Obama speaks out on same sex marriage
Monday marked the first time in history when a sitting president openly endorsed gay marriage. With the stakes raised on a civil rights issue that has Americans evenly split, this puts President Obama on the other side of the fence with his likely Republican counterpart, Mitt Romney. Romney has said, “I believe marriage is between a man and a women.”
In an interview with ABC news, the president said, ”At a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me, personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” Many are surprised at Obama’s new view, seeing as just a few years ago he was ago he thought the civil union option was sufficient. But his views have been “evolving.” ”I was sensitive to the fact that — for a lot of people — that the word marriage is something that provokes very powerful traditions and religious beliefs.”
A recent gallop poll shows that fifty percent of Americans are for it while forty eight percent don’t believe that kind of marriage should be legal. One recent split was in North Carolina, where the hotly debated issue led to its banning in the state. Obama said earlier Wednesday that he personally was disappointed, and that the policy was discriminatory against gays and lesbians. North Carolina passed the ban, even though same sex marriage is illegal by state law, to prevent any future legal challenges. Despite the recent law in North Carolina, though, President Obama does support states making the decision on there own.
In his interview the president said his daughters Malia and Sasha have friends with parents of the same sex and “it wouldn’t dawn on them that somehow their friends’ parents would be treated differently. It doesn’t make sense to them and frankly, that’s the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective.”
Was the president’s controversial decision driven strictly by policy or by politics? With an estimated one million in donations just ninety minutes after his interview, was this just pandering for his upcoming campaign? And if so, was this his best decision? This decision could give Romney the force he needs among the social conservatives.