WH Clarifies Obama Positions Regarding Same-Sex Ballot Measures

The White House released this statement to The Advocate's Kerry Eleveld in response to a request she made for greater clarification on Obama's positions with regard to Question 1 in Maine and Referendum 71 in Washington.

Whitehouse "The President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same-sex couples, and as he said at the Human Rights Campaign dinner, he believes ‘strongly in stopping laws designed to take rights away.’ Also at the dinner, he said he supports, ‘ensuring that committed gay couples have the same rights and responsibilities afforded to any married couple in this country.’"


  1. says

    I wasn’t sure how to inform you of this, but I thought you might be interested to see photo 14 (from link). President Obama spoke at Texas A&M University, a campus notorious for its conservatism. While there were many signs of various protest, there was an LGBT presence too.

  2. Grimmlok says

    “he said he supports, ‘ensuring that committed gay couples have the same rights and responsibilities afforded to any married couple in this country.’”

    ie: civil unions, not marriage. Separate but equal IS NOT EQUAL.

    Parse, parse, parse.

  3. Tim says

    After all that politico talk, Obama should state clearly, “And that’s why I urge voters in Maine to vote no on Proposition 1 and votes in Washington state to vote yes on Referendum 71.” But why be direct when you can obfuscate?

  4. rich says

    That’s it, ya know?

    I SO wanted to believe that he was just too busy to deal with us, and somehow had justified that.

    But this IS a clear statement, it’s clear that he is NOT the fierce advocate he claimed to be.

  5. says

    Yes, he’s parsing his words.

    As one of his most ardent defenders here on Towleroad, even I’ll admit it’s stupid he didn’t just say what Tim said above.

    You’ve got to admit it, though. He’s pretty clearly on our side. I mean he believes “strongly in stopping laws designed to take rights away.”

    That’s pretty clear. Can we stop pretending he’s some kind of closet homophobe, when in reality, he’s just constrained by the politics of polling numbers.

  6. Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com says

    CANDIDATE Barack Obama. February 28, 2008:

    “As your President, I WILL USE THE BULLY PULPIT to urge states to treat same-sex couples with full equality in their family and adoption laws.”

    TODAY blah blah blah. How much you want to bet that his far more forceful statement on record opposing marriage equality because “God is in the mix” will not wash away this limp wimpy comment and be used in Maine and Washington the same way it was in California in robocalls and this mailer:


    The Obamabots are, of course, drooling, “But it’s unseemly for a President to become involved in a state’s rights issue.” Does anyone GENUINELY believe that were the rights being voted on at the state level based on race that this POTUS would not be more forceful in opposing it? As any President SHOULD!

    Fortunately for him and them, his parents divorced before they could make the mistake of traveling to a state that banned mixed race marriages as the Lovings did after they married in DC but returned to Virginia where they were arrested and were given the choice of leaving the state or going to jail before their lawsuit resulted in all such state laws being overturned by the Supreme Court.

    He showed a little knee for our votes; he still needs gay money…but our rights are secondary to state’s rights and “God’s wishes.”

    Oh, well, there’s still next spring’s White House Easter Egg Hunt to look forward to.

  7. Antny says

    Let’s clarify that. Someone says he says something until theres an election and then we find out that that person mis-spoke or it was taken out of context or that was just part of a bigger statement……

  8. grego says

    It was not in the political playbook for Obama to say “I support the fundamental right of all americans to marry, and I encourage all Maine citizens to vote NO”.

  9. Chris says

    The grief of it all.

    Just find you an imaginary candidate in 2012 and be done with it and make sure they’re caucasian so they can say I BELIEVE MARRIAGE IS FOR ALL PEOPLE!!!!!!

    And lets see how far this go with the rest of the American People.

    It might just Surprise you. And if they do win. You won’t get any more fake speeches from Black Barry! But you will be told by the other their stance on Gay Marriage.

    And that will be NO!

  10. says

    I really have no idea what Chris’s comment means. I’m not sure if he was trying to be sarcastic or if he was just race-baiting.

    The incoherence of it all leads me to presume he hates Obama and is just being racist. At least Michael@leonard isn’t racist when making his point. Annoying as fuck all, yeah, but not racist. Best you let him represent the anti-Obama crowd.

  11. Stop Whining says

    Who else has helped us exactly? Why is it suddenly on Obama to be champion of gay rights? Get real.

    Progress won’t come over night. At least he’s showing support. You want it all right now, that’s not how civil rights works.

  12. Rocky says

    @ Aaron

    Actually Aaron,maybe you are kinda dumb.But he was being sarcastic.I read right in between the lines.Hes basically calling yall RACIST.Which many of Towleroad’s readers are.Ive read many,many,many comments on here starting November 5th (after the prop 8 fiasco and the presidential election) it is not hard to figure out that alot of towleroad’s readers are racist anti-black middle-aged white gay men.There has been alot of disrespect and lack of consideration laid upon gay men of color.So you damn right Im gonna step up and call it out as I see it.Furthermore the level of race-baiting that went on during the Prop H8 fiasco there was alot of blame being put out on black folks.When they all know it was the white mormons and other right-winged groups consisting of “White People” who made it their obligation to vote against ALL of us and they were using the scare-tactics,the lies,and being completely dishonest overall just to push their opinion into law.My grandfather always said that white people can be the loudest haters of anyone.In this case and in Obamas case,its true.If you simply dont agree with Obama’s stance on equality for gays,thats one thing.I dont agree with him AT ALL myself.But when you start talkin’ smack about how you plan to vote republican next year because (to put it in your words) “Atleast republicans hate you to your face” you have some real hatred going on inside you that you aint willing to confront,let alone selfish.So I guess during the 2012 election you are gonna vote for that Alaskan hick Sarah Palin,right? Hey she’s white,religious and a woman.We all know this heterosexual christian white woman cares more about us than President Obama does,right? Let alone all of the Hilary supporters who are still kissing her ass and saying shit like “This is why I voted for Hilary” They are probably the same individuals who threw a temper tantrum when she lost the primaries fair and square and are the same ones who didnt want “the big bad black man” in the oval office.You can be “pro gay rights” all you want,we all should be,but when you start giving off your racist vibes,you better prepare to get criticized.And you have NO right to call anyone out as “Race-Baiting” because truth be told many of you have done it a large number of times,not just on issues dealing with President Obama,but on any given issue dealing with black people.I for one am not a racist,I dont hate white people,I just hate the arrogant,self-centered,egotistical,”White is right” racist attitude,from typically racist white people.So what happens?The dumb people without a clue call me a racist.Im black,hispanic,and italian and as a black/mixed person Im still part of a race which has been oppressed by white people for centuries and it still happens today.So as a white person you need to ask yourself,do I really have a right to call him a racist? Its almost 2010 and I still have to sit and explain my frustration about this,its pretty sad.

  13. says

    “Taking rights away??? We never had them to take away. More BS from BO.”

    Hello? In fact, we did (remember Prop 8 in CA?) and do (Question 1 and Referendum 71) have rights that can be taken away. The tepid vagueness of Obama’s response (as others have pointed out) can be faulted, but he was answering a specific question about ballot initiatives that will–if the opposition wins–take specific rights away.

  14. Pete says


    There have actually been several candidates in the democratic primaries that have advocated full civil marriage equality rights. Unfortunately these candidates never advance far in the game. Why? Because as strong supporters financially and volunteer wise we often tend to back “popular” candidates so that once elected they will fulfill their promises to us.

    I have voted in every single election since I turned 18, but what I decided to do a few years ago was to ONLY support (financially, volunteer hours, vote) for candidates who not only talk about equality but actively push legislation that supports that position. So that means no vote to Barrack Obama next time around or any candidate that doesn’t actively engage in pursuing equality for all.

    I even toyed around with the idea of voting for candidates that are anti-gay, at least they put their homophobic ideals all out there, “Yes I’m a blatant homophobe and you deserve no rights.” Now that’s someone I don’t have to wonder what side of the fence they are on…the answer is simple: not mine.

    I would encourage everyone to seek out, look and support candidates that advocate and push for legislation for full equality they do exist even in presidential elections they just may lack some of the shine, pizazz and charisma that elected leaders posses.

  15. Matt R says

    The editor in me cringes in seeing people use the word “parse” incorrectly, or at least with a meaning that isn’t its traditional one. (Look in your dictionary.) There are better terms to describe Obama’s little dance with words.

  16. says

    Fair enough. I humbly concede that my use of “parse” was colloquial at best.

    That having been said, you did read Rocky’s post, right? He claimed I was an idiot in a post that contained at least fifty grammatical and spelling errors.

    I’m no grammar nazi, I just found his accusation ironic.

  17. Joseph says

    @Donald – I do not believe the laws the referendums refer to have actually gone into place, therefore, Obama’s comments allow him to argue that he is on both sides. You know, that political change he spoke so much about.

    @Aaron – The Alaska legislature approve a law that would have denied state employees same sex benefits. The Gov at that time did as they should do, went to the AT and asked his opinion on the legality of doing so. The opinion was that it would not be legal and therefore that Gov vetoed the legislation and state employees in Alaska now enjoy same-sex partner benefits. That Gov. just happened to be Sarah Palin. Not an endorsement of the candidate, but an often over-looked fact regarding on who believes the executive branch is their to ensure the rights of all its citizens, not to legislate.

    @Rocky – I am not gonna waste my time trying to defend myself as being racist because I do not like Obama. I said from the beginning, I thought he was a ‘liberal George Bush’. Arrogant and one who cannot admit he is wrong. As time on, he continues to prove me right.

    @to everyone complaining – Obama has said from the very beginning that he was against Gay marriage. Why is that all of a sudden becoming a surprise to anyone. Spend the next 3 years finding a candidate that supports the issues that mean the most to you and vote.

Leave A Reply