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Obama Statement on Gay Rights in Maine and Washington

October 17, 2009

The White House put out a comment on the referenda in Maine and Washington in response to The Advocate:

“The President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same-sex couples, and as he said at the Human Rights Campaign dinner, he believes ‘strongly in stopping laws designed to take rights away.’ Also at the dinner, he said he supports, ‘ensuring that committed gay couples have the same rights and responsibilities afforded to any married couple in this country.’”

Jeremy at Good As You isn’t impressed.  The folks over at AMERICAblog are.  I’m somewhere in between.

Whenever people call on Obama to speak on the topic of gay marriage I get nervous.  Having said that he opposes the word marriage, I expect it to be a lose/lose.  He’s (politically understandably) forced to offer something less than full-throated support, and that can be twisted like it was in the Prop 8 campaign:

Prop 8 Flier

Prop 8 Flier

I think this statement from the White House, without video of Obama speaking the words, was safe and, while it won’t have much impact, it prevents his words from being misused.  I think it will effectively prevent another ad like the mailer above, but I don’t think it will convince anyone to support equality. Considering I was worried about something in this vein, the statement is definitely a good thing in my book.

On this note, I genuinely don’t believe that Obama–as a constitutional law professor, progressive politician and former supporter of marriage equality–opposes marriage equality and I think this is his way of ducking an issue that has historically been used as a wedge issue.  For me, a solid push to repeal DOMA from Obama would be the best we can hope for now because it will help break down the walls that DOMA puts up around these states that have created havens of equality.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 14, 2010 12:36 pm

    Obama is for gay marriage and will try to make it law soon. Just wait and see.

    • nseaver permalink
      April 14, 2010 1:17 pm

      I would love that, but don’t think it will happen regardless of what he truly feels.

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