Barack Obama | DOMA | Gay Marriage | News

Watch: WH Says Obama 'Grappling' with Issue of Same-Sex Marriage


President Obama is personally "grappling with the issue" of same-sex marriage, his Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters today while answering a series of questions about the President's request to AG Eric Holder that the administration stop defending Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court.

Obama said in December that he was "wrestling" with the issue and that his feelings were "constantly evolving". In a 1996 questionnaire from the Windy City Times, Obama said that he supported legalizing same-sex marriage. His current position is "a strong civil union that provides them the protections and the legal rights that married couples have."

Watch Carney discuss the DOMA developments, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. If he literally goes out and says he supports gay marriage now-that would be career suicide. Simple as.

    As we've seen we have gay repubs who don't even WANT same sex marriage.

    Saying you believe in civil, is the best and smartest strategy.

    Don't be an unelectable martyr my friend because you have gays who will hate you no matter what AND in fact don't want what you have done like DADT and DOMA....

    Be smart.

    Get another term and let the fun begin because you will have nothing to loose but something tells me this was your strategy from day one.

    Posted by: Rowan | Feb 23, 2011 5:46:50 PM

  2. This is a good time to remember that our elected officials are humans whose reason and passion can be on opposing sides of an issue, and the effort to breach that divide can take a lifetime. Jefferson opposed slavery, but owned slaves 'til his dying day. It appears Obama is having more success with this particular matter.

    Posted by: Chuck Mielke | Feb 23, 2011 5:48:54 PM

  3. So many wrestling metaphors...

    Posted by: Fenrox | Feb 23, 2011 5:54:33 PM

  4. apples & oranges. You don't have to support same-sex marriage to realize that state sanctioned legal same-sex marriages should be recognized by the federal government since the federal government has given the right to define marriage to the states.

    Posted by: Tim NC | Feb 23, 2011 5:58:37 PM

  5. I totally agree with Rowan, and while I will admit that my own opinions of Obama have wavered throughout his term so far, I think it is important to remember that this is politics, a game of sorts, and he absolutely has to play his second half. The alternatives are seriously bleak.

    Posted by: Austin | Feb 23, 2011 6:00:38 PM

  6. He is going to keep grappling until after the next election is over.

    Posted by: jaragon | Feb 23, 2011 6:02:41 PM

  7. Since our rights don't really matter, it is ok for politicians to play games about what they support.

    Why do you guys believe that Obama secretly wants gay marriage?

    If this were racial you can bet the farm that they'd be all over it, in their faces and screaming out loud for the discrimination to end!!!!!

    Posted by: ted | Feb 23, 2011 6:11:49 PM

  8. @rowan::: and then he won't be concerned about gay votes at all, will he?

    Posted by: ted | Feb 23, 2011 6:13:51 PM

  9. I can wrestle all he wants ... on his own.

    I give him and his DOJ credit for FINALLY seeing the light and just letting it go and not defend the unconstitutional DOMA any longer.

    Posted by: FunMe | Feb 23, 2011 6:22:22 PM

  10. Guys let's use our heads like the GOP do ALL THE FRIGGING time which is why they ALWAYS win and most of you either didn't vote during the last elections or voted Republican.

    When DADT got repealed, didn't straight away an Advocate writer-Kerry etc-ask him the question about marriage? Right after he monumentally changed an anti gay legislation? Did she thank him? NO.

    And now, right after he has again decided to work towards overturning an anti-gay legislation, the same question is posed.

    Come on folks, use your brains. This is politics and further more, the Advicate whose right wing proprieters are being investigated for fraud, plus other suspects,refuse to congratulate him????

    Can you not smell a rat as who is on your side?

    Every time he does something towards gay rights, these gay-pro?-journalists are they to wind you all up for sticking by him.

    It's a f*cling game and he has just stuck up one on the GOP. If you are so DUMB that you still believe that the GOP care more about gay people then you need help.

    Furthermore, no one says you shouldn't stop that wonderful left wing critique we have on our own because if the left can't hate it's own, who can?

    GOproud went out of their way to defend McCain, even after what he said. Dan Choi not once did he try and aim for the GOP with all his brilliant activism-at least he can still go to war!-but yet, you still seem to try and side with a group that has manipulated you to the frigging brinks.

    What is up? If he was white would this be different?

    Where you like this with Clinton when he did not even half of what Obama has done?

    This is really sad. Really sad.

    Don't you realize if he went out and said he was pro gay marriage he would only be first term? Do you not know how HATED you are by the Koch brothers, NOM and the so much powerful religious forces??

    Don't you realize just doing this, he has earned the rafth of so many conservatives who are know haying for his blood?

    Why the F*CK does he need to do this? Why should he care?

    Damn, maybe humans are so inherently stupid, irrational and selfish that the GOP should always be in power.

    You reap what you sow you ungrateful b*stards.


    Posted by: Rowan | Feb 23, 2011 6:44:55 PM

  11. I do think Obama personally supports marriage equality, he did in 1996, he did in 2006, and he does now, and I don't think it would be suicide anymore for him to be in full support, and he knows it, which is why it's come up so many times in the last few months. In fact, he knows he HAS to support equality before Nov 2012 or he won't win.

    The wrestling and grappling and so forth are necessary to make it seem a decision not taken lightly. But his goal has clearly been to try to reflect what he sees as the median center-left adult American stance on the issue on any given day, and he's done a hell of a job at it I'd say, albeit slowly.

    There may be gays who don't support equality, Rowan, but there are also straight arch-conservatives who do, and we do not live in the 90s or even the 00s anymore. O will be in full support of equality before, say, mid-summer '12, at the latest. THAT's the political game.

    Posted by: JeffRob | Feb 23, 2011 6:45:39 PM

  12. Hang on to your wallets, boys! President Learning Curve needs your cash for 2012!

    Posted by: Tom | Feb 23, 2011 7:24:02 PM

  13. "I do think Obama personally supports marriage equality, he did in 1996, he did in 2006, and he does now, and I don't think it would be suicide anymore for him to be in full support, and he knows it, which is why it's come up so many times in the last few months. In fact, he knows he HAS to support equality before Nov 2012 or he won't win."

    Exactly. The war's over even if the enemy isn't giving up. Poll after poll after poll shows that the majority supports marriage equality. The rules have changed and Obama is scrambling to keep up. I think his sad little transparent act might have its finale scheduled for too late in the game for his own good, but we'll see, won't we?

    Posted by: justme | Feb 23, 2011 7:35:38 PM

  14. For all you twits who have forgotten, remember all the fags who were all over themselves supporting their candidate who was FOR gay marriage? I don't recall them pushing the candidate who was "wrestling" with the issue. And Civil Unions are not even close to marriage.

    Once again: I told ya so !!!!

    Posted by: Brad | Feb 23, 2011 7:43:24 PM

  15. One side says they're "grappling," the other side says we're "trying to force it down their throats..." don't ya ever suspect that if all these 'straight' boys had an appointment with Dr. Freud, they might work out some of these psychosexual hangups and give us our g*dd*mned rights?

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | Feb 23, 2011 7:48:26 PM

  16. I highly doubt he is "grappling" with the issue personally, instead he's "grappling" with if he can please both the right wing nutters and his actual base at the same time (but mostly the nutters).

    Posted by: ravewulf | Feb 23, 2011 8:01:41 PM

  17. The President knows very well that there is no such thing as "a strong civil union that provides them the protections and the legal rights that married couples have" and that's why in the end he will support marriage equality.

    I wish it would happen faster, like we all do, but: if we had a repug president we wouldn't even be having this conversation.

    Posted by: ant | Feb 23, 2011 8:25:03 PM

  18. This is what change looks like. It's not pretty but it is pretty effective. There will be same sex marriage within the next few years. Watch and enjoy. The rational adults are in charge.

    Posted by: Dave | Feb 23, 2011 8:29:07 PM

  19. If I claim same-sex marriage ceremonies as being an integral part of my religion, will it not then be legal under freedom of religion?

    I think it would be an interesting tactic to try - let's just create our own religion that DOES recognize same sex marriage. It doesn't even have to have spiritual/moral guidelines...

    Posted by: David | Feb 23, 2011 8:32:10 PM

  20. @David: There are already many religious denominations that support same-sex marriage: United Church of Christ, Church of Sweden, United Church of Canada (which is Canada's largest denomination after Catholicism); both the Quakers and the Unitarians (both of which were very influential in early American history, counting presidents among their adherents); Reform Judaism (the largest denomination of Jews in America); Metropolitain Community Churches, many United Methodist churches, etc., etc.

    Many of these denominations' representatives have been blessing the marriagesof their members in same-sex relationships for decades and have argued that the lack of legal recognition for those marriages is an inappropriate infringement of the religious ideas of others on the law of the land.

    Of course, even among those religious denominations which don't officially bless the marriages of same-sex couples, there are millions of members who don't agree with their religious leaders' policies (just as we see the vast majority of Catholics using birth control even as the Vatican leaders calls it evil).

    Of course, if the tenets of any of those accepting religions does not conform to your own beliefs, you are free to establish any religion that you do agree with.

    Posted by: gregv | Feb 23, 2011 9:15:09 PM

  21. He can grapple with finding a new job next year.

    Posted by: feh | Feb 23, 2011 9:23:00 PM

  22. There might be local Republican exceptions (e.g, in the San Fransisco Bay Area), but on the whole, not voting or voting Repug in 2012 is gay self-hate.

    @Ant: You said it best: if we had a Repug president we wouldn't even be having this conversation.

    @Tom: No learning curve needed for a Repug president. He would be anti-gay from beginning to end. Just look at the House of Representatives that you helped to usher in.

    Posted by: Phil | Feb 23, 2011 9:45:23 PM

  23. At a time when "small-government" Republicans at both the state and federal level are doing everything they can to restrict and set back our civil rights, meddling in our lives instead of focusing on the economy as they promised, I think the President's response to DOMA today and his "grappling" with marriage equality can unequivocally count as a positive step forward.

    Is his position perfect yet? No. But his position, unlike that of his Republican colleagues, is one we can work to improve. We can continue to pressure him to do the right thing. We have no such leverage with the bigots. The danger of having Republican majorities is becoming clearer by the day; the told-you-so applies to the deluded gay people who claimed that Obama's and the Dem's positions on gay rights are no different than the conservatives. It was always a lie, now it's simply a more laughable one.

    If the naysayers can find a more pro-gay President at this point in time, be sure to let us know.

    Posted by: Ernie | Feb 23, 2011 9:46:27 PM

  24. @Tom again: There's nothing wrong with holding on to your wallets and keeping your money. Just get to the polls in 2012 and vote for candidates who don't pander to anti-gay hate and gay self hate, which doesn't cost a dime. I think that's a modest proposal, don't you?

    Posted by: Phil | Feb 23, 2011 10:00:04 PM

  25. I disagree the supporting marriage equality would be career suicide for Obama, those who base their vote on that will never vote for him anyway. Most Democrats and Independents now support same sex marriage and many others just don't care one way or the other. These are the people he needs to get to win in 2012.

    Posted by: Ken | Feb 23, 2011 10:00:39 PM

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