Barack Obama | News

One Year Ago Today: Obama Comes Out for Marriage Equality

What a difference a year, and support from your President makes.

Bobama

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  1. Its been a fast year. Wow!

    Posted by: Tom | May 9, 2013 4:52:51 PM


  2. Been a fast year, and one hell of a year for our community.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | May 9, 2013 5:02:08 PM


  3. Jesus Christ, that was a year ago? God I'm getting old (39 next week).

    Posted by: ATLJason | May 9, 2013 5:03:24 PM


  4. "God I'm getting old (39 next week)."

    Don't you dare, ATLJason. At 39 you're at the peak of your beauty, your sexual desirability...YOUR HAIRLINE, DAMMIT!!!!

    my peak was 16 years ago.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | May 9, 2013 5:10:46 PM


  5. Yes, 365 days. But what is this "community" BS?

    Posted by: GB | May 9, 2013 5:34:16 PM


  6. Awesome! Even though people may criticize him for not being as supportive / quick to act on LGBTQ rights as he could have been, he has done a lot for gays and lesbians. I heard one political commentator say that more than likely, because of Barack Obama, there will never be another president who is openly and vehemently anti-gay.

    Posted by: MuscleModelBlog.com | May 9, 2013 5:35:39 PM


  7. Though it did help, he indefensibly inserted the insulting "states rights" exception then...only dropping that AFTER he was reelected...but, worse, AFTER he had submitted his brief to the Supremes about Prop H8TE in which he refused to unequivocally say ALL state bans should be overturned. If they don't, he will share the blame for our having to fight in state after state after state FOR YEARS to get them to amend their constitutions AGAIN to remove their bans on marriage equality.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | May 9, 2013 5:43:13 PM


  8. His announcement, combined with his DOJ being on our side, combined with the ongoing grassroots state campaigns and legal strategies behind the Supreme Court cases have been game changers. Anyone who dismisses what happened a year ago, especially when they simultaneously apologize for a certain DOMA-signing past President, is living in an alternate reality.

    Posted by: Ernie | May 9, 2013 6:04:43 PM


  9. Obama was the single most important factor in the Maryland vote for gay marriage. The black population flipped from 45% support to well over mid-50s within 2 weeks.

    Also, the gay vote (in return) was the important factor in giving Obama a fair number of swing states (including Florida). Nate Silver detailed this. 3-4% of voters in 2 or 3 swing states identified as LGBT. The races were in the 1-4% margin in the polls. It's a safe assumption Obama got the overwhelming majority of the gay vote. Without us, Florida would have swung to Romney.

    I think we comprise about 4% of the population. Were those 10% figures from Kinsey? Whomever, they were exxagerated.

    Posted by: will | May 9, 2013 6:09:21 PM


  10. Here we go again! @Michael - a 10th amendment read will help. Marriage is a States right issue under the 10th Amendment [“...powers not granted to the federal government by the Constitution, nor prohibited to the States, are reserved to the States or the people”]; marriage has historically rested with the States.

    Although States have the power to define 'Marriage', EP prevents the disparate treatment and impact in that definition. So there was nothing insulting about the argument other than keeping with Constitutional Law. Additionally, if you listen to the oral arguments, the Court seemed very reluctant to expand Prop8 beyond the state in question. Further, if you read the brief written by the Justice Department it was argued in the alternative.

    Posted by: Belthazar | May 9, 2013 6:32:07 PM


  11. In that year since declaring his support for gay marriage, what has Obama actually done in terms of law reform at the federal level? Nothing, of course.

    Posted by: Adam | May 9, 2013 6:38:35 PM


  12. In that year since declaring his support for gay marriage, what has Obama actually done in terms of law reform at the federal level? Nothing, of course.

    Posted by: Adam | May 9, 2013 6:38:36 PM


  13. As leader of his party, his words did carry some weights. Compared with 5 years ago, all Democratic presidential candidates were not for SSM. Look at today, the stance is almost a prerequisite for candidacy. And the overwhelming support of Democrats for SSM in state legislatures as a result. You can say he has changed the conversation on this topic, at least within his own party.

    Posted by: simon | May 9, 2013 6:51:47 PM


  14. will, but only 90% identified as hetero, so i think Kinsey was right

    Posted by: litper | May 9, 2013 6:55:42 PM


  15. @Belthazar
    Traditionally marriage is a states rights issue but questions arise about minority class restrictions to marriage at the state level. The LGBT Family is that minority class. In my opinion, in this instance it becomes a federal issue.
    When Obama said it was a states right issue I felt that it wasn't a well thought out statement. I still do. And though I don't expect this SCOTUS to make a broad case ruling they very well could.

    Posted by: JONES | May 9, 2013 6:57:37 PM


  16. Simon is right, what Obama's statement did was galvanize the Democratic party (as well as independents and Republicans for equality). It put our issues on the map. We had and have been making progress anyway and I think we definitely would have won in Washington and Maine regardless of what Obama said, but that added an extra momentum for us and it took the shackles off other Democrats who were scared to touch our issues. The Republicans speaking out for equality wouldn't be doing so had Obama not done so. It's a domino effect.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | May 9, 2013 7:04:38 PM


  17. Simon is right, what Obama's statement did was galvanize the Democratic party (as well as independents and Republicans for equality). It put our issues on the map. We had and have been making progress anyway and I think we definitely would have won in Washington and Maine regardless of what Obama said, but that added an extra momentum for us and it took the shackles off other Democrats who were scared to touch our issues. The Republicans speaking out for equality wouldn't be doing so had Obama not done so. It's a domino effect.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | May 9, 2013 7:04:38 PM


  18. I do NOT want SCOTUS to give a sweeping opinion legalizing gay marriage everywhere. That's the last thing we need. We'll get backlash for years just like "Roe v. Wade" (with the pro-life crowd trying to circumvent R v. W in a hundred ways) and it will increase anti-gay violence. I hope the SCOTUS does the sensible thing and limits its opinion strictly to CA. We are winning this fight as the eleven states prove (and more on the way, one possibly Sunday). THIS is democracy. A long drawn out voting process was necessary for women's suffrage. In a democracy, it IS legitimate to vote on other people's rights (rightly or wrongly). Or go to war as we did to "preserve the union" with the slave states seceding. It doesn't seem fair, but Americans have every right in a democracy to define marriage as they see fit.

    We are WINNING this fight! SCOTUS legalizing s/s marriage in all states will do us more harm than good in the long run. Let this please be the will of the people. It legitimizes us.

    Posted by: will | May 9, 2013 7:16:08 PM


  19. Obama has done a lot of talking, which has benefitted gays, but I seriously doubt he wants his legacy to be Gay Rights. Of course, at this stage anything that can be drawn to "him" is the priority. He's always ready with a memorable speech. Obamacare might trip him up in future years, but he'll be out of office-- probably golfing.

    Posted by: geb | May 9, 2013 7:17:00 PM


  20. @will
    We're not a Democracy. We're a Republic.
    Voting on rights is mostly a states issue except where it isn't, as in those rights which are federally mandated by the constitution. Which marriage has always been held to be.

    State at a time or a sweeping SCOTUS reform, either way, this is going to be a protracted battle. We're only up to state 12 with Minnesota. That leaves a lot of LGBT Family in sufferance for years to come. Not that I expect it to happen; but I'd welcome a positive outcome to Prop 8 with a broad scope.

    Posted by: JONES | May 9, 2013 7:32:52 PM


  21. @Jones: The statement is either correct or it is not. And I would suggest that the 10th answers in the affirmative.

    Additionally, I believe what you are addressing (without putting words in your mouth) is the level of scrutiny under an EP analysis. While I don't think a State has (even) a rational basis for denying marriage equality, because the LGBT community is not a 'protected class' one would naturally want the Court to apply an intermediate or heightened level of scrutiny in any challenged law.

    Posted by: Belthazar | May 9, 2013 7:34:15 PM


  22. On the contrary, @geb, Obama certainly wants marriage equality and LGBT civil rights progress as part of his legacy. It's obvious what the right side of history is on our issues, and any rational, thinking, fair-minded person wants to be on that side. Some people get there faster than others, but at this point it's a no-brainer for those not brainwashed by bigotry or a misunderstanding of religion's role in secular society. Nice try.

    Posted by: Ernie | May 9, 2013 7:38:21 PM


  23. @will

    , the gay vote (in return) was the important factor in giving Obama a fair number of swing states (including Florida). Nate Silver detailed this. 3-4% of voters in 2 or 3 swing states identified as LGBT.

    I called that one...


    I did all the research on this years ago.

    Florida is the state that could flip because of the President's announcement...provided he gets over ~ 70% of the gay vote in that state (which he didn't in 2008).

    I would now say that Florida is a for sure blue state on November 6, 2012 (barring a national catastrophe).

    Posted by: Chitown kev | May 10, 2012 12:24:03 PM

    and Mike C. owes be a dinner or something if he's still around

    Chitown, are you saying Florida could go blue because of the 'GAY vote'? That makes no sense, and even your 'research' is impossible

    Posted by: Mike C. | May 10, 2012 12:38:07 PM

    Although, Obama might have also won the Cuban vote in Florida and that was a small factor as well.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | May 9, 2013 7:42:45 PM


  24. @Balthazar
    It would amaze me to see the Roberts court apply protected class status to LGBT. The statements and questions of Roberts, Alito, & Scalia seemed to me to be steering the argument towards the polar opposite of that. Roberts 'falling over themselves' was a direct attempt to show the LGBT community as not disenfranchised. We're not disenfranchised, now, but it has taken decades of struggle to get here.

    As I said ... my belief is that 'this court' will probably make the narrowest decision possible for Prop 8. Not that they have to but that they (right or wrong in the long term) want to. Bear in mind that they know they are deciding the legality of a majority voting to restrict the rights of a minority. Calling it 'defination of marriage' is not fooling anyone. Prop 8 is of no distinctive difference than the ban on interracial marriage that was Loving vs Virginia and that was a broad scope ruling under 'pursuit of happiness' not the 10th. Another SCOTUS besides this one could easily take a broader view on Prop 8.

    Posted by: JONES | May 9, 2013 8:18:48 PM


  25. Well, the fact of the matter is, the South and Mountain West, and Arizona and Alaska, aren't going to be seeing marriage equality anytime soon, and Michigan seems unlikely as well. It will be years. Even Nevada, where I think support numbers are at least 50-50, it's going to be at least three years to see equality there with the state by state method and the process that needs to be undertaken to get marriage on the ballot in that state. We're running out of available states, realistically. Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey, New Mexico, Hawaii, California, Oregon. Wisconsin could have been a possibility but Republicans control that state now. So at the most, we'll be at 20 and more likely around 17/18 states in the next few years.

    So, if you're living in a state like......Louisiana, the fact of the matter is, you're not seeing equality for many years through the state by state process. Even a more moderate state like Pennsylvania realistically will not see equality for at least a few years.

    If SCOTUS hands a weak decision that doesn't go far in getting rid of Prop 8/DOMA, all it means is we'll still be unequal and litigation will continue. A lot depends on if SCOTUS throws out the DOMA case or actually rules on it and eliminates Section 3.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | May 9, 2013 9:08:32 PM


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