2012 Election | Barack Obama | Democratic Party | ENDA | Gay Marriage | News

Source Claims Obama Considering Marriage Equality Endorsement Before November

ObamaVerticalWith Democrats increasingly vocal about including marriage equality in their official party platform, it's looking more likely that President Obama may "evolve" toward full acceptance of same-sex nuptials before the election.

Well, that's what an insider told Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade:

The chances that Obama will make such an announcement before the election are looking better than in previous months as the issue receives growing media attention and voters in a handful of states face ballot initiatives this year.

An informed source, who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity, said “active conversations” are taking place between the White House and the campaign about whether Obama should complete his evolution on marriage and that the chances of him making an announcement are about 50-50.

According to the source, the administration would like to unveil another major pro-LGBT initiative before the November election, and an endorsement of marriage equality could fit the bill. But concerns persist on how an endorsement of same-sex marriage would play in four or five battleground states.

“We’re talking about the Michigans, the Ohios, the Illinois of the world; the real battleground states in which voters are already conflicted and may factor this into their judgment,” the source said.

Though Obama wants to pass one more pro-LGBT policy, it may not be marriage. There's also speculation that he'll sign an ENDA-type executive order to protect federal employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. There's reportedly already a draft order drawn up, so these developments could go either way, not both ways, says the source.

"My feeling is you’ll get one, [but] you won’t get both before Election Day."

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  1. Action, not words.

    Posted by: Max | Mar 22, 2012 8:36:26 AM

  2. Hate to rain on the damn parade, but endorsing marriage equality before the election could be an absolutely dumb move...if the race is close. If not and Obama is expected to win by a wide margin.

    America is still full of haters. If Al Gore had NOT chosen Lieberman as his VP running mate, he would have won in 2000...because he lost so many votes because Lieberman is Jewish...like I said, America has its haters.

    Posted by: QJ201 | Mar 22, 2012 8:43:21 AM

  3. “We’re talking about the Michigans, the Ohios, the Illinois of the world; the real battleground states..."

    Illinois a battleground state? Something tells me this person isn't really from the campaign.

    Posted by: gaylib | Mar 22, 2012 8:43:22 AM

  4. Sometimes people don't see the forest for the trees. There are a large number of people (particularly young) who may not vote for Obama this time because they aren't as stoked about being part of something historic. Would the LGBT community prefer to give one of THE biggest licenses to the right wing to energize their base right now, even though the polls show it MAY end up being a somewhat close election? I can wait a few months if it prevents Romney from blowing into the White House. If Obama pushes it, AND it backfires with the religious base in the country, we'll get nothing, and run the risk of ALL kinds of backtracking of the progress we've made on DOMA, DADT and other such things. I'm not willing to roll those dice.

    Posted by: Joey Y | Mar 22, 2012 8:45:47 AM

  5. Obama had his chance but failed to take advantage of it. He squandered all that good will he had established at the beginning of his Presidency. His first term has been marked by a reluctance to do anything that is gay-progressive. DADT passed despite the President, not because of him.

    Posted by: jason | Mar 22, 2012 8:48:05 AM

  6. A previous poster said

    "Hate to rain on the damn parade, but endorsing marriage equality before the election could be an absolutely dumb move...if the race is close. If not and Obama is expected to win by a wide margin."

    Could we please get out of the self hating 90's mind set that groups like HRC have been fostering on us? That of "Our issues are bad and please excuse our "Friends" in Congress for not fighting for us because they would lose if they didn't."

    The fact is, the Dems LOST seats BECAUSE they didn't fight for issues important to the base like gay rights, the public option, etc...

    Obama's white house said there would be NO movement on DADT repeal and then had it forced down their throat. And gee, what happened? It passed.

    What addens me is that people still seem to think it's ok, that only politics is being taken into consideration and not the fact that this is a civil rights issue.

    Posted by: Cam | Mar 22, 2012 8:50:58 AM

  7. I agree with Joey Y (above) on this one.

    Posted by: Oliver | Mar 22, 2012 8:57:40 AM

  8. I personally would be glad if he done but I think it would cost him the election so I don't think he should risk it. There are many gays that are going to vote for him regardless because of the leading Repubs hard stance against gays. He would also risk losing his "some" of his minority religious base. With women's reproductive rights being fought, the last thing we need is gays become a wedge issue again. I can wait and hope he wins to get the nod as oppose to get the nod, he loses and the fight begins all over again. The headline will read, "With the Economy struggling, President Obama puts deviant sexual predators rights over the future of our kids.

    Posted by: justandra | Mar 22, 2012 9:13:23 AM

  9. I don't know, I feel like his endorsement will just be a rallying cry for the conservatives. There is a chance they'd stay home for Romney; playing the Carl Rove card and putting gays on the ballot got Bush reelected. Never underestimate the power of hate. It might be better if he plays it safe, gets a second term, then completes his "evolution".

    Posted by: JD | Mar 22, 2012 9:20:44 AM

  10. Women's reproductive rights are a non-issue. Women already have reproductive rights. They can simply say "no" to a man instead of using their sexuality as a marketing ploy to obtain money or material possessions.

    Instead of having sex with men because there's a payment at the end of it, women need to learn to be more moderate in their behavior. That's the best form of reproductive right going.

    Posted by: jason | Mar 22, 2012 9:22:34 AM

  11. I agree with Joey Y and Oliver. There are voters who supported Obama in the last election that he could lose by endorsing something that their pastors are telling them is anti-God, and for them, their relationship with their church/God is more important than their relationship with fairness or civil rights.

    I have no doubt that Obama's evolution on marriage equality would be complete after the election. The gay rights fight has been going on for 50 years, so why we can't we wait seven more months?

    I say get the man another four years, and then as Cam says, "force it down his throat" if need be.

    Posted by: Dastius Krazitauc | Mar 22, 2012 9:28:58 AM

  12. Very difficult. There are 5 marriage amendment bans/repeals on the ballot this November. Almost 4 years in and we still see no actual repeal of Prop 8. and it could still be a couple more before the SCOTUS rules. Overturning these, and the other 30+ in the nation will take years or decades unless we have a federal ruling. Obama and the Dem's coming out in favor of full marriage equality, with a history making speech on civil rights and American Freedom could tip the scales and create an entire new world for equality in this country.

    It could also, as we all know, be the difference between a win and a loss if this race gets close. Will support rally the base and young people or will it lose him some independent votes? Does holding off harm him because most people disbelieve the "evolving" statement, seeing it as pure pandering politics or are people willing to forgive him for it knowing it's about votes?

    I think if it's done early enough, if the Dem's add it to the platform, if he does it big with a speech like Cuomo gave on the rights of every single American to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, this issue could be the defining move in his career. I also get the feeling we've passed a tipping point and the majority have reached marriage equality fatigue, can see where this is eventually headed and are ready to move on. He's behind the curve now, people like Christie are using him as an excuse to deny marriage. If he's not careful he'll miss an amazing opportunity to really place his mark in history on a defining moment.

    Posted by: Michaelandfred | Mar 22, 2012 9:40:19 AM

  13. if this source is worried about Obama winning Illinois this fall.. he or she doesn't sound like a very credible source.

    Posted by: TMY | Mar 22, 2012 9:43:21 AM

  14. There is ZERO chance Obama comes out in support of gay marriage before the election. Z-E-R-O.

    Posted by: Sean | Mar 22, 2012 9:51:28 AM

  15. Some of you are missing the point. It's not whether Obama comes out in support, but what that support means. If the Senate and Congress stay as it is, having the president come out in support after the election doesn't help us at all unless if/when he gets a chance to replace another Supreme Court judge. That may or may not happen. Otherwise, coming out after changes nothing at all.

    Coming out before the election, adding this to the Democratic platform "could" change the dynamics of elections, amendments, repeals, anti discrimination laws all across the country, as well as changing minds of many in the middle who haven't really given this topic much thought. How would Prop 8 had gone if the President had forcefully spoke out against it? It may have lost by a percentage and a half instead of winning by that slim margin. The president has a bully pulpit like no other in the nation.

    Unless the Dems retake congress, Obama coming out for Marriage Equality after the election doesn't help us all that much. It will be nice to hear, but maybe a day late and a dollar short. Of course that's with equality as a bubble issue, not what "could" be the consequences of his support on the election as a whole. But changing his mind after everyone has voted on everything doesn't change things for us.

    Posted by: Michaelandfred | Mar 22, 2012 10:01:04 AM

  16. Instead of telling him what he should do, we should be working our asses off trying to give him a second term with Dem majorities in both houses of Congress...

    Posted by: BobN | Mar 22, 2012 10:16:17 AM

  17. Some of you guys need to wake up. I'm the furthest thing from a self-hating homo, and I am for whichever stance gets Obama re-elected. Anyone who has half a brain should realize he supports marriage equality even if he won't say it publicly, and this is the THE BEST PRESIDENT the LGBT community has ever had. It is time to get behind Obama or face the reality that a Romney presidency would be disastorous for our community. Think about the big picture. Ultimately, for states like the one I live in (Texas), we will never get marriage equality unless it comes from the Supreme Court. Ruth Bader Ginsberg is 79 years old folks... if Romney gets elected he could be president until she is 88 or 84 at a minimum. What if she is replaced by Romney with another Roberts/Thomas/Scalia type. That would set the LGBT community back a decade in the marriage equality fight. I'm so tired of people not understanding what's at stake. Get behind this president or get in the back of the bus my friends.

    Posted by: Trey | Mar 22, 2012 10:22:28 AM

  18. He absolutely should not do it.

    Dumb move politically.

    An executive order for ENDA would work though.

    But for the morons who say he's done nothing...


    You'd have to be truly brain-dead to miss what's been happening.

    And if the big-ticket LGBT donors want to forsake the imperfect for a Romney win, well, you can't fight stupid.

    Posted by: JoshG | Mar 22, 2012 10:30:09 AM

  19. Tantalizing this is! But it does not change how I am voting for many other reasons other than marriage equality the supreme court for one, there are many other issues. But if he is reelected hold his feet to the fire on marriage equality. Obama is the only choice!

    Posted by: Vern Dufford | Mar 22, 2012 10:50:29 AM

  20. But for the morons who say he's done nothing...

    Yeah, because calling people you want to convince to vote for you "morons" is the most intellectual move.... jeez.

    Posted by: gaylib | Mar 22, 2012 11:00:13 AM

  21. Talk about the rock and the hard place! Seems a potential lose-lose. Given how much the GOP candidates have made "protecting" marriage a campaign issue, it does seem risky. Yet, as pointed out above, there are initiatives that might benefit from endorsement. Of course that same endorsement might "energize the base" to come to the polls, which would have a negative effect on initiatives. As also pointed out above, the 2004 election was lost through energizing the anti-gay base. Have their opinions changed that much?

    The question seems to me to be, are we at the tipping point? Or are we just close in some places, still far away in others? From great risk comes great rewards - and also, potentially, great loss. My hope would be that much research into public opinion occur before taking the stand before the election.

    Posted by: TJ | Mar 22, 2012 11:05:49 AM

  22. I live in Maryland where marriage equality was just passed, but on hold until a voter referendum. I recently overheard a conversation between two older black men who were appalled at it passing. They were saying if Obama supported it, the black community were going to stay home on election day. Now granted these guys were in their 70s, but it's probably reflective of a good part of the african american community. Maryland struggled to pass it because they couldn't get the democrat leglislators from the largely AA areas onboard. This is also a problem Obama will have to face if he endorses marriage equality before the election.

    Posted by: JD | Mar 22, 2012 11:11:52 AM

  23. @Trey, Extremely well said!

    It's time to get serious folks. Keep fighting for our equality. Do whatever you can to make arguments, push lawsuits, and fight at the local, state, and federal level to be treated as full citizens of this country.

    When it comes the POTUS election, however, everyone of us better show up in full force and lobby all our friends, family and fellow homos for re-electing Obama. The country is facing so many issues and he is hands down better than any current GOP candidate to handle them.

    For all of you who only care about the gay agenda, we have made substantial progress in our fight for gay civil rights. All of this progress would be in jeopardy if the GOP retake the presidency and/or the senate. We best prey for Obama’s reelection and hope to retake the House of Representatives.

    Posted by: DRG | Mar 22, 2012 11:12:38 AM

  24. Amen, Trey.

    I totally understand what President Obama is doing. I don't like it, i don't personally "accept it", but i DO understand it.

    And any gay man who insists that Obama is not on "our side", and that Term Two will not be a landmark term for LGBT Americans, is likely blinded by the racism passed on to them from their P.O.S. parents.


    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Mar 22, 2012 11:27:56 AM

  25. Obama is like Wimpy on gay rights: I gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today. Obama wants our votes and our money NOW, but doesn't want to act until later. And everyone keeps saying they are SURE that Obama will be a real "fierce advocate" in his 2nd term, but it's funny, Obama himself has never agreed to that contract.

    Posted by: Wayne | Mar 22, 2012 12:26:21 PM

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