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

Is Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy about to bring back Blairism?

Those on the left think new Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy could be about to take the party back to the days of Tony Blair, says the BBC's Mark Mardell.

Read full article

More on This Story

US Presidential Election 2012


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 26.

    Jay: Time has come to expose these Christian/religious forces

    For believing in the Bible?

    Whats so wrong with that Jay?

    The Bible says only marriage between a man+woman is sacred

    Nature's Laws are that only a man+woman can naturally physically have a baby together

    Obama says hes a Christian
    so why doesn't he prove it?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    President Obama's campaign slogan Forward
    (along w/ statements from Biden and Duncan about same sex marriage)
    offers a hint of what his being re-elected would likely bring:

    same sex marriage
    citizenship for millions of illegals
    more minority rights

    As an American born in USA who is against gay marriage,
    I personally have no incentive to vote for Obama

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Well he already slaughters million with his huge support for planned parenthood, I would be surprised if any conservatives voted for him anyway.

  • rate this

    Comment number 56.

    Let's not forget that Britain:

    1) Still outlaws same sex marriage

    2) Hounded Alan Turing, computer innovator and Nazi codebreaker, into forced castration and an early death after discovering that he was gay.

    These are the people lecturing others on gay rights? Wow, the British really have no shame, nor any sense of their own disgraceful history.

  • rate this

    Comment number 53.

    Can't see the problem, a gay person can marry, just have to marry someone of the opposite sex, same applies to a hetero.


Comments 5 of 240



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.