2012 Election | Barack Obama | Gay Marriage | Gay Marriage Quotes | North Carolina

Contrary To Previous Reports, The President Has No Opinion On NC Marriage Amendment

Barack_obama_laughing_300bOn Friday, Barack Obama quietly involved himself in the fight over the North Carolina anti-marriage amendment. Or he instructed his campaign to get involved. Or maybe his campaign just got involved and Obama knows nothing about it. Anyway -- his campaign in NC, at least, has very strong feelings about the North Carolina anti-marriage amendment, as Andy's already reported. Meanwhile, the press acts like Barack Obama just officiated a gay wedding at the Capitol Building in Raleigh.

A representative text, from the Boston Herald:

With North Carolina a key battleground state, Obama decided to take the potentially risky step of wading into a divisive social issue.

"While the president does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the record is clear that the president has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same-sex couples," said Cameron French, his North Carolina campaign spokesman.

So it goes at ABC, WashPo, HuffPo, just about every place. But nobody's got a comment from the president, and the actual words of spokesman Cameron French suggest that French has never spoken to the president about the anti-marriage amendment at all -- "the record is clear that the president has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same-sex couples" makes it sound as though French has taken a good look at Obama's record and deduced what the president's position would be, if only someone asked his opinion.

Of course, Cameron French probably wasn't saying anything he wasn't authorized to say. But the way he said it, as though trying to provide a sprig of political cover in case Obama should need to court a homophobe's vote between now and November, is inescapably weasely. And unnecessarily so, since the news media can't tell the difference between Cameron French and the POTUS anyway. 

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  1. Pardon my peri menopausal rage but I'm sick of this. Any sane person knows that every single person should be allowed to marry.Gender irrespective.

    Posted by: Maya | Mar 18, 2012 10:19:07 AM

  2. "Present!"

    Posted by: MarkUs | Mar 18, 2012 10:39:09 AM

  3. Prop 8 had the same effect as this amendment in NC.

    Way back in July 2008 Obama opposed Prop 8 AND SIMILAR EFFORTS:

    In a letter to San Francisco's Alice B. Toklas Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Democratic Club, the presumptive presidential nominee said he opposed "the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution" and similar efforts in other states.

    That position has not changed, has it?

    Posted by: KevinVT | Mar 18, 2012 10:49:23 AM

  4. @KEVINVT... In fact, Prop 8 did not have the same effect that this NC amendment will have. The amendment in NC goes much, much further than Prop 8 went. The NC amendment bans marriage, domestic partnerships, civil unions, domestic partner benefits currently offered by many municipalities to the partners and children of employees (both gay and straight) will be eliminated and on and on and on. The amendment is broad and poorly written no one can be completely sure until the courts get involved just how far reaching the negative effects and unintended consequences might be.

    Posted by: Tim NC | Mar 18, 2012 11:16:37 AM

  5. "...but send me your money anyway."

    -- B. H. Obama

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Mar 18, 2012 11:17:07 AM

  6. Ah, politics. The media and the right spinning this as a big deal when it really isn't since everyone should already know that Obama opposes ballot initiatives that seek to take away civil rights, including marriage rights. He's on record numerous times.

    Whether his position was played up in this case by a NC spokesman without the president's direct input is certainly possible--spokespeople do that, and if they misstate the president's position, then they'll probably get called on it by the administration. Highly unlikely here. And that doesn't mean, as the headline of this post disingenuously suggests, that the president has "no opinion" on the NC marriage amendment, when in fact he's always opposed and has never supported such amendments.

    Smart presidents wade into state politics very cautiously, and given the unnecessary brouhaha over this, it's easy to understand why.

    Posted by: Ernie | Mar 18, 2012 11:23:13 AM

  7. I don't want the president going anywhere near this issue in NC. NC is probably going to be razor thin in November and may be a decisive state, and I'd rather have President Obama re-elected than a President Romney. He isn't going to lose votes there because he didn't come out to oppose the measure, but he may alienate some key swing voters if he goes all out to oppose it. Politics sucks but sometimes you have to look at the long game.

    Posted by: Mark | Mar 18, 2012 11:27:30 AM

  8. The man has beautiful teeth

    Posted by: ratbastard | Mar 18, 2012 11:31:23 AM

  9. The sensationalized headline & photo of Obama laughing is like some sort of National Enquirer type of thing done to provoke anger.
    I suppose Mr. Thorpe wants us to vote Republican.

    Posted by: Grady | Mar 18, 2012 11:44:16 AM

  10. Do think Thorp is a republican? LOL If he wants to go that way have at it. Pic is messed tho

    Posted by: GeorgeM | Mar 18, 2012 11:56:01 AM

  11. What's up with the weird angle, under his teeth photo? How about something a little more impartial-- this seriously looks like something Drudge Report or Fox News would choose. Why???????

    Posted by: iawl | Mar 18, 2012 12:32:03 PM

  12. Prop 8 affected a whole lot more gay people than anything that would happen in NC. What state has the largest gay population?

    And who cares about the man's (obviously fake or very redone) teeth? He's the president. He has to be presentable.

    Posted by: Paul R | Mar 18, 2012 12:42:28 PM

  13. Thanks for reading. I'm definitely not a Republican. I volunteered for the Obama campaign four years ago, and I'll do so again this summer. Enthusiastically. The picture of Obama laughing isn't supposed to be a knock on the man -- I thought only that it was the laugh of a man very used to getting his way. Which Obama does. Which is one of the reasons I like him.

    Mark -- I assume you meant to say "support" rather than "oppose" in your second-to-last sentence, and I think you're quite right. - BKT

    Posted by: Brandon K. Thorp | Mar 18, 2012 12:44:38 PM

  14. I suspect that's a St. Pat's day photo, but I could be wrong.
    Rather like, it, actually - prefer a smiling man of intelligence with his hand on the thermonukes than the beached whale in Puerto Rico, any day.

    Obama did write a letter of support for us during Prop.8. As with so many things in that fight, we didn't make use of it.

    Now, maybe, we have learned. I don't know - it just seems as though the folks in North Carolina are fighting this far more aggressively and far more intelligently than the people in some other states, especially Maine, where they seem determined to repeat every single, solitary mistake we've made over the years.

    I think it is time for Obama to directly support us. Rick Warren and Donnie McClurkin and that nasty vicious christer faith outreach hater in the DNC have not produced one single, solitary gay-hating vote for the Democrats in all these years of bashing us.
    The reason for this is simple: Everyone, regardless of position, already knows that the Republicans want to throw us back into the closet, slam the door and throw away the key. Santorum would put in a bunch of rattlesnakes first, Gingerich would be sure to leave double-knit polyester suits hanging up and Romney would charge us entry.
    Everyone also knows that the Democrats sooner rather than later are going to come out for granting us full human status. Nobody on the right thinks Obama really is a 'Christian', none of them thinks he really opposes the restitution of our rights.

    Let' stop pretending this is 1994. It's 2012.

    Posted by: enough already | Mar 18, 2012 12:46:58 PM

  15. Whoops! There went that "fierce advocacy" once again, dissipating like a puff of smoke!

    Posted by: jamal49 | Mar 18, 2012 1:06:01 PM

  16. This piece is very misleading. Is this Queerty?

    Posted by: wondermann | Mar 18, 2012 1:13:57 PM

  17. Brandon writes the worst blogs. Weekends suck on Towleroad.

    Posted by: Reality | Mar 18, 2012 1:14:50 PM

  18. Does anybody really think that Obama's opinion on North Carolina marriage amendment is going to change the INEVITABLE outcome in November?

    Posted by: elg/edwin | Mar 18, 2012 1:32:57 PM

  19. Prop 8 may have effected more people in CA. But, that effect was only to take away the word marriage. CA still has domestic partnerships with 100% of the state benefits as are given to straight married couples. In NC however, the amendment will take away benefits that same-sex and unmarried opposite-sex partners and their children are currently receiving. It will also remove the possibility of civil unions and domestic partnerships (which CA never lost) in the future.

    Posted by: Tim NC | Mar 18, 2012 3:28:20 PM

  20. Whoa! Towleroad dare to speak the truth? Stop the press.

    This blog finally got interesting. Thank you, Brandon. Andy would never have the balls to post something like this. And neither would that moron JoeMyGod.

    Obama will assume he’s taken care of us pesky homosexuals and now he can start vacuuming up our cash. Start sucking Obama. Assuming that he doesn’t need do anything else to placate gay Democrats. And no, Obamacare will not cover your back injuries that you sustain while bowing to Him.

    Posted by: Alan | Mar 18, 2012 4:09:08 PM

  21. rather than the expected "i hate Obama!" comments, can someone who harbours those feelings choose instead to specifically articulate what the LGBT Community should be doing , or whom we should specifically be supporting?

    just curious. rather than continually expressing what one is against can people choose instead to explicitly state what they are FOR?

    it would be much more beneficial. kthanks.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Mar 18, 2012 4:19:48 PM

  22. Obama never actually says anything positive about gay rights. It's all done through his enablers who are afraid of losing the gay vote.

    Well, I certainly won't be voting for this fraud in November.

    Posted by: jason | Mar 18, 2012 5:26:28 PM

  23. POTUS never says anything positive outright about gay rights. That's a fact. He's a master politician and knows he can throw gays bones here and there when the time suits him best, rally the troops in a pinch, but otherwise get away with ignoring the radicals who are some of his most fierce supporters because, well, he knows they have no where else to turn. He's the only game in town. In a general election and will do his best to appeal to the middle ground.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Mar 18, 2012 7:55:00 PM

  24. Obama is the best friend gay people have ever had in the presidency. Of course he doesn't do and say everything LGBT folks want. Keep in mind that he is the president of a slightly right of center nation. He needs and LGBT folks need him to be re-elected in november if we are to continue to move foreward on progressive issues. We also need to increase the number of progressives (democrats) in the senate and to retake the house. If the right wing (republicans) aren't beaten soundly in november, we are in for some mighty lean years.

    Posted by: jack leddy | Mar 18, 2012 8:59:58 PM

  25. Of course he'll do his best to appeal to the middle ground. That's how presidencies are won. To say that Obama has never said or done anything positive about gay rights is absurd, obviously. And, again, the title of this post is misleading because Obama's public record makes clear that he (unlike all of the potential Republican nominees) does have an opinion on Amendment One becuase he opposes any amendment that seeks to take away the constitutional rights of lgbt citizens.

    It can be argued that he should take a more active stance on individual state battles, but it can also be argued that a POTUS involving himself in state issues is a bad idea for the president and in the states, where many people resent POTUS interference.

    Yes, Obama will be the only game in town for any voter who cares about gay rights, but the shift within the Democratic party also means that mainstream Dem's, even presidents, will soon have to be on board with equality or be out of step with their party. There is no such pressure from within the Republican party, only pressure to be as anti-gay as possible to win the rightwing base.

    Posted by: Ernie | Mar 19, 2012 12:15:53 AM

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