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."

Comments

  1. QJ201 says

    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.

  2. gaylib says

    “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.

  3. Joey Y says

    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.

  4. jason says

    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.

  5. Cam says

    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.

  6. justandra says

    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.

  7. JD says

    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”.

  8. jason says

    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.

  9. Dastius Krazitauc says

    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.

  10. Michaelandfred says

    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.

  11. Michaelandfred says

    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.

  12. BobN says

    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…

  13. Trey says

    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.

  14. Vern Dufford says

    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!

  15. gaylib says

    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.

  16. TJ says

    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.

  17. JD says

    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.

  18. DRG says

    @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.

  19. says

    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.

    TERM TWO!

  20. Wayne says

    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.

  21. Caliban says

    The LAST thing the gay community needs is for this election to become a referendum on Marriage Equality. Right now neither of the likely Republican candidates, Romney and Santorum, has broad support. There is a huge enthusiasm gap for either one and we want to keep it that way!

    The GOP has been exploiting “wedge issues” for decades to get elected and the last thing we want to do is hand them another one, gift-wrapped with a bow, right before the election. They’re already exploiting Obama’s stated opposition to state laws that ban gay marriage against him.

  22. R says

    a strange world we live in when advisers decide when someone evolves and work place protections against discrimination and a declaration of support for marriage equality become mutually exclusive. I’ll take what I can get, of course, I just wish these things didn’t have to appear so politically calculated.

  23. says

    It’s wonderful to see the community thinking strategically.
    I’d go even further. Marraige is a symbolic issue designed by our enemies to put us on the bad side of public opinion.
    I switch all the marraige battles to CU battles, where we are much stronger. And I’d switch the main focus to ENDA without trans protections, where we are stronger and which would help many more people. Trans protections could be brought in later when the public have evolved.

  24. says

    Put MY civil rights on hold for strategic reasons?
    I’m voting Paul.

    Obama has spent as much as Bush, and in half the time. He’s bad for gay families. Period.

    I’m not a paid troll, nor a “rethuglican”, although I’ll inevitably be termed one…

  25. Jay Hollon says

    I live in Michigan and I can tell you the last thing people care about here with 9.8% unemployment is Obama ‘saying’ he supports the right of gays to marry. Michigan is safe (D) anyways w/ all the union busting happening nowadays.

  26. says

    If we could just have a few more New Hampshire style states to balance out all those Ohio style ones… Oh well … My heart Vs. my mind. Difficult as it is on my spirit, I must agree we need to maximize chances for a second term.

  27. Mary says

    I’m glad that most posters here agree with me that it would be a bad idea for Obama to come out in favor of marriage equality before the election. It’s 7 1/2 months. Even ONE more Supreme Court justice who’s pro-gay is worth waiting this amount of time for. While it must be frustrating for you to have to wait for him to “evolve” (and I’m sure it’s no picnic for him either, as he gets accused of being crafty) it isn’t his fault that attitudes take time to change. I know it would be exciting (and validating for all of you) to have Obama give a pro-gay marriage speech and let the chips fall where they may, but as I’ve said before – doing good and feeling good about what you’re doing aren’t always the same thing.

    As to the claim that he’d be “making history” and pushing things in a liberal direction, I’ve learned that you never know what suprises history has in store for you. Best to be practical and let “history” work itself out. Obama is the most LGBT-friendly president we’ve ever had. Gays should make re-election as easy as possible for him.

  28. Name: says

    I thought the democratic party was already the party of gay people. Why does he have to evolve??? Oh that’s right it’s not convenient for them, only to suck money from gay people in time of their need. Oh yeah he CAN’T evolve because he has to follow his religion, even though his religion says abortion should also be against the law. Maybe after a few more cocktail parties with the “elite gays” they’ll care about equality. Politicians are all the same, doesn’t matter which party. Why so many of you bow down to them is beyond me.

  29. FFS says

    @Jason: Go back to bed.

    I’m not generally one to consider kicking social justice down the road for the sake of political expediency, but considering the very real possibility that this move could put President Frothy McAssjuice in the Oval Office? Yeah. I’m totally cool with moving this announcement from November to January.

    Lest anyone forget, President Obama did speak out against Prop 8. Those of you seem to be laboring under the disillusion that Californians screwed over their gay neighbors as the result of Obama’s inaction need a reality check. Prop 8 happened because of our own community’s complacency. Look up the statistics for the number of potential gay voters living in California in November 2008 that were unregistered to vote during the election and catch a clue.

    Don’t make the same mistake in allowing yourself to feel false confidence over the Republicans’ inability to win the General Election. Obama needs our support, if for no other reason than he’s the best we’ve got.

    P.S.: Anyone who doesn’t see that a vote for Ron Paul is a vote completely thrown away is damned fool, to be perfectly honest.

  30. jim says

    As an Ohioan, I know firsthand (Bush 41 election 2) how effectively the repugs use this sort of thing to energize the voter turnout in November. And sad to say, boys, IT WORKS. We (The Gays) are once again set to be the wedge issue, and Obama coming out in support of marriage equality pre-election is basically political suicide here. I seriously doubt it would influence those who already support him, but it certainly will help to bring the repug old guard out to vote against him. And around here, I don’t think they care so much who they’re voting FOR, it all about casting their vote AGAINST Obama. I want equality certainly, and we’ll eventually have it. But at this point in time, the thought of a repug POTUS scares the hell out of me. The metropolitan areas of Ohio are safe bets for Obama, the rest of the state…

  31. anony6 says

    Obama SHOULD endorse marriage equality before November.

    Why?

    The benefits out-way the cost. The democratic party overwhelmingly supports marriage equality. It is a sure way to get the democratic base fired up. A pre-November endorsement will be viewed as bold, and inline with the sentiment that anytime is the right time for civil rights. The perception of sacrificing political capitol for principle can be framed as brave and the mark of a true leader. Even though Obama would not be sacrificing much political capitol at all. Bravery and true leadership are characteristics Obama has lost ownership of in the eyes of his base at various times during his first term. An endorsement will also clearly distinguish him from the likely GOP nominee Mitt Romney, who can at this moment still claim he and Obama have the same position regarding marriage equality.

    The damages you ask?

    Republicans are the only major party who are still a majority opposed to marriage equality, and a group Obama was not going to get much votes from anyway. If republicans try to turn this into a wedge issue like they did with the contraception “controversy”, it will backfire on them AGAIN. Republicans hurt themselves on these social issues. There is real economic pain reverberating throughout the nation. Moral contentious issues will not blow up to the point where they can be used as wedges during this election.

    To conclude

    3 things will win the presidential election for Obama. These 3 things are: high turnout among people 30 and younger, high women turnout, and winning a comfortable majority of votes among independents. A pre-November marriage equality endorsements is favorable to all three of the these groups. And I think these 3 groups at large are more important than say subgroups based on race and income.

  32. FFS says

    What country are you living in? The Democrat “base” never gets fired up about anything. Democrats are the party of free thinkers, as opposed to Republicans who let their spiritual leaders and talk-radio personalities tell them how to thing. No Democrat gets fired up about all liberal issues across the board. They all have certain things that get them fired up, which often differ greatly from what gets the Democrat next door fired up. Trying to get the “base” to act en masse is like herding cats. We can’t form a unified front on anything. How do you think idiot Republicans keep getting elected?

  33. Ken says

    This “source” lost all credibiliy with me by listing Illinos as a battleground state.
    Clearly this person knows nothing about the campaign or politics in general. If Illinois is a battleground, Obama has already lost.

  34. JD says

    FFS – ditto what you said.

    The democratic base isn’t going to get fired up over gay marriage. It’s been on the ballot in how many states already? Marriage equality has lost nearly every time. It just brings out the conservatives. While we might have support in theory, people aren’t going to drag themselves out to vote for something that doesn’t directly effect them. Hell, we can’t even get gays to the polls, we expect straights to show up on our behalf!?

    The only thing that might get the younger generation fired-up and to the polls is Obama coming out in favor of legalizing pot!

  35. anony6 says

    @ FFS

    Why the quotations on the word base? The democrats do have a base. Obama won the nomination over Hilary because he had the base’s support. A group being collectively fired up, and also being composed of free thinkers is possible and quite regular. Just look at the many progressive movements throughout history. And yes the democratic party is less of a regional party when compared to the GOP, which contributes to the more diverse ideology. But I don’t think the base varies nearly as much state to state when compared to just “run of the mill” democrats. Just as the tea party can arguably be called the base of the GOP, tea partiers have a similar ideology no matter the state, despite New England republicans being quite different from southern republicans.

    I will concede that fired up was too strong of a phrase. Rather, a gay marriage endorsement will help RESTORE Obama’s image to what it was in 08, which was a truly transformative leader. And that image did have the base fired up. Anything and everything that will restore that image, will energize the base. A gay marriage endorsement will be a bold step to do so.

    @ JD

    Just because gay marriage has historically lost on the ballot, doesn’t make an endorsement of it a looser for Obama during the general. The best example we have of that is prop 8 in California. Huge Obama support in the state, small majority opposition to gay marriage. Which speaks to what I mentioned in my post 2 post above yours. People who take exceptional issue with gay marriage are not going to vote democrat anyway.

    And I 200% agree with you on cannabis legalization. Obama will never in a million years do it, but if he did, young people would flood the polls and Ron Paul would lose his base and fundraising ability over night.

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