President Obama’s “Evolving” Stance on Gay Marriage

President Obama is inching toward formal support for gay marriage. As this New York Times story notes, his views are “evolving.”

The story suggests that his nominal opposition to it was always political, not philosophical, and that he is moving toward abandoning the stance as polls indicate a growing number of Americans support gay marriage (though his advisers are casting the evolution in terms of deepening moral and historical consciousness). White House strategists are already “looking at the tactics of how this might be done if the president chose to do it,” a source tells the paper. 

In 1996, as a State Senate candidate in Illinois, he endorsed “gay marriage in a questionnaire from a gay newspaper,” the story reminds readers, but his position “grew more nuanced” when he ran for the U.S. Senate later. Then, in the 2008 campaign, he told pastor Rick Warren that “I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman,” and that “For me, as a Christian, it is also a sacred union.” But three years later, “Mr. Obama has said his views are evolving, in part because he has ‘very close friends who are married gay and lesbian couples.'” And now, says the paper, he may be ready to make “history”:

“…the Democrat who had strategy discussions with the White House on same-sex marriage said Mr. Obama seemed to be considering his place in history and was moved by the argument of Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who cast the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ as a moral issue.

“’This is clearly a president who is interested in making big historical changes,’ the strategist said. ‘I think this issue has moved into that context for him.'”


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