There’s a reason President Barak Obama has kept mum while he “evolves” on the issue of gay marriage – because many of his most important battle grounds have shown they do not support it. By announcing his view, he potentially alienates one side over the other. Update: less than one hour after this posted, the president became the first sitting president to endorse gay marriage, according to FOX News.
According to NBC News, there are currently 30 states with constitutional bans on gay marriage – Oregon, California, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Arizona, Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee and South Carolina.
Several of these states are swing states including Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin. Iowa, a state he hopes to win, ousted 3 judges who declared their state’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional.
Colorado, also a swing state, is current embroiled in a debate over this issue within their assembly that may cause a special session to be called. Their current session ends today but because of the filibuster by the majority GOP last night, the issue was declared at an impasse and will not be voted upon during this session.
The North Carolina vote yesterday was decisive with 61% of the voters, almost 2 to 1, approving the amendment that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Another hitch in this issue for President Obama is that black voters tend toward not supporting gay marriage. In Hertford County, which is predominately black, 70 percent of voters supported the amendment.
Gay rights groups, which reportedly raised twice the funds pro-marriage groups did during this battle, immediately began announcing that the voters were uninformed or ill-informed about the law and stated that their religious views were clouding the voters’ judgment. The group Faith in America is quoted as saying voters were, “duped into believing their religious belief justified bringing harm to the state’s gay and lesbian individuals, especially youth and their families.”
As the campaign unfolds, it will be interesting to see how this issue affects the president. His assumed vice-presidential candidate, Vice President Joe Biden came out clearly in support of gay marriage on this past Sunday’s talk circuit. Also, during the president’s term, he has done many things that support his gay rights agenda including repealing “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” in the military.
He may be staying coy because he knows this is an issue that many American families aren’t focused on when they are struggling to find jobs or sell their homes. The Denver Post quotes former GOP party director Alan Philp as saying this election season may not be the time to go down this road. A divisive social issue may backfire for Democrats with the economy in such a fragile state.
Bonus: Here is a map from National Journal that shows where gay marriage, civil unions and non-married couples currently have rights. So what’s your opinion on this? What should the president do? Please comment below.
photo credit: The Star-News, Ken Blevins
Marijo Tinlin is the Editor in Chief of Family First, one of the oldest family-oriented websites on the internet. She is also the author of a book about patriotism and teaching our children to love this country called “How to Raise an American Patriot, Making it Okay for Our Kids to Be Proud to Be American.” It features 13 interviews with patriotic Americans including Ed Meese, Erick Erickson and Jackie Gingrich Cushman. It’s available at www.raisinganamericanpatriot.com.