Politics and Public Opinion

Obama’s gay marriage solution? Evolution

Same-sex marriage is not an issue about which many people are apathetic. Supporters see it as a fundamental civil rights issue, and those in opposition feel that it would be an assault on the foundation of civilized society, marriage and the family.

Yet President Obama is still ‘evolving’ on this issue. So, the position to which he won’t commit is going to change at some point anyway?

Contrary to the narrative his office is floating, Obama’s evolution has not been in one direction:

In 1996, Illinois State Senate candidate Obama stated clearly that he favored “legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.”

Then, by 2007, he had (ahem) ‘evolved’ to a new position:

“I’m a Christian. And so, although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition, and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman.”

During the 2008 presidential campaign, he was still pretty clear on his position in a conversation with Rick Warren:

“I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. For me as a Christian, it is a sacred union. You know, God is in the mix…. I am not somebody who promotes same-sex marriage, but I do believe in civil unions.”

Once he was elected, his principled stance, rooted ever so deeply in his Christian faith, began to list back in the other direction. In a 2010 interview with liberal bloggers, the president equivocated:

“I am a strong supporter of civil unions. As you say, I have been to this point unwilling to sign on to same-sex marriage primarily because of my understandings of the traditional definitions of marriage.

But I also think you’re right that attitudes evolve, including mine. And 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 before he was president, as a law professor in Chicago and in the Senate, he didn’t have gay friends in committed, monogamous relationships, raising children as wonderful parents?

Come on. President Obama must not give the American public much credit if he believes they don’t recognize how baldly political his position is on an issue of great ethical and religious importance to millions of voters.

Obama likes to call his shifting non-position an ‘evolution.’ Perhaps ‘adaptation’, defined by Merriam Webster as,  “modification of an organism … that makes it more fit for existence under the conditions of its environment,” is the more accurate description for Obama’s shameless posturing for political gain.

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