In their coverage of Obama’s opposition to California’s proposed Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage, it is reported that Obama believes gay marriage should be left to the states. I’m having trouble finding a time when he said it that precisely, however.*
I am finding a 2004 statement where he said he believed marriage was between a man and a woman because of his religious beliefs. Ironically, Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago supports gay marriage.
CNN is left summarizing his position as “Opposes same-sex marriage, but also opposes a constitutional ban.”
All of this seems a bit contradictory. In a letter to to the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, Obama now says he opposes the California amendment:
And that is why I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states.
So the issue of gay marriage is up to the states, unless the state decides to ban gay marriage, in which case it is “divisive and discriminatory”?
This comes as Obama is promoting himself to the gay and lesbian community, touting his opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act. Of course, the whole point of DOMA was to prevent one state from being forced to recognize marriages in another state. How exactly can one say recognizing gay marriage should be a state’s decision, but oppose that law?
Once again, all Barack Obama statements come with an expiration date. All of them.
UPDATE: From a May AP story, quoting a statement from the Obama Campaign: “Barack Obama has always believed that same-sex couples should enjoy equal rights under the law, and he will continue to fight for civil unions as president. He respects the decision of the California Supreme Court, and continues to believe that states should make their own decisions when it comes to the issue of marriage.”
ANOTHER UPDATE: A reader clarifies Obama’s position: “As chief executive of the federal government, Obama will fight to make sure that every state has the right to make its own decisions on gay marriage, as long as it decides to correctly adopt non-discriminatory and non-divisive policies that he personally doesn’t favor because of his religious beliefs, which aren’t shared by his church.”
Well, now it makes sense…