I only have time for a quick post today, so let us take note of the happy fact that Obama has now come out squarely in support of gay marriage. In an interview today he said:
I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.
The real news here is that Obama plainly believes it is now a political winner for him to take this stand, or at least not a political loser. Anyone remotely willing to read between the lines of his previous public statements on this issue could tell that he personally did not have a problem with gay marriage, but he was afraid of the political repercussions of coming out in favor of it.
There’s still a real political risk here. The people who are opposed to gay marriage tend to be really, really opposed to it. There’s a danger that dispirited Republican voters who might have stayed home rather than bother to vote for Romney might now be more motivated to vote. In a state like North Carolina, which went for Obama last time but which also just voted in favor of a draconian anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment, that could make a difference.
So good for Obama for taking a courageous stand on an important social issue. The Democrats have been weak and craven for too long on these sorts of questions. Now if we could only get them to come out squarely in support of women’s reproductive rights and the separation of church and state.