Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Seattle leaders endorse Obama being perfectly fuzzy on gay marriage

The president is evolving on gay marriage. He opposes it. Wink. Wink. He is evolving.

Tell us the literal truth, Mr. President. Be perfectly clear.

Seattle Times
President Obama has been at the center of a political free-for-all this week about his squishy position on gay marriage.
The frenzy follows Vice President Joe Biden's comments on Meet the Press Sunday. Biden said he was "absolutely comfortable" with equal rights for married same-sex couples. Education Secretary Arne Duncan made similar comments Monday. 
That put a spotlight on Obama, who has championed equal rights for same-sex couples on many fronts, yet has maintained he is still "evolving" on the marriage question.
Political commentators have called the president's parsing on the subject "absurd," and "incoherent." Others say Biden's latest gaffe was no accident, but a wink to pro-gay-marriage voters. 
This fall, Washington voters likely will be deciding whether to keep or scrap a law signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire making the state the seventh to legalize same sex marriage.
On Thursday, Obama will make a fundraising stop in Seattle, where same-sex marriage enjoys broad support, and where the president has many well-heeled gay and lesbian political donors. 
But leaders of the pro-gay marriage campaign say they're not demanding any public endorsement by Obama if it would jeopardize his reelection chances. 
Josh Friedes, director of Marriage Equality for Equal Rights Washington, said he understands the "political calculus" that may be part of Obama's decision to wait on a public endorsement -- even if he already agrees with Biden. 
"I wish he would come out now. I do think it would create an even greater conversation, which is what we desire," Friedes said. 
But Friedes said Obama already has been "the most supportive president ever of LGBT civil rights" -- noting the president's decision to end the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy, his pro-gay rights executive orders, and his order to the Justice Department to cease defending the federal Defense of Marriage Act. 
"If the president is really there (supportive of gay marriage) and he is right that coming out could cost him the presidency, then I will not condemn him for his slower public evolution," Friedes said, noting the "huge difference" on the issue between Obama and Republican Mitt Romney.
And the reporter becomes pundit at the end:
Perhaps after November, the president will feel safe enough to publicly "evolve" back to that position again.

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