House Democrats overwhelmingly agree with Vice President Joe Biden's progressive stance on same-sex marriage, Rep. John Larson of Connecticut, the chairman of the Democratic Caucus, said Tuesday.
While Larson acknowledged there are still mixed views regarding gay marriage among House Democrats, the congressman told The Hill that a vast majority of our caucus is where Biden is.
Larson remarks followed the vice president's appearance Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press, where he broke with President Obama's muddled position on the issue to apparently endorse the legal right of gay couples to marry. During the interview, the famously blunt Biden declared he is absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men and women are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties.
A day later, Education Secretary Arne Duncan joined Biden in endorsing legal marriage rights for same-sex couples, further emphasizing the Obama administration's reluctance to take a solid position on the issue as November's presidential election approaches.
Prominent members of the Democratic Party, including House Minority Nancy Pelosi of California, have pushed to include same-sex marriage in the official 2012 national platform. In April, four former Democratic National Committee chairpersons issued a joint statement urging Democrats to include a freedom to marry plank in the platform that is ratified at the [convention] in Charlotte this September.
Although Obama has reportedly been aggressively soliciting campaign funds from the gay community and has made some legislative moves to advance gay rights -- via the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell and denouncing the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act -- he has continued to resist pressure to clearly endorse same-sex marriage. In 2010, the president notably said that while be believed the arc of history was trending in favor of gay marriage, his own views on the subject were evolving.
On Monday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was reportedly inundated by at least 50 questions from reporters about Biden's apparent support for gay marriage and the president's own position on the issue. Carney, while noting the president has an unparalleled record of support on LGBT issues, did not clearly state whether Obama support or opposes gay marriages.
I have no update on the president's personal views, he said.
Ashley covers U.S. politics for the International Business Times, with a focus on civil liberties, women's issues and campaign finance. Her work has also appeared in The...