Barack Obama | Gay Marriage | News

Obama Asked About Gay Marriage on Inside the White House


On the second part of the thoroughly engaging and heavily-watched two part NBC News series Inside the Obama White House which aired last night, Obama was asked if gays who want to get married have a friend in the White House.

Imho it was perhaps the most hesitant, the most uneasy the President had been in the entire two hours.

Says Obama: "I don't think it makes sense for the federal government to get in the business of determining what marriage is."

Which is why the repeal of DOMA can't begin soon enough.

Watch Obama's answer, AFTER THE JUMP.....

Today, POLITICO reports on the growing impatience behind-the-scenes of LGBT leaders in Washington who want some movement on Obama's promises:

Messina "...officials have told restive gays and lesbians to give them until the end of this month to show movement on a number of lower-profile issues they support, including restrictions on visas for people with HIV. The Pentagon also has toned down public opposition to reversing the gay ban, and the new secretary of the Army’s job will be, in part, to smooth the way for that move...'The president remains fully committed to advancing LGBT rights. His positions on all of these issues are well-established and well-known. His staff continues to work with Congress on a variety of LGBT issues,' said Jim Messina, the deputy White House chief of staff who is the point man on gay and lesbian issues, citing White House efforts to move hate crimes legislation through the Senate. 'While we recognize that some in the community are anxious, the president’s commitment has not wavered.'"

The NBC interview snippet, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. WIMP

    Posted by: kujhawker | Jun 4, 2009 7:11:39 AM

  2. Lame. My opinion of Obama is He doesn't believe that the government should step in and define marriage but that's exactly what it did with interracial marriage. Of course the government should step in when our constitutional rights are being violated.

    Posted by: Daws | Jun 4, 2009 7:14:25 AM

  3. Unfortunately, the stated committment to repeal DOMA has been stricken from the White House website

    This White House is going to be increasingly left behind on marriage equality in this country. New Hampshire just voted for marriage equality. That's 6 states now. New York State can very well be the 7th. I still don't quite understand how President Obama can say that he's a friend of gay and lesbian people who want to get married and still push civil unions at the same time. Civil unions are still, however he wants to frame it, separate but equal in this country. And as long as we have separate but equal in this country, we'll always be second class citizens. Period.

    Posted by: Terry | Jun 4, 2009 7:19:33 AM

  4. So the answer is "no."

    Posted by: Mike | Jun 4, 2009 7:19:50 AM

  5. It's odd that he sanctions a "Gay Pride Month" before gays even have full civil rights. Can you imagine a politician suggesting a "Black History Month" in 1965?

    I mean, it's not like gays are being denied their right to vote or anything else as obvious, but we're certainly not being treated as equal citizens, either.

    Just another reason to despise the organized religions which expect the world to adopt their versions of morality -- based on ancient text which also happens to condone slavery and dictate murder for marital indiscretions that those same religious people are willing to overlook or accept.

    When someone suggests "God's word" as a reason to deny gays full equal marriage, I think it's important to point out what OTHER laws are commanded in their very own bible, and ask them why THOSE laws were "just for that era" but why a few bits of misinterpreted text (not even commandments) are given eternal carte blanche when it comes to men laying with men.

    Posted by: sparks | Jun 4, 2009 7:47:59 AM

  6. OMG! These brief but illuminating words by Obama have finally clarified for me, where he truly places the concerns and needs of LGBT people in America. There was absolutely no passion, no heart, no real connection to our cause and struggle for civil rights in his anwswer. His response seems particularly cold in the shadow of his speech to the Muslim world just delivered in Cairo. This is bad news for us all around and a clarion call to take our cause to the streets. I was on the fence as to whether Obama was just waiting for the right time to do what's right for us, but after that dead fish response I got the feeling that we are a more a nuisance to him than anything else. I am chilled to the bone.

    Posted by: Anthony Veneziano | Jun 4, 2009 7:52:11 AM

  7. Why doesnt he stop recognizing blacks and white marriages and call them civil unions. I am disgusted at Obamas non reaction to the gay plight for equal rights given his background. What happened to all men are created equal? Religion has no place in politics.... haha God Bless America. Thank GOD I live in Canada

    Posted by: Blitze | Jun 4, 2009 7:53:30 AM

  8. Hope has faded. I didn't think it would happen so soon, very disappointing.

    Posted by: realitythink | Jun 4, 2009 7:53:43 AM

  9. What is EACH OF US doing to hold his feet to the fire???

    Posted by: Rick | Jun 4, 2009 7:54:25 AM

  10. He supports so called "separate but equal" civil unions (though he failed to mention his own home state of Illinois failed to enact even those attempts at pretend equality). And the federal government shouldn't be in the marriage busines? WELL WHAT ABOUT THE FEDERAL DOMA LAW? WTF?!

    Posted by: Wayne | Jun 4, 2009 7:59:57 AM

  11. This is not news. Obama does not care-period. He lacks passion in almost everything. He is more of the same- just a different package. I feel genuinely sorry for the folks that believed in their heart he was different than the rest. Irrespective of parties -the politicos don't care about civil rights for LGBT people. They will pander to the religious reich first, last and always.

    Posted by: Nick | Jun 4, 2009 8:08:56 AM

  12. As others here have alluded to, if Obama thinks the federal government shouldn't be determining what marriage is, then the federal government needs to accept each individual state's definition of what marriage is, even those states which have defined marriage as the union of two consenting adult persons regardless of gender. And, Obama's federal government does NOT recognize the states' definition of marriage. I'm getting so sick of Obama because he's obviously a smart man, so he knows he's full of shit when he says this stuff, which makes these responses simply insulting to our intelligence.

    Posted by: John K. | Jun 4, 2009 8:22:20 AM

  13. Apparently, Obama wants to have shoes thrown at him as well! Keep at it Barack, and before you know it, your term will end in you dodging a shoe as well.

    Posted by: JEZ | Jun 4, 2009 8:36:44 AM


    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jun 4, 2009 8:49:21 AM

  15. Hope? Change?

    Posted by: Elcamino | Jun 4, 2009 9:16:34 AM

  16. Thanks, Barry. Do we get our own water fountains next?

    Posted by: MikeMick | Jun 4, 2009 9:22:41 AM

  17. Good comments :)
    Bad, bad, bad segment though - the smart thing to have done would have been at least pretending to care.

    As pointed out by many of the above folk, it also doesn't help that he clearly has no actual intent to get federal government out of "the business of determining what marriage is".
    Pretty shameful overall.

    Posted by: PM | Jun 4, 2009 9:24:27 AM

  18. We recently received a mailing from the DNC. It asked us to mail back (in a postage paid envelope they provided) a "letter to President Obama." Of course the purpose was to raise money.

    My "letter" said that until Obama did something substantive for LGBT folks, the DNC should not expect any more money from our household. I suggest others do the same. Maybe if Dems see us withholding money and know the reason why, they will pressure Obama to make good on some of his promises.

    Posted by: Voet | Jun 4, 2009 9:30:08 AM

  19. I watched the first part of this series on Monday and was not impressed. He seemed arrogant and detached. He even dissed Brian on air at one point when Brian tried to get the cameras away from Obama and Michelle saying he wanted to give them some privacy. My honeymoon with him is over and I don't care how long he's been president, he seems to turn on and turn off with alarming frequency and I'm beginning to feel more manipulated than I had been warned I would.

    Posted by: woodroad34 | Jun 4, 2009 9:33:36 AM

  20. So if the Federal government has no role in defining marriage, Obama should actively be seeking the repeal of DOMA, right?
    Didn't he pledge to lead? On what issues is he leading exactly?

    Posted by: sjorgl | Jun 4, 2009 9:38:29 AM

  21. "I don't think that it makes sense for the federal government to get in the business of determining what marriage is, that isn't traditionally the federal governments role."

    Can it be any clearer? This guy is NOT going to advance the cause. He obviously does not see this as a civil rights/equality issue. But he and his advisors will eventually be proved wrong. NEVER accept civil unions.

    So, do it state by state. It seems that that is how things work in the USA. Keep positive. Good things happen to honest people. Love will always prevail over hate.

    In Canada, two devout practising Catholic Prime Ministers recognized the importance of granting equal rights to all citizens. The first, as Minister of Justice in 1967, introduced the omnibus bill which states, in a nutshell, that the government has no business in the bedrooms of the nation. The second, stated that ""We're a nation of minorities and in a nation of minorities you don't cherry-pick rights." On July 30, 2005 the Civil Marriage Act became law. Obviously, in order for these bills become law, the majority of elected federal representatives believed in the complete separation of church and state.

    In essence, the USA is a much more conservative country than Canada. It will take more time, there will be more resistance. Keep up the pressure.

    Posted by: excy | Jun 4, 2009 9:39:40 AM

  22. @ VOET
    Agreed. I've done the same thing to the DNC, Obama's campaign and Time to take some scalps.

    Posted by: MikeMick | Jun 4, 2009 10:26:44 AM


    Let Mr. Obama know how you feel and how the republicans seem to be right about him in ever respect.

    Posted by: Bobby | Jun 4, 2009 10:37:32 AM

  24. I'm a British guy and my husband (legally married here in England) is an American guy. We were forced out of our home in the US last October because my visa ran out and, of course, the real reason - gay marriage is not federal law. We lived in New Jersey and PA for 16 years. "Well, can't you just...? say people. No, we can't's not legal. For you, the straights, yes. For us? NO.

    Posted by: Phil | Jun 4, 2009 10:44:13 AM

  25. Do you guys really think thats he is going to take such an important stand while the economy and the market are in such bad shape... he wants to be re-elected and if the str8s find out that he fixed gay guys what they wanted but not the economy or the market... all hell will brake loose!

    He cant help the gays until he helps the str8ties.. thats just the way it will work! he has to seem pre-ocuppied with the economy and security! and if that goes well... then he can make the rest of us happy.

    Posted by: Rafa | Jun 4, 2009 11:05:18 AM

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