President Obama's stance on same-sex marriage has been said to be evolving. And now it might have come to a new phase.
Obama's visit to New York City this week includes a high-profile fundraiser at the annual LGBT Leadership Gala at the Sheraton New York, in the very midst of 2011 NYC Pride events.
Does it hint Obama's coming out of a new position in same-sex marriage? There are some historical facts that may back up its likelihood.
President Barack Obama has publicly expressed his opposition to gay marriage throughout his career in national politics. When he ran for office in 2008, he clearly stated that he was opposed to same-sex marriage, while running as an ardent supporter of the homosexual community.
The fact Obama fundamentally supports full equality for gays and lesbians and opposes a federal ban on same-sex marriage tells at least the major direction of what his position is evolving toward.
A document has emerged to suggest that Obama had taken a more liberal position in the past, at least in 1996. A questionnaire filled out for a Chicago gay and lesbian newspaper in 1996 revealed Obama's clear position in favor of same-sex marriage. “I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages,” wrote Obama.
Jay Carney, White House press secretary said at the press briefing Monday, What I know is what his position was during the campaign and what it is now. He’s been very clear about it. He was very clear in the campaign. He’s very clear about the fact that his position is evolving. I don’t have anything to add to that.
In October 2010, Obama declared his evolving position in same-sex marriage, saying he was wrestling with the issue. 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, said Obama in an interview at the White House.
Earlier this year, the Associated Press also reported that the Obama administration would no longer defend the constitutionality of a federal law banning recognition of same-sex marriage.
Attorney General Eric Holder said President Barack Obama has concluded that the administration cannot defend the federal law that defines marriage as only between a man and a woman. He noted that the congressional debate during passage of the Defense of Marriage Act 'contains numerous expressions reflecting moral disapproval of gays and lesbians and their intimate and family relationships - precisely the kind of stereotype-based thinking and animus the (Constitution's) Equal Protection Clause is designed to guard against,' the AP stated.
President Obama has already called for the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and has instructed his Attorney General not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court. The President's endorsement of same-sex marriage seems like the logical next step, given the numerous record.
The question is whether he will voice it out, when, and where.
If he chooses New York City as the stage, and this Thursday's annual Gala for the Gay Community the President hosts as the right timing, it will be quite a blow for the New York State, the ground zero where same-sex marriage bill is stalled by one vote.
Obama will also host a gay pride reception at the White House on June 29.
An open endorsement of same-sex marriage by an incumbent President of the United States would be a very significant and troubling development, Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, stated in a blog post. If he were to do so, President Obama would not only repudiate his former position, but he would also push this nation toward the unraveling of civilization’s most central institution - marriage.
According to Mohler, an unnamed Democratic strategist said that President Obama “is clearly a president who is interested in making big historical changes . . . I think this issue has moved into that context for him.”
President Obama is still officially opposed to gay marriage, but his position can change at any time, and it may depend on the marriage bill's climate in New York.