Obviously politicians are going to use some tactics in their time that we would all consider a cheap shot. Whether that’s hitting at the Palin children, Obama’s wife, Romney’s bank balance or McCain’s stiff arms. Either way, we’re all going to have a difference of opinion when it comes to cheap shots to gain political standing.
Well, today I’m going to talk about a recent cheap political tactic currently being played by the Obama administration. If you’re intelligent and have half a brain you will have guessed what I’m about to write about — The acceptance of Gay Marriage.
Yes, America now accepts Gay Marriage. Well, Obama does at least.
This is a political ploy to grasp at votes, because let’s face it, the Obama Ship is sinking — fast. Remember the Titanic, that big ship that sank after hitting that big (somewhat unmissable) Iceberg? Well, this is very much like that, except the Iceberg, well, I guess it would be the economy and every other screw up President Obama has done with himself whilst being in the Oval Office.
Back on track. Gay Marriage. He accepts it. But is he doing it for the votes to gain political standing over his opponent, Mitt Romney. Yes, obviously.
Obama has never really jumped off the fence when it comes to Gay Marriage anyway, he’s always balanced himself there, too afraid to pick a side. But now, now the President (as his ship quickly begins to sink into that pretty lawn on the White House) has decided to hold his nose and jump off that high fence – onto the gay side.
But will it get him more votes? I really do not think so. After what has gone on in Florida and North Carolina, I don’t think that this move (a sneaky one at that), is going to get Mr Obama enough votes to win the election in 5 months time.
Romney on the other hand, the Republican contender for the Oval Office has made his stance perfectly clear. He’s been off the fence since his Governorship. And I respect that.
Obama on the other hand has flip-flopped over the last 16 years on his decision whether he supports it or not, and has only NOW made his decision on election year. Here’s a quick timeline:
1996 – SUPPORTS MARRIAGE EQUALITY: Then Illinois Senate candidate Obama submitted a survey to a newspaper called Outlines saying, “I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.” (Read the documents here.)
1998 – UNDECIDED ON MARRIAGE: In a political questionnaire, when asked if the “Illinois government should recognize same-sex marriages,” Obama’s response was “Undecided.”
2004 – LESS CONCERNED ABOUT ‘MARRIAGE’: In an interview with the Windy City Times, Obama avoided the issue of marriage, saying “I think we can get civil unions passed. [...] I’m less concerned about the name.”
2006–2007 – SUPPORTS CIVIL UNIONS: Obama repeatedly separated his support for secular civil unions from recognizing religious definitions of marriage. In his 2006 bestseller The Audacity of Hope, he supported “a special place for the union of a man and a woman” (pp. 222-223) in society. During a 2007 CNN debate, he said he supports equal rights, but “it’s up to the individual denominations to make a decision” on marriage, a sentiment he echoed at the HRC/logo gay issues debate (PDF).
2008 (February) – SUPPORTS DOMA REPEAL: In a campaign “Open Letter to the LGBT Community,” Obama wrote, “I support the complete repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act…I believe we should get rid of that statute altogether.”
2008 (August) – OPPOSES MARRIAGE: In an interview with Rick Warren at the Saddleback Church, Obama defined marriage by saying, “I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian…it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix.” Even though Obama still supported civil unions at this point, his statements drew a bold line between opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples.
2009 – SUPPORTS CIVIL UNIONS: In his 2009 Pride Month Proclamation, President Obama reiterated his administration’s support for “civil unions and Federal rights for LGBT couples.”
2010 (May) – SUPPORTS DOMA REPEAL: In his 2010 Pride Month Proclamation, he went further, revisiting his “Open Letter” promises by suggesting “we must give committed gay couples the same rights and responsibilities afforded to any married couple, and repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.” This statement implied a recognition that there are, in fact, married same-sex couples. By this point in time, same-sex marriage was legal in Iowa, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, and New Hampshire.
2010 (October) – EVOLVING ON MARRIAGE: It was during an interview with AMERICAblog’s Joe Sudbay that the President began “evolving” on the issue. He admitted, “I have been to this point unwilling to sign on to same-sex marriage,” but added that “I think that it is an issue that I wrestle with” and “I think it’s fair to say that it’s something that I think a lot about.”
2011 (February) – GRAPPLING WITH MARRIAGE: Though the decision to no longer defend DOMA was a big step toward marriage equality, White House spokesman Jay Carney said that Obama was still “grappling” with his personal views on the issue.
2011 (May) – NO MENTION OF COUPLES: Unlike in the previous two years, the White House’s 2011 Pride Month Proclamation notably omitted any mention of recognizing same-sex relationships, through civil unions or otherwise.
2011 (June 17) OPPOSED MARRIAGE IN 1996?: White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer told Netroots Nation that the president was not the one who filled out the pro-marriage equality questionnaire in 1996 (i.e. it was fake, though it had Obama’s signature). The White House distanced itself from Pfeiffer’s remarks, telling Metro Weekly, “Dan was not familiar with the history of the questionnaire that was brought up today.”
2011 (June 19) YES HE SIGNED IT, NO HE DIDN’T SUPPORT MARRIAGE: According to the New York Times, Pfeiffer was “mistaken.” Obama did fill out the 1996 questionnaire, but he was “really referring to civil unions.”
2011 (June 20) STILL EVOLVING ON MARRIAGE: Carney told the Washington Blade and Metro Weekly that Pfeiffer was actually referring to “another questionnaire” and refused to say anything more about the president’s position on the issue.
So what does the President actually believe? Is he announcing this because he feels that gay couples deserve marriage and their rights, or is he only doing this to grab a few last votes before the elections in November? I think the answer is staring us in the face. For a man who couldn’t decide for 16 years to just out of the blue decide that he was all for Gay Marriage during an election year, well… You work it out.