At a time of high unemployment and severe economic distress, President Obama chose the week he formally launched his reelection campaign to flip-flop on same-sex marriage. Combined with the unplanned announcement by gaffe-prone Joe Biden on Meet the Press on Sunday, a campaign once known for its message discipline appears to be making things up as it goes along.
Nor can the president’s pronouncement be seen as an expression of his personal views. This is a statement of administration policy. Obama’s opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act (the logic behind this opposition would force Utah, Florida, and Ohio to recognize same-sex unions made legal in Boston and Manhattan), his applauding of the legalization of same-sex marriage by the New York legislature, and the religious-charity mandate under Obamacare all reveal a president who is tone-deaf and out of touch with the time-honored values of millions of Americans.
This is an unanticipated gift to the Romney campaign. It is an issue that is certain to alienate Obama from voters who do not feel he shares their values, and is certain to fuel a record turnout of voters of faith to the polls this November.
President Obama’s announcement regarding his position on marriage confirms that his administration doesn’t understand the public purpose of marriage. Marriage — the lifelong, faithful union of one man and one woman — is the building block of a thriving society. It’s not something that politicians should attempt to redefine for political purposes.
The president has spoken eloquently about how fatherless homes often hurt children and society. His new statement is a tragic contradiction that promotes the creation of even more fatherless and motherless homes.
His announcement would be more important if everyone didn’t already know the president’s real position, which he has held since at least as far back as 1996. You can say that President Obama was “for redefining marriage before he was for it.” Yesterday’s announcement was a mere formality. The war on marriage has been a centerpiece of this administration’s agenda since the beginning.
Until the last few years, humanity was united on the purpose and the goodness of marriage. That is still largely the case, but unfortunately, well-funded cultural and political elites, including the ones attacking marriage today, are attempting to monopolize the cultural conversation. It’s a conversation in which we who recognize the truth about marriage and want to protect marriage — as the people of North Carolina just did — will continue to engage.
— Alan Sears is president and CEO of the Alliance Defense Fund, a legal alliance employing a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.