Obama remains evasive on gay marriage

Two gay men holding hands, San Francisco, California 5 October 2006 Barack Obama has said he is opposed to a rollback of rights for gay couples

There's an old piece of advice that it is better to take the wrong decision than to do nothing.

US President Barack Obama might heed that. His contention that his position on gay marriage is evolving looks at best lame and at worst dishonest - as though he is a mere spectator neutrally watching his own position develop of its own accord.

Evolution takes aeons, but the president hasn't even got weeks. His spokesman has just said that he has an "unparalleled" record on gay rights and he rather awkwardly suggests that the president will, some day soon, make his position clearer.

"I can tell you that I'm sure it is the case that he will be asked again at some point when he gives interviews or press conferences about this issue, and I'll leave it to him to describe his personal views."

Could that be a touch of exasperation from the man who has to defend the president's views?

Given that most of us would suspect the president's liberal instincts would make him favour gay marriage, you have to ask: "What's the problem?"

Most social conservatives are going to vote Republican anyway. But not all of them. Many strongly Christian African-Americans will have profoundly conservative views about this.

And Mr Obama is desperate for this usually loyal group to turn out and vote for him. He doesn't want any distraction that might curb their enthusiasm.

But there is an "on the other hand": one report suggests one-in-six of Mr Obama's big fundraisers are gay and his campaign has gone out of its way to court the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) vote.

So, a firm decision probably means offending someone and losing some votes. This evolution is about survival of the fittest - which policy mutation allows the most votes to survive.

Mark Mardell Article written by Mark Mardell Mark Mardell Presenter, The World This Weekend

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  • rate this

    Comment number 240.

    The Great Sky Pixie on his Purple Sparkly Unicorn told me blond people should not be allowed to drive.I shall write it down and distribute it to a million brainwashed idiots who will kill for and die upholding the commandment.In 200 years there will be a scism, where those believing bottle blonds don't count will slaughter those who feel otherwise.Homosexuality won't matter...unless they're blond!

  • rate this

    Comment number 239.

    171 Hugh Oxford RE 169
    “It would be irrational and harmful to undermine the meaning and purpose of marriage simply because some married couples don't have children.”

    It is irrational and harmful to undermine equality and constitutional protections because bigots can’t se their bigotry has negative effects on society, on children, and on homosexual parents.

  • rate this

    Comment number 238.

    "something will be missing. We have to think of the children."
    This is a discussion about gay marriage not if they should raise children (which they can do already!).That being said the majority of murderers,rapists,child abusers,thugs,drug dealers, thieves, speeders and stealers of penny sweets are hetrosexual.They all get free reign to breed.
    Loving gay parent vs abusive drunk thug?

  • rate this

    Comment number 237.

    109 Andrew Cherry-picking so-called “Christians” are perfectly happy with Leviticus as long as they can use the bits that support their hatreds, while excusing themselves from the regs about pork, sex, marriage, etc. You won’t get through the wall of hypocrisy and self-serving drivel. Anything they don’t like will be edited out or interpreted away!

  • rate this

    Comment number 236.

    102 Andrew We tried separate but (un-)equal in schools until it became clear and the Supreme Court ruled it inherently wasn’t equal because it creates unequal classes of citizen. What should happen is all marriage becomes “Civil Union” with equal rights, while religious “marriage” is left to the churches. Churches with rainbow flags will marry them, so the bigots will always object.


Comments 5 of 240



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