Obama Shifting on Marriage Equality?

In an interview with LGBT bloggers, President Obama indicated his position on marriage equality may be evolving

President Obama has maintained since his pre-election days that he opposes marriage for anyone but straight men and women. However, in an interview with members of the LGBT press, he indicated that he may be changing his tune on same-sex nuptials.

In his first interview with the gay media since becoming commander-in-chief, the president on Wednesday sat down with several LGBT bloggers, including Joe Sudbay of AmericaBlog.com and Gay.AmericaBlog.com; Barbara Morrill of DailyKos; Duncan Black a.k.a. Atrios; Oliver Willis and John Amato from Crooks and Liars.

When questioned about his position on marriage for gay and lesbian couples, Obama suggested that his views may be shifting.

“I have been to this point unwilling to sign on to same-sex marriage primarily because of my understandings of the traditional definitions of marriage,” the president said. “But I also think you’re right that attitudes evolve, including mine. And I think that it is an issue that I wrestle with and think about because I have a whole host of friends who are in gay partnerships. I have staff members who are in committed, monogamous relationships, who are raising children, who are wonderful parents. And I care about them deeply. And so while I’m not prepared to reverse myself here, sitting in the Roosevelt Room at 3:30 in the afternoon, I think it’s fair to say that it’s something that I think a lot about. That’s probably the best you’ll do out of me today.”

AMERICABlog’s Sudbay asked the president tough questions about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” An excerpt from the transcript of Sudbay’s line of questioning reveals the following:

SUDBAY: One of the things I’d like to ask you — and I think it’s a simple yes or no question too — is do you think that “don’t ask, don’t tell” is unconstitutional?



THE PRESIDENT:  It’s not a simple yes or no question, because I’m not sitting on the Supreme Court.  And I’ve got to be careful, as President of the United States, to make sure that when I’m making pronouncements about laws that Congress passed I don’t do so just off the top of my head. I think that — but here’s what I can say.  I think “don’t ask, don’t tell” is wrong.  I think it doesn’t serve our national security, which is why I want it overturned.  I think that the best way to overturn it is for Congress to act…

So, are Obama’s ideas changing and keeping pace with the times—and public opinion? Or was his pow-wow with gay bloggers a well-played ploy to keep what is left of his LGBT support alive?

Decide for yourself. See a transcript of Joe Sudbay’s line of questioning here.


What Do You Think?