Breaking: President Obama announces support for same sex marriage

I guess the president’s overblown, over-long “evolution” on the issue of same sex marriage has reached its inevitable end. President Obama’s views have finally “evolved” to support same sex marriage. This just so happens to come shortly before the election, at a time when his support among LGB folks needs to be shored up and when marriage equality is no longer quite the easy wedge issue it was for the Republicans four years ago.

Yeah, I think this is a whole bunch of cynical political theater. The president’s change in position could make some real change in people’s lives, but it certainly could have helped a lot more people four years ago.

You can watch President Obama’s ABC interview here.

Boston, MA

Jos Truitt is Executive Director of Development at Feministing. She joined the team in July 2009, became an Editor in August 2011, and Executive Director in September 2013. She writes about a range of topics including transgender issues, abortion access, and media representation. Jos first got involved with organizing when she led a walk out against the Iraq war at her high school, the Boston Arts Academy. She was introduced to the reproductive justice movement while at Hampshire College, where she organized the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program’s annual reproductive justice conference. She has worked on the National Abortion Federation’s hotline, was a Field Organizer at Choice USA, and has volunteered as a Pro-Choice Clinic Escort. Jos has written for publications including The Guardian, Bilerico, RH Reality Check, Metro Weekly, and the Columbia Journalism Review. She has spoken and trained at numerous national conferences and college campuses about trans issues, reproductive justice, blogging, feminism, and grassroots organizing. Jos completed her MFA in Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute in Spring 2013. In her "spare time" she likes to bake and work on projects about mermaids.

Jos Truitt is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Development.

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  • tylik

    Oh, foo.

    Not to say that there isn’t some theatre involved, but I think this was directly in response to Biden’s comments, and I don’t think those were scripted (hence the confused statements coming from the administration in their wake). I like to think theatre would be less inept.

    And when it came right down to it, remaining on the fence was just increasingly non-productive and silly.

  • Blanca

    I think this article undermines the importance of making such a public decision. Yes, it would have been great to have him say this a long time ago but the political risks of supporting gay marriage publicly are high and difficult, no matter how much you support it personally. He can’t do anything about gay marriage if he’s not in office so I think we should commend the President because he’s at least taking a step in the right direction.

  • Wren Fair

    I definitely agree with Blanca’s comment. While its very frustrating that Obama had to play politics with gay rights, there have been plenty of revered politicians who ushered in great social changes that did the exact same thing. Abraham Lincoln and JFK just to name a couple. We should be celebrating that for the first time in history, the President of the United States has openly endorsed gay marriage rights. If a republican was in office, the hope of congress passing a new gays rights law would be irrelevant because it would be instantly vetoed. Obama has done far more for the LGTB community in 4 years than any other president has.

  • Brüno

    And why does anybody need the support of zhe president? What good is it going to do to anyone if the president crams down same sex marriage on states that do not want it?

  • Napoleoninrags

    What a horrible, cynical way to frame a truly important and welcome development.

    This is the change that many of us voted for.

  • Kelly

    I think all of your comments are justified. The reason some of us feel underwhelmed or not as fired up about the great news the President informed the publicly is due to fallen trust. He also made this declaration in way that felt tactic induced. Like he is reaching into a bag of tricks, and seeing if something shifted the momentum. Humanly, some of use feel that he is starting one project and without finishing it, goes onto another. There is also no other time in our country where our demographic of young woman has been this scared and directly affected by the government. I am in no way saying the President should take on making sure women’s rights are safe before he works towards legalizes gay marriage. I am saying that some people are still hearing there gut tell them to be on alert. I wish it didn’t feel so disingenuous. The back-story of what gave him the last little push to go for it making this decision if in office, felt phony. Not because the story itself. The energy inside me was still and then when he was finished it deflated like a balloon. I consider him the only candidate running for the Presidency. Don’t assume I am joking when I say, “Mitt Romney has now proven himself as someone who would fail proving his own sanity in an evaluation.” Its getting to the point to where we are just all a little rattled, on a human instinct level. We will never end the fight but I can only explain this feeling as someone who is to quick to trust at the moment.

  • rhian

    I think it’s great that he “personally” thinks that same-sex couples should be allowed to get married. It’s an important public statement by the leader of our country. And yes, it’s a step.

    But… I am really not that impressed by this. This is not a “decision” and it’s really not “change.” He said in the very same interview that he (still) believes this is an issue that should be left to the states. That means it’s ok for states to make same-sex marriage legal, but it’s also ok for them to make it illegal, it’s ok for the federal government to continue their non-recognition of same-sex marriages, DOMA remains in effect, etc. When do his personal beliefs start bettering the actual lives of actual people?

  • Mike

    No no no no! This is most definitely not an election strategy on his part. While it’s true he might’ve gotten Biden’d into it, his staff most certainly didn’t make this announcement as a campaign tactic. Why would he? Right after NC, a critical swing state that he won in ’08 just voted overwhelmingly for a constitutional ban on gay marriage, he comes out in support of it? If this stays in the dialogue long enough to seriously affect election day (which it probably won’t), it could very well end up costing him the election..

  • tara

    I’m sorry, are you kidding? Gay marriage is “no longer an easy wedge issue”? You’re saying this days after North Carolina voted to ban gay marriage?

    Let’s be real – most supporters of marriage equality would have voted for Obama over Romney, even without this statement. As a political move, I don’t see that this gains him very much.

    This is a historic and wonderful moment for civil rights. Remember that it’s important to take the time and celebrate victories, and not just to focus on all the bad things that happen.