The Corner

Where Obama Stands on Marriage

James Kirchick wonders why so many supporters of same-sex marriage believe that Obama is secretly on their side. Let me suggest two reasons for thinking that their perception is probably correct. The first is that Obama has said that he wants to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act in its entirety — not just the provision that keeps the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, but the provision that protects states from having to recognize other states’ same-sex marriages. The second is that when California was debating same-sex marriage last fall, Obama said that passing a referendum declaring marriage the union of a man and a woman would be discriminatory. These positions seem to me to be consistent with undeclared support for same-sex marriage. But I think Kirchick is correct about this point: “[I]f Obama actually does believe in same-sex marriage, that makes his public opposition to it worse than it would be if he were genuinely opposed.”

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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