Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Is Obama Already Waffling on Support for Marriage Equality

Not much more than 24 hours after his soaring inaugural address Barack Obama seems to already be waffling on his support for marriage equality and seems to be running back towards his previous claim that marriage should be left to the states - a policy, which if followed years ago would see anti-miscegenation laws still enforced in parts of the South.  Sadly, it is the type of conduct that we saw over and over again during Obama's first term.  I for one had hoped that he had moved on and grown a spine.  Apparently not.  Here are highlights from the Washington Blade:

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney maintained on Tuesday that President Obama’s LGBT remarks in his inaugural speech weren’t an attempt to nationalize the issue of marriage.

“The President believes that it’s an issue that should be addressed by the states,” Carney said in response to a question from Politico’s Reid Epstein.

Mainstream media outlets asked Carney several questions to clarify Obama’s views on marriage because of the LGBT references he made in his inaugural address, which included an assertion that “our gay brothers and sisters” should be treated equally under the law “for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”

NBC News’ Kristen Welker was first to ask whether the remarks — which suggested a national call to support marriage equality — represent a shift in Obama’s way of thinking from his previous position that marriage should be left to the states and not handled at the federal level.

The President’s position on this has been clear in terms of his personal views,” Carney replied. “He believes that individuals who love each other should not be barred from marriage. He talks about this not about religious sacraments, but civil marriage. And that continues to inform his beliefs. We have taken position on various efforts to restrict the rights of Americans, which he generally thinks is a bad idea.”

Carney indicated that Obama believes Section 3 of DOMA, which prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriage, is unconstitutional based on the belief that the federal government shouldn’t be involved in marriage.

Carney more clearly articulated that Obama believe marriage is a state issue, not a federal issue, in a response a follow-up question from Politico before reiterating other tenets of Obama’s belief on marriage.

The White House clarification is consistent with the views Obama expressed on marriage just before Election Day in an MTV interview when he said, “There’s some other states that are still having that debate, I think for us to try to legislate federally into this area is probably the wrong way to go.”

Apparently, Obama got the LGBT money and votes that he needed and now he's back to playing us for fools.  One can only hope that he doesn't treat other minority constituencies the same way.  It is precisely this attitude and behavior that demoralized Democrats in Virginia in 2009 and led to GOP statewide victories.  The White House seems to have learned nothing from that debacle. 

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