Barack Obama | California | Gay Marriage | News

Obama Reiterates Position on Gay Marriage, Opposition to Prop 8


Barack Obama reiterated his opposition to Proposition 8 in an interview with MTV to be aired at 9am today on the network.

Said Obama to Sway in response to a question on the anti-gay ballot initiative: "I think it's unnecessary. believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage. But when you start playing around with constitutions, just to prohibit somebody who cares about another person, it just seems to me that's not what America's about. Usually, our constitutions expand liberties, they don't contract them."

Obama has said he is in favor of civil unions and leaving marriage matters to the states to decide.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. This is the *one* thing that makes me very unhappy with Obama. It's a squirrelly position and *he knows it.* How are marriages in CA, MA, and CT to be recognized at the Federal level? They will have to be recognized as marriages -- how will this be accomplished without supporting "gay marriage"? This approach to political pragmatism has left him on the wrong side of history and left him with many intellectual inconsistencies. I wish he had the strength to recognize that he could still have supported complete equality for gay people and won the election.

    Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 3, 2008 7:43:54 AM

  2. Always nice to see a Black man in favor of the principle of Seperate but Equal. Guess he would like to see Brown V. Board of Education overturned as well.

    Posted by: kujhawker | Nov 3, 2008 8:09:04 AM

  3. Listen, I once thought that I could easily support Barack Obama for President. I worked for Al Gore's election as hard as anyone. I was witness to Obama's campain for President at thwe beginning. What did I see? I saw Obama's "Gospel Tour". In that tour, Obama paraded through churches throughout the South. He had my head spinning. He sounded exactly like some right-wing preacher touting the gospels and promoting the teaching of Jesus. Thats OK. What wasn't OK was his demonizing of homosexuals. He kept sayingover and over how the evils of the world would change through the teaching of the bible and prayer. He had ex-gays talking on his behalf saying that prayer had saved them from homosexuality. These were his beginnings. He is a chameleon. He will say anything depending on the audience. His power has come from money. I truly beleive that if he is elected, there will be indictments over his fundraising apparatus. That fundraising is based in Martinique. Why there? There are no banking laws that allow traces.

    Posted by: glennmcgahee | Nov 3, 2008 8:39:25 AM

  4. What concerns me more at this point at all the stories about people thinking in order to support gay marriage you should vote YES on Prop 8. Willie Brown even got confused recently. Can't people fricken' read??? Apparently not! Hopefully, people who are completely confused will vote NO. We'll all know tomorrow night. If the vote comes in close in the central valley, that will be a good sign.

    Posted by: Mike | Nov 3, 2008 8:45:45 AM

  5. This pisses me off so much and reminds me that as much as he says he says he's a different kind of politician, he's just as slimy and pandering as all the other ones. You don't get to have it both ways, either you are for equality or not. I'm still voting for him but I'm going to be pissed off about it and want a separate water fountain installed in the White House for black people so he can see what "Separate but equal" feels like.

    I swear to god if we had to have "faggot" tattooed on our foreheads it would be just like the 1940s for us like it was for black people and apparently Obama would be for it.

    Posted by: John M | Nov 3, 2008 8:53:37 AM

  6. "This is the *one* thing that makes me very unhappy with Obama"...Really! The ONE thing?!

    Well if Obama thnks that "leaving marriage matters to the states to decide" is the way to go then he needs to get out of the prop 8 debate. The state is simply doing what Obama wants them to do..."decide" on marriage. Classic Obama double speak. Why is this a surprise to anyone?!

    This will only be the beginning of the Obamanation to come. There is only ONE thing that I have heard over and over on Towleroad about Obama, he will give us rights. NO HE WILL NOT! However, we continue to cling to him as our saviour to the gay world and settle for the crumbs he leaves behind. He is a socialist, we will live to see it and we will get NOTHING. Pathetic...

    Posted by: RB | Nov 3, 2008 8:54:33 AM

  7. This once again underscores why gay politics is about gay people. And nonbody else. We are the leaders, not them. And certainly not "That one." Yes I'm voting for him. As usual Democrats are bad. Republicans are INFINITELY worse. It is now the party of unabashed racism. The only difference between the RNC and the KKK is the higher thread count of their sheets.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Nov 3, 2008 9:06:17 AM

  8. Some here forget that the religious right still thinks it will win tomorrow and get in full controll of the SCOTUS. That would mean reversal of Roe vs. Wade and Lawrence vs. Texas and even more.

    Obama's "double speak" is the best you can hope for until the election is won. And even if he gets us our laws with "it would be wrong otherwise" that would still be better than the presidents before him.

    Posted by: Chris | Nov 3, 2008 9:07:48 AM

  9. I cannot recognize or approve of gay marriage becasue of my religious beliefs but yet wouldn't those same beliefs prvent him from supporting abortion or are we just hiding our real anti-gay attitude.
    I know of no religion that approves of abortion. Do y'all? So he has no problem with the killing of the unborn but gay marriage, ewwwww.

    Posted by: ousslander | Nov 3, 2008 9:10:27 AM

  10. But unlike Bill Clinton, he's not pandering to us by promising the world.

    The RIGHT thing Barack said is exactly what "No on 8 is about"; being against initiatives that take away existing American rights.

    Posted by: Rad | Nov 3, 2008 9:11:23 AM

  11. Fuck you, RB! At least, Obama is speaking out against hatred. What's McCain done for you lately? Hired a bunch of your selfish LCR colleagues and talked about "family values" at rallies? Keep your moralizing up your ass where it belongs, douchebag.

    As for the rest of nattering nabobs of negativism, if you don't understand how politics works in this country, that's your problem. We don't operate in a perfect system. If you want to get elected in America, there are certain things you have to say and certain things you can't say. At this moment, you can't say you're for marriage equality.

    But eight years ago, you couldn't say you were for civil unions, and now that's the centrist position. Things are progressing in our favor quite quickly. Nothing is gonna happen instantaneously. It takes time.

    Posted by: Sami | Nov 3, 2008 9:11:27 AM

  12. RB, he's no socialist and he'll be better than anyone before. And I'm still quite certain that he will help repeal DOMA and DADT.

    There is no excuse for not voting for Obama since that is helping those people who want to see us dead.

    Posted by: RB | Nov 3, 2008 9:12:43 AM

  13. Sorry, posted with the name of the KKK member.

    Posted by: Chris | Nov 3, 2008 9:13:54 AM

  14. Even if he's promising to change the way Washington works he still wants to get elected. Don't forget that. Some commenters don't seem to understand that.

    The alternative for him would be to shut up entirely on this issue. I think he has helped Californian gays more by his decision even though it is not welcomed.

    Posted by: Chris | Nov 3, 2008 9:18:46 AM

  15. Look, Obama knows how the political game is played - if he came out in favor of gay marriage right now, the Republicans would tar-and-feather him for it. It would be an easy way to club him in the southern conservative States, which are close and Obama needs them to win.

    As one of the previous posts said above, Obama may be personally against abortion (or gay marriage), but he won't go out and impose his views on women and gays. It's a live-and-let live philsophy. Once the courts start ruling in our favor (and they will, eventually, we all have to work toward that), having Obama in the White House will ensure we don't have some ridiculous "Defense of Marriage Amendment" to the Constitution proposed by the president of the U.S. (ala Bush).

    Posted by: B-rod | Nov 3, 2008 9:25:41 AM

  16. Kujhwaker,

    I guess you haven't heard, the Conservative-controlled U.S. Supreme Court overturned Brown v. the Board of Education within the last year. Bush was able to put Right-wing freaks on the Supreme Court who joined the others and killed Brown.

    The question of marriage won't be settled by legislation. It will be settled by the Supreme Court as Loving v. Virginia did and as state courts have done so.

    Obama is a politician. He's an ally who can move the chess pieces in the direction that is best aligned to the goals that are important to gay people, right?

    Recently, the ran a story about the incredible numbers of young Conservative judges Bush appointed to the U.S. Appellate Courts. In doing so, Bush shoved the Courts to Right. These are judges who will be in place for the next 20 to 30 years potentially.

    Electing a progressive president is essential for correcting this wrong-ward shift. Similarly, given the age of the liberal judges on the U.S. Supreme Court, those seats are also in jeopardy of being replaced by arch-Conservatives.

    Sarah Palin has talked about her desire to enact the FMA and follow a legislative course designed by Christian ultra-Right. Imagine the judges that McCain and she would appoint.

    On a similar subject, I wish people would look at other issues that impact gay Americans: ENDA!

    What folks keep missing out on is that marriage, while important, is one right. What about discrimination in the work place? There are millions of gay Americans who live with no legal protection from work place discrimination. None. Zero. Zilch.

    Too little attention is being paid to getting federal law passed that would crush the bigotry that affects GLBT Americans in a way that is arguably just as important than marriage rights. Marriage is a great thing, but what about just being able to have a decent job to put food on the table or roof over one's head?

    A lot of people who visit Towleroad, I imagine, live in states or communities that offer some protection from work place discrimination. But that's not the case with the majority of gay people in America. Most live in places with no protection.

    Seriously, I wish there were more discussions about ending work place discrimination. How many people out there have been denied a job or a promotion or been fired for being gay? Raise a digital hand if you have or know someone who has experienced work place discrimination.

    (I'm not bringing up job discrimination to change the subject but simply to note that it is being ignored in this election cycle and in general.)

    Posted by: noah | Nov 3, 2008 9:28:51 AM

  17. Why oh why do people on BOTH sides of this issue get so caught up in its being called "marriage"??? The legal status we seek has nothing to do with "marriage" necessarily, that belongs to churches and the traditions they established. Let them call it whatever they want. What *I* require is the legal status the so many happily call - and happily let be called - "civil unions". Who cares what they CALL it, just give me my rights! Demanding "MARRIAGE" rights is the biggest mistake the GLBT cause has made, use of that word scared the hell out of all the heterosexuals. Well, most of them anyway.

    Posted by: MARTY | Nov 3, 2008 9:32:57 AM

  18. No, Marty, the title marriage does not belong to churches, even if they think they own it.

    Posted by: Chris | Nov 3, 2008 9:54:28 AM

  19. marty, it's quite simple... unless you change all hetero marriages into "civil unions" also, it is different. you can't be truly equal unless the rights AND the language are the same. different is not equal.

    Posted by: veronica | Nov 3, 2008 9:55:16 AM

  20. I agree with Marty. Does it really matter what we call it? Why should we FOLLOW what straight people call it?

    It doesn't matter what we call it. As long as we have the same rights, eventually with the evolution of language, the term will become synonymous with marriage.

    Although, I personally am not for "civil union". Sounds too kumbaya. But oh well, I don't have a better idea.

    Posted by: Joel | Nov 3, 2008 9:56:16 AM

  21. Those gays who hold Obama's "typical Democratic Party's politician's" position against him are the same gays who didn't want to vote for him anyway. They are just like many Reagan Democrats here in Pennsylvania and Ohio: trying to find some reason not to vote for Barack Obama.

    For those of you who get a kick out of pointing to blacks who "hypocritically" do not suppport gay marriage: you're expecting to achieve in 30 years what took black folk 300 years to achieve--equality, or atleast the semblance of equality? What is it about you gay men that makes you think that such rights should be easy for you to achieve? Why should ending your second-class citizenship be so much easier than it was for Black Americans?

    Y'all never wanted to vote for Obama anyway. Now, you've got the issue (marriage rights) that you think justifies your decision. Yeah, but as Noah and others have pointed out, the fate of gay marriage rights may end up in federal courts. Let John McCain pick your federal judges, then y'all will not have to compare black civil rights with gay civil rights. With more right-wing federal judges y'all will all be a bunch of "gay niggers" with a return to total second class citizenship...or you can go back to where you were in the 1960s: in the closet.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Nov 3, 2008 10:11:59 AM

  22. Get a grip, people.

    Barack Obama is the most pro-gay presidential candidate our nation has ever seen - by far. He will be the most pro-gay president we have ever had - BY FAR. Is he perfect on this issue? No.

    He wants to repeal Dont Ask Dont Tell, pass ENDA, and repeal all of DOMA. He believes in equal rights in the form of civil unions -- ok, it is separate but equal, but I'll take that over the current "fuck you, you get nothing, bitches!"

    Obama doesn't approve of state constitutional amendments banning marriage. His position is to let states decide whether civil unions or marriages are right for their particular state. This is THE CORRECT POSITION. The federal government should not be dictating marriage law. Marriage is "a state thing." What the federal government should do is recognize any state's valid marriages (including gay ones in CA and MA) -- without DOMA, I think that is what would happen. Then ideally, the federal government will also move to recognize any state's valid civil unions, and extend equal rights to those.

    Frankly, if Idaho and Oklahoma want to ban gay marriages, that is their right. They're retarded, but so be it. No doubt in 50 years, most of these states will reverse this position -- in the meantime, gay people who want to get married will just have to move to a more favorable jurisdiction. It's not that tough for most people to move, this isn't colonial America.

    Posted by: Naha | Nov 3, 2008 10:14:23 AM

  23. Obama is wrong on marriage. Whether he's wrong because he's actually opposed to it or opposed to it for purely political reasons, he will be on the right side of Prop 8 and the wrong side of history. I understand the practicality of his position, and I disagree with it. That doesn't change the fact that Obama is miles ahead of John McCain on every gay issue of importance, including gay unions (has McCain said No on 8? No, he hasn't), so any criticism of Obama needs to be leveled at McCain before leveling another truckload of criticism on McCain/Palin's anti-gay stances.

    Glenn and RB etc., we know you don't support Obama, but don't pretend it has anything to do with gay issues, since you never apply the same standards to Republicans and are silent on pretty much everything except (anti) Obama. Fortunately, unless Sean Hannity hypnotizes the electorate or the Republican Get Out the Fraudulent Vote works, we'll never have to see what will happen to our rights under President McCain.

    Posted by: Ernie | Nov 3, 2008 10:23:26 AM

  24. Beautifully said, Derrick.

    "What is it about you gay men that makes you think that such rights should be easy for you to achieve? Why should ending your second-class citizenship be so much easier than it was for Black Americans?"

    I think we both know the answer to that question.

    Posted by: soulbrotha | Nov 3, 2008 10:32:38 AM


    Posted by: Mark | Nov 3, 2008 10:38:05 AM

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