Is Obama a Believer in Equality or Not?

The White House's statement on the Prop 8 victory, as I noted yesterday in the "reactions" post, delivered by spokesman Ben LaBolt:

Fierceadvocate "The President has spoken out in opposition to Proposition 8 because it is divisive and discriminatory. He will continue to promote equality for LGBT Americans."

An odd statement from a President whose official position on marriage is not equality, and whose Justice Department continues to aggressively defend DOMA in the courts.

Said an aide to Politico: He supports civil unions, doesn’t personally support gay marriage though he supports repealing the Defense of Marriage Act, and has opposed divisive and discriminatory initiatives like Prop. 8 in other states."

Politico looks at how Obama's unwillingness to be a "fierce advocate" on social issues, particularly marriage equality, has become increasingly untenable with the Prop 8 decision:

Gay activists lauded Obama's stance, but remain disappointed and a tad puzzled by his unwillingness to simply endorse gay marriage.

“His position on Prop. 8 has always been clear. What has not been clear is how he squares his position for equality with his refusal to embrace actual equality in marriage. That is unclear, increasingly unclear, and there’s no good reason to explain it,” said Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry. “That’s an unsatisfying position that does nothing but frustrate those of us who look to him as the champion he promised to be…He’s not gaining anything and Judge Walker just made that crystal clear.”

Same-sex marriage opponents also view Obama’s position as unsustainable in light of Walker’s decision.

“He’s got to show his cards,” said Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage. “Do you support one San Francisco judge in imposing his view of marriage on the rest of the country or not?… Anyone who just looks at this from an objective point of view realizes the president’s position is untenable.”

The Washington Post is on the Obama – gay marriage conundrum:

"The California case will likely take years before it reaches the Supreme Court and commands presidential attention. But the issue of gay marriage — and, more broadly, the issue of gay rights — remains a sensitive one for a president who received a significant amount of support from the gay community."

Nate Silver wonders if gay marriage will once again become a campaign issue.

Writes Silver: "My best guess is that the Tea Party will largely continue to shirk the issue, but that the Republican Establishment will be fairly happy to engage it. The real battle, however, may come in 2012, when the Supreme Court could be about ready to take up the case. The leading indicator may be the reactions of the major Presidential hopefuls. For instance, will Sarah Palin produce a tweet or Facebook post containing the the phrases 'activist judge' or 'judicial activism' within the next 24 hours? It may depend on which type of conservatives — the tea-partiers, or the movement conservatives of the Republican Establishment — that she ultimately wants to affiliate herself with."

Americablog has posted a letter asking Obama to support full marriage equality. You can sign it HERE.