What is breathtakingly impressive about Obama’s (VERY clear) announcement of support for same-sex marriage is the fact that he made it the day after Amendment 1 passed in NC (by a pretty large margin). That speaks volumes about his desire to do the right thing, regardless of the inevitable hit he’ll take in the polls because of it.
You can be cynical all you want about his motives, but there is no reasonable scenario in which he made this announcement for short-term political gain; in fact it is done at considerable risk, knowing how motivated the opponents of same-sex marriage are, and how his statement will be used to whip up a frenzy of support for his opponents (especially the politically-powerful religious right and the more homophobic branches of the populace), now and in November. Sure, he’s shored up support in the liberal, same-sex supporting groups, but was that really a population that was in peril? He had little to gain, and still has much to lose.
If you can still imagine a scenario where this was just a political pawn issue, played for maximum cynicism and as just another lever pulled by rote in a re-election machine, then I would suggest that you should step back from the conspiracy blogs a little: you’ve possibly lost sight of the fact that these are people we are talking about. People who, like myself, have evolved opinions about same-sex marriage at different speeds.
At some point of their evolution, some earlier and some later, people realize it’s the just the right thing to do. And then they speak out about it.
Some will complain that it took him too long, but you could say that about the past 6 or 7 Presidents too, as well as most members of Congress still serving today: I’m not holding my breath waiting for Boehner to announce his support of full rights and protection for same-sex marriage, considering he’s busy spending his time and your money defending the Defense of Marriage Act now that Obama has instructed the DoJ not to do so. Does anyone want to place bets on how Mitt Romney will spin it? Anyone want to place bets on whether he’ll follow suit?
I say he won’t, considering he supports a federal marriage amendment barring equality and would uphold the DOMA.. I don’t think I’d have to pay out on that bet.
In the meantime: congratulations on your evolution, Mr. President.