Barack Obama | Gay Marriage | News

Obama's 1996 Statement Supporting Marriage Equality


For the record (via the Windy City Times).

Kerry Eleveld at Equality Matters thinks this will become an issue for Obama before the 2012 election:

White House aides have never faced serious questioning on the matter of Obama's previous stance and the reasons for his devolution on same-sex marriage - an explanation on which I'm sure they'd rather not deliberate.

But I have spoken with enough mainstream journalists to know that they are already curious about what "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal means for marriage equality and, if the president's '96 positioning becomes part of the mainstream discussion, the White House will have to find a way to redirect this recurring loop in the media before President Obama enters the thick of the 2012 election.

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  1. When a Democratic Senator has an eye on the White House he/she moves to the political center. The future president's first year in the senate he has a ADA rating in the mid-nineties. In 2008, his rating is in the mid-seventies. His main opponent in the primary did the same thing. This aint no secret and HE AINT ALONE.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jan 26, 2011 12:38:32 PM

  2. No, he certainly isn't alone in embracing bigotry to get elected. We were led to expect better from Barack "Change We Can Believe In" Obama.

    Posted by: Roscoe | Jan 26, 2011 12:43:52 PM

  3. So he supported it at one time and now he doesn't. If people are trying to divine what he genuinely believes, I think it's irrelevant. It's what he says and does publicly that affects people's lives. But as an exercise, here are the possibilities:

    1) He genuinely favored marriage equality in 1996 and now he genuinely opposes it.


    2) He secretly favors marriage equality but he now lies about his beliefs--and acts accordingly--presumably to get elected.


    3) He has always privately opposed marriage equality but he lied about his beliefs in 1996, presumably to get elected.

    Posted by: JJ | Jan 26, 2011 12:49:08 PM

  4. What's your point?

    Posted by: Tom C. | Jan 26, 2011 12:54:17 PM

  5. OMG, i hope someone demands he explain hisself over this. This is really upsetting.

    Regarding the Peruvian Bishop who refers to 'fags', i'd like to meet him in a darkened confessional.

    Posted by: grego | Jan 26, 2011 12:58:46 PM

  6. Why is this all of a sudden news? This has been known for years already. I have always wondered why no one has asked him this before though. Perhaps not many people knew?

    Posted by: Alex | Jan 26, 2011 1:12:36 PM

  7. This is really not an issue. Everyone knew this from the start. This is Kerry's and the others way of stirring up foolishness

    Posted by: wondermann | Jan 26, 2011 1:16:29 PM

  8. Obama is a bigot, no doubt about it. Those who like him for his bigotry are, at this point, acting against the GLBT communities.

    He deliberately sabotaged same sex marriage in California/2008. He's in bed with anti-LGBT scum like Donnie McClurkin, Rick Warren (who promoted the Ugandan "Kill a gay for jebus law") and the two top leaders of the DNC, Tim Kaine and Leah Daughtry, both christian bigots.

    Obama is widely despised for busting unions and imposing austerity on working people while giving trillions to the looter class.

    He's a racist who opposes medical care for immigrant and imported workers.

    Obama's policies murder, maim and waste the lives of thousands of GIs and tens of thousands of civilians in his four colonialist wars.

    That's why Democrats lost last fall. People didn't support the Republicans, they abandoned the Democrats, mainly because Obama betrayed everyone but the banksters.

    A Republican is a wretched rightwinger with a christian bigot attached at the hip. Obama and the congressional Democrats are Republicans in drag.

    Posted by: Bill Perdue | Jan 26, 2011 1:29:15 PM

  9. Nice reporting!

    Posted by: r | Jan 26, 2011 1:33:56 PM

  10. God, what a sorry bunch of immoral lowlifes you all are (including Obama). "everyone does it" and "he did it to get elected" are NOT excuses for lying and standing in the way of civil rights. Obama is nothing but an opportunist and a liar. And all of you sorry assholes are nothing but selfish, immoral apologists. Oh, and you're morons too.

    Posted by: gaylib | Jan 26, 2011 1:40:27 PM

  11. Now I wish I would have voted for McCain because, out of the two candidates, he definitely would have been better.

    Seriously, WTF, people. You're never going to have a president that is completely honest and open about everything; politics are a balancing act. In this day and age, elections are a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils. Either get over it, or do something to change it.

    Posted by: Matthew | Jan 26, 2011 1:50:47 PM

  12. Yeah, integrity was never a vote winner.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Jan 26, 2011 2:04:09 PM

  13. He was younger and idealistic...Now he understands how politics actually works....

    Posted by: Kayla | Jan 26, 2011 2:16:41 PM

  14. Question: If Obama said tomorrow, 'I support marriage equality', how would that change the fact that same-sex marriages can take place legally in only 6 states? And that 31, or so, states have passed constitutional amendments SPECIFICALLY outlawing marriage between two persons of the same sex. How would Obama saying he supports same-sex marriage change the aforementioned facts?

    Question: If you want DOMA overturned why not approach majority leader John Boehner (sp?), the new head of the U.S. House Representatives? He's the majority leader of the House. Good luck with that, btw.

    Posted by: elg | Jan 26, 2011 2:39:35 PM

  15. GAYLIB,

    You'd have made a great Fundamentalist Christian Evangelist. Your kind of idealism has a religious ferver that puts you right up there with Islamic extremists also. You ever think of new career in suicide bombing.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jan 26, 2011 2:44:16 PM

  16. Sorry but I can't help myself: TOLD YA SO!

    Posted by: Brad | Jan 26, 2011 2:44:20 PM

  17. Oh my gunness...does this...does this mean that barack obama is a politician?! Why I never knew! He was for marriage equality before he was against it (which was disclosed during his primary bid)?! Hells bells, I'm shocked appalled that in 'MURICA support of lgbt rights has to be conditional to advance.

    Posted by: TANK | Jan 26, 2011 2:55:19 PM

  18. you have any other false equivalencies you'd like to provide us? Aww, it's politics...and everybody's right in politics, even when they're wrong...just like religion.

    Posted by: TANK | Jan 26, 2011 2:57:10 PM

  19. "Sorry but I can't help myself: TOLD YA SO!"

    Yes, BRAD, and in November 2012 you can tell yourself, "told ya so!" again. And while you do that the majority of Gay Americans...of OPENLY GAy Americans, Black Americans, Latino Americans, Asian Americans, Jewish Americans, Liberal White Americans and White Female Americans will vote for the re-election of the nominee of Democratic Party--the sitting President Barack Hussein Obama.

    This is getting to be like a bad movie....with 3 or 4 sequels.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jan 26, 2011 3:02:48 PM

  20. Well, Obama has always been for the equal rights of gay people, except when he isn't.

    That he talks out of both sides of mouth is shocking for exactly what reason? He is a politician after all and this par for the course.

    Posted by: cls | Jan 26, 2011 3:56:43 PM

  21. Is this really surprising to anyone? This has been known forever, including in comments on this board about his change of stance and links to the letter even before the 2008 election.

    Posted by: CB | Jan 26, 2011 5:22:38 PM

  22. I wish some of you would get a clue about strategy. Obama is ON OUR SIDE in a big way. Your idea of a "fierce advocate" would never have been elected in 2008 and might not be re-elected for a second term. It's better for Obama to play the game a bit until he is re-elected in 2012 (very likely, given his recent strategy) and by then, the political climate will have shifted even MORE in favor of gay rights and he will be a lame-duck president with (hopefully) a majority in both the senate and the house once again. If that happens, I am sure you will see him focus on repealing DOMA. It would be absolutely self-defeating to do it now. Stupid, actually.

    The reason why its easier for a Republican to stay to the right while running for office is because being a social conservative means that you are trying to keep the status quo or return to a pre-existing era. That's not scary to the general public because those waters are tested -- we've been there before. A social progressive has to move center for strategic purposes because new things are scary to the general public ... they are untested. Simple as that.

    Posted by: Kevin | Jan 26, 2011 5:30:20 PM

  23. This could only be used to hurt him in 2012. No offense, people.

    Posted by: IndyTown | Jan 26, 2011 7:52:53 PM

  24. This is nonsense. I recall President Obama explaining in one of his books that his beliefs about same-sex marriage were influenced by his evolving religious views, but he acknowledged that he remained open. That fact, along with a keener awareness of the political landscape, make his positions completely understandable.

    @Bill Perdue: Obama's a bigot? Really? Really? Have you ever noticed how many of his aides are gay? Oh, and that other thing, the end of Don't Ask, Don't Tell? Did you notice when that happened? When his political capital was at its lowest, meaning that it would have been easy to just let it go?

    I'm gay, and honestly, I don't the President of the United States burning all of his political capital on gay issues. Sorry, I'm not that self-centered.

    Posted by: TB | Jan 26, 2011 11:07:14 PM

  25. President Barack Obama is a brilliant man. He is doing an excellent job at strategically addressing LGBT issues and it is paying off. Yes, he is a politician. He is a smart politician who knows full well that if he were to say, "Same-Sex Marriage must be legal across all states tomorrow," that 1.) The vast majority of Americans would make a mockery of him, 2.) He would not be elected for a second term so that he can 3.) Work as hard as possible across party lines to advance LGBT issues.

    I do not know what America some of you are living in, but some people hate gay people. They do not believe we should have equal rights. I know this might come as a shock.

    I applaud our president's strategy and can see it for what it clearly is. Oh, and by the way, has any other president done as much as the current president to advance LGBT causes while he was in office?

    That's right. I didn't think so.

    Posted by: Ty A. Allison | Jan 27, 2011 5:35:19 AM

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