“A Calculated Change of Heart”

Even though many Democrats support gay marriage, they have been reluctant to embrace it, fearing the political consequences of open support. But a “tipping point” has been reached, says this Washington Post writer, who notes that Democrats now fear the consequences of not supporting it. Their pollsters and strategists have been telling them that it is now politically safe to support gay marriage and that this is a train they don’t want to miss: “‘We’re at a point where you can be one of the early leaders on the issue and get well-deserved credit, or you can risk looking like you were behind the times,’ said Joe Trippi, a longtime Democratic strategist.”

The author of the piece, John Wagner, says that Archbishop Edwin O’Brien of Baltimore is right to suggest that the Catholic governor of Maryland, Martin O’Malley, whose position on gay marriage rapidly evolved into one of total support after its passage in New York, has his finger to the wind on this issue: “O’Malley’s announcement, which was lauded by advocates and sympathetic legislators, was testament to a tipping point we have reached in American politics. President Obama may be the last nominee for president from his party who does not openly declare support for same-sex marriage. It is now not only acceptable but encouraged for Democratic politicians with national ambitions to advocate full marriage equality for gay couples.”

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