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President Obama Comes Out in Favor of Gay Marriage

Posted on the 10 May 2012 by Periscope @periscopepost

Barack Obama's come out in favour of gay marriage

President Obama: In favour of gay marriage

The background

President of the USA Barack Obama has come out in favour of gay marriage in an interview on ABC News, ending months of speculation. He’s the first president in office to support it, reported the BBC, which added that Mitt Romney, the Republican about to run against Obama, has immediately said he’s against it. 50 per cent of Americans, according to a Gallup poll, are in favour of the legalisation of gay marriage. Vice President Joe Biden had gone on Meet the Press before Obama to vouch his support for gay marriage. Meanwhile, North Carolina has voted to ban gay marriage (the 31st state to do so). Commentators are asking whether Obama’s decision to come forward is just a big political stunt.

“At a certain point, I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married,” Mr Obama told ABC.

What did Mitt Romney say?

Romney claimed that he didn’t want marriage between people of the same gender, and he didn’t want civil unions to be like marriage. He thought that being in a domestic partnership should allow you to visit your partner in hospital. But that was it, said the BBC.

Obama’s planned this

Obama’s “been forced out of the closet,” said Mark Mardell on the BBC. His campaign staff thought he’d be able to avoid “this hot button issue,” leaving his views “hazy.” But there’s no doubt that “the rapid evolution of his views into the limelight was not intelligent design.”

The media got played

This is simply the rolling out of a new political product, said Chris Weigant on The Huffington Post. Obama’s been playing “multi-dimensional chess.” He’s just “brilliantly snookered the entire media universe.” His timing is “as close to perfect as can be imagined” – just last week a Romney advisor left the team because he was gay; and there’s been an exponential buildup about the issue from Joe Biden. That’s why this announcement has got such coverage. The media have totally “swallowed” the line that Obama woke up today and decided he’d made up his mind. But it must have been “engineered.” Mitt Romney’s “on the defensive” now.

It’s just political opportunism

Jack Cafferty on CNN said that choosing this moment to come out in favour of gay marriage suits Obama’s purpose perfectly. He wants to be re-elected. “Pardon me if I don’t hyperventilate over all of this. We have real issues in this country for which President Obama has been glaringly short on answers.” What about the $15 trillion debt? The huge unemployment rate? A Congress that can’t agree on anything? Even so, it’s ultimately up to the states themselves to decide.

It’s the economy, stupid

Still, it’s a “watershed,” said Adam Nagourney of The New York Times. This is an issue that was “toxic” a mere five years ago. It’s a massive political risk. The fact is, opponents of gay marriage are more likely to vote on the issue than supporters. But Obama’s image needed to be clearer. The forces of history are changing. And adding his voice to the issue is “huge.” However, both Republicans and Democrats are not sure whether this issue is even a deciding one – it’s the economy that really matters.

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