President May Change Position on Same-Sex Marriage

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Journalist

During an interview with a group of bloggers on Wednesday, President Barack Obama intimated that his opposition to same-sex marriage may change in the future.

Fox News is reporting that during an exchange with Joe Sudbay of AmericaBlog about his position on same-sex marriage, the president suggested he may change his mind on the issue. Thus far, he has opposed same-sex marriage in favor of civil unions.

“I am a strong supporter of civil unions . . .  I have been to this point unwilling to sign on to same-sex marriage primarily because of my understandings of the traditional definitions of marriage,” the president said.

“But I also think you’re right that attitudes evolve, including mine. And I think that it is an issue that I wrestle with and think about because I have a whole host of friends who are in gay partnerships. I have staff members who are in committed, monogamous relationships, who are raising children, who are wonderful parents. And I care about them deeply.”

But he stopped short of reversing himself. “And so while I’m not prepared to reverse myself here, sitting in the Roosevelt Room at 3:30 in the afternoon, I think it’s fair to say that it’s something that I think a lot about. That’s probably the best you’ll do out of me today.”

The president’s comments may be part of his outreach to key voting blocs before next week’s elections in a bid to inspire his base of supporters, which include the LGBT community.

This could also be why he mentioned a desire to push a congressional vote on overturning the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy during the upcoming lame duck session of Congress.

He defended himself against charges that he hasn’t done enough to overturn the policy, which prohibits homosexuals from serving openly in the military, saying that he has taken a “systematic and methodical” approach to getting the 60 votes needed to get the repeal through the Senate.

“I’ll be honest with you, I don’t think that the disillusionment is justified,” he said. “So I don’t begrudge the LGBT community pushing, but the flip side of it is that this notion somehow that this administration has been a source of disappointment to the LGBT community, as opposed to a stalwart ally of the LGBT community, I think is wrong.”

He went on to say that he hopes the bill, which has already cleared the House, “will culminate in getting this thing overturned before the end of the year.”

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Patti Boman