Wednesday, August 18, 2010

President Has "No Choice" But to Support Marriage Equality

Former Clinton advisor Richard Socarrides makes the point that President Obama has "no choice" but to support marriage for gays and lesbians:

Support for equal benefits, but not for equal status — a gay "separate but equal" rule — is contrary to what Obama stands for, both as a person and as a symbol of expanding freedoms and opportunities. Continuing on this course will lose him and his fellow Democrats the support and enthusiasm of a large block of his base voters.

But can President Obama, who once supported gay marriage, only to oppose it now, change his position again? The answer is yes — and he in fact has no choice.

People understand that most public officials who now support gay marriage once opposed it. It wasn’t until after they left office that Bill Clinton and Al Gore (and, most recently, Laura Bush) said that they favored marriage equality. As Nate Silver recently wrote on his blog “Does anyone really believe, in a country that is becoming close to evenly divided on gay marriage, that Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Kerry are among the half who oppose it?“

When even Elizabeth Hassellbeck is ahead of the president, you know that he's looking awfully feeble.