Home > B3 and B4, Learning > President Obama Supports Gay Marriage: Why He Did It and What It Means

President Obama Supports Gay Marriage: Why He Did It and What It Means

Recently, it has made headline news that President Barack Obama has announced his support for the marriage of a LGBT couple. I know that a lot of my fellow classmates have already spoken about this but hopefully I will be able to keep this interesting and shed some light on the subject. In our government studies this year, several topics have caught my eye but one has been the use of campaign commercials and the relationship of the political parties. Hopefully I can examine the reasoning behind his decision to support gay marriage.

Vice President Joe Biden also came out and supported gay marriage three days earlier than . When I heard President Barack Obama’s comments, I had a few thoughts. I thought that maybe Barack Obama felt pressured into also supporting gay marriage just because his vice president supported as well. I also thought that maybe Vice President Biden stole President Obama’s thunder by supporting gay marriage just days before the President. It turns out that both the former and the latter might be true. According to The New York TimesVice President apologized to President Obama for, “hastening him into an endorsement of same-sex marriage, several people briefed on the exchange said Thursday, even as the White House sought to capitalize in the campaign on Mr. Obama’s long-awaited expression of support” (1). The campaign of President Obama really wanted to be progressive and support gay marriage but Biden called a press conference first and his views were much different than Obama’s views. Even though President Obama’s support has been highly analyzed, Biden made the headlines first and some people have questions about President Obama’s motives. I don’t doubt that President Obama supports gay marriage, but I think he was forced into saying it by his fellow party members.Image

President Obama is now the first President of the United States to support gay marriage, but it does not necessary mean anything for the legalization in America of gay marriage. Sean Eldridge, senior adviser at Freedom to Marry, told Yahoo News, “Today is more about moral leadership and less about policy. I don’t think his statement will immediately translate into policy since marriage still is for the most part a state issue” (2). Eldridge brings up some good points. If marriage is mostly a state issue, it would take a while to make the 6 states that allow it to become 50. The President has shown support of LGBT in the past; this statement didn’t come out of nowhere. He ended the  ban of openly gay members to be in the military. He also, “supports the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, and he ordered the Justice Department last year to abandon the law’s defense” (2). Now that President Obama supports gay marriage, he is the best hope for the LGBT community to earn the right to get married. Although it could be just a political ploy, it seems like President Obama is trying his best to allow gay marriage in America even though he may not be ready to cope with the thought of it yet.

Obama said that he recently changed his mind when he spoke with openly LGBT members of the military. He has a track record with being supportive of gay rights and equality for all, but it is still unclear whether this is a political ploy or a truthful acknowledgment. Well, it’s both. The timing is good for his campaign and Joe Biden also came out and supported it, both signs that it could be a political act. His track record, however, proves that he does in fact support gay rights. Honestly, it is up to the reader to decide what his ulterior motives are and what he truly believes.

1.http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/11/us/politics/obama-campaign-tries-to-capitalize-on-marriage-issue.html?_r=1&smid=tw-share

2. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/obamas-gay-marriage-views-policyabout-moral-leadership-advocate/story?id=16314661#.T7JenZ9YthM

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