

And so he said it.

I know, you’re deeply disillusioned. At least it was the only time he deceived us. Well, wait a second . . .

Obama Administration Recognizes Utah Gay Marriages

Well, we’ve come a long way in our “evolution” on this issue. President Obama is now overruling a state’s wishes on gay marriage.

Attorney General Eric Holder today announced that the federal government would recognize gay marriages performed in Utah – unions the state has refused to recognize while the courts decide whether to allow further same-sex marriages.

In a video posted on the Justice Department’s website, Holder said:

I am confirming today that, for purposes of federal law, these marriages will be recognized as lawful and considered eligible for all relevant federal benefits on the same terms as other same-sex marriages.

These families should not be asked to endure uncertainty regarding their status as the litigation unfolds. In the days ahead, we will continue to coordinate across the federal government to ensure the timely provision of every federal benefit to which Utah couples and couples throughout the country are entitled – regardless of whether they in same-sex or opposite-sex marriages. And we will continue to provide additional information as soon as it becomes available.

Same sex marriage in deeply conservative Utah became an issue when a federal district judge ruled in December that the state constitution’s ban violated the U.S. Constitution.

Immediately, same-sex marriages took off in the state, but were halted when the Supreme Court issued a stay of the lower court’s ruling. At that point, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said the state would not recognize the marriages that had occurred until its appeal of the district court judge’s ruling was decided.

What? Obama “Overjoyed” Gay Marriage Legal in Illinois?

Really? Overjoyed?

If you want another example of President Obama’s disingenuousness – you know, a side dish to go along with your meal of Obamacare lies – look no further than his statement last night celebrating the legalization of gay marriage in Illinois. Is it really possible, given the line we were fed, that he is overjoyed?

Obama, as you remember, opposed gay marriage during the 2008 presidential election, as did Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. All were running for president during the Democratic primaries, and it was unclear that backing gay marriage would get you through the general election.

I’m sorry, I mean they were all opposed to gay marriage out of a devotion to principle.

Photo by Keith Koffler
Photo by Keith Koffler

After winning the presidency, we were told, Obama became engaged in a tortured internal crisis of faith and morality during which his position was “evolving” on the issue.

Well, everyone knew exactly where that position was going to evolve to, assuming the polling data supported it. He, like, clearly wasn’t evolving toward a stronger stance in support of traditional marriage.

Once Biden blurted out his own support for legalization in May 2012, Obama was looking lower on the evolutionary scale than his vice president. And so Obama decided, enough evolving already, and he hastily dialed up Robin Roberts, ABC’s resident Obama booster, so he could confess to her that his aching moral dilemma had been resolved.

In March of this year Hillary belatedly joined them. And what do you know? Within a single year three grown people who’d dealt with gay issues all their political lives “changed” their position on gay marriage . . .

But it turned out Obama WAS NOT DONE EVOLVING!

Now it was time to really be down with the LGBT community and become the BSGME – The Biggest Supporter of Gay Marriage Ever.

Let’s psychoanalyze the president’s statement from last night. Please lie down on the couch, sir.

Tonight, I applaud the men and women of the Illinois General Assembly, a body in which I was proud to serve, for voting to legalize marriage equality in my home state.

As President, I have always believed that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally under the law.  Over time, I also came to believe that same-sex couples should be able to get married like anyone else.

No, turn the other way. You’re not supposed to be facing me. No, I didn’t say “I cannot even stand to look at you,” it’s just a technique.

You feel very guilty, Mr. President. You know that you opposed gay marriage out of political expediency, and now you’re trying to tell gays and lesbians that you always liked them and always supported them.

This is a very difficult thing for you, because you think you’re something very special, an enlightened reformer swimming in a fetid little puddle of preening political hacks. You had the audacity to hope, but selling out doesn’t take any audacity at all! You had to be a political hack yourself to get elected. And that really hurts.

So tonight, Michelle and I are overjoyed for all the committed couples in Illinois whose love will now be as legal as ours – and for their friends and family who have long wanted nothing more than to see their loved ones treated fairly and equally under the law.

As I said in my Inaugural Address last January, our journey as a nation is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.  And tonight, I’m so proud that the men and women elected to serve the people of the great state of Illinois have chosen to take us one step further on that journey to perfect our union.

The only aspect of your thoughts on gay marriage you truly wrestled with was timing: When to end the charade. Because no one who spends years struggling with a position on a profound moral issue suddenly adopts a viewpoint without reservation, unless God Himself communicates the marching orders to you. If God is present in the Blue Room, please let us know.

It would be very hard for you to be “overjoyed” that gay marriage is legal in Illinois if you were so reluctant for so long to support it. If your faith was so sorely tested by the notion, you’d agree somewhat reluctantly, your spirit perhaps finally at peace – but not soaring in ecstasy over the prospect of massive numbers new gay unions.

But then, nobody thought you were serious in the first place.

That’ll be $350 for the half hour. And I don’t use any of the insurers on the DC exchange.

New Poll: Majority Opposes Gay Marriage

A significant majority of Americans oppose gay marriage, according to a new poll by Politico. The poll of likely voters found that only 40 percent believe same-sex couples should be legally married. Thirty percent said gays should be allowed civil unions but not marriage, and 24 percent opposed all types of legal unions for homosexuals… Continue Reading

Carney: Opposition to Gay Marriage is Discrimination

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney today suggested opposition to same-sex marriage is discriminatory. “Governor Romney is for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would enshrine discrimination into our founding legal document,” Carney said. “The President thinks that’s wrong.” Carney was speaking in answer to a question about an Obama campaign video attacking Romney… Continue Reading

Obama Breaks Biden’s Arm

President Obama broke Vice President Biden’s arm this morning for inadvertently forcing Obama to announce his position on gay marriage earlier than intended. During an appearance Sunday on Meet the Press, Biden got out ahead of Obama by saying that he backed gay marriage, resulting in a hastily arranged interview Wednesday in which Obama acknowledged… Continue Reading

Obama Says He Supports Gay Marriage

Updated 5:04 pm ET President Obama completed his “evolution” today on gay marriage, announcing that he supports same-sex unions. Obama spoke to ABC News during an interview this afternoon that had been hastily arranged this week after Vice President Biden expressed support for gay marriage Sunday and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney Monday received… Continue Reading

Obama and Biden to Marry Each Other

President Obama and Vice President Biden today decided to emphatically demonstrate their support for same-sex marriage by marrying each other. The happy pair briefly appeared before reporters this morning to announce their engagement. “He’s articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” Biden said. “And I love him.” A gushing Obama seemed at a… Continue Reading

Prediction: Obama Will Say He Supports Gay Marriage

I don’t know when, but probably soon, and definitely before Election Day. President Obama continues to play cute with his position on gay marriage, remaining opposed, we think, while his press secretary can say only that the president’s position is “evolving.” Vice President Biden’s position is also evolving. I’ve never heard of a politician saying… Continue Reading