After the messy media firestorm that ignited this past weekend when Vice President Joe Biden unexpectedly announced a more supportive position on same-sex marriage than the president, to voters in North Carlina passing a state amendment Tuesday that bans both same-sex marriage and civil unions, Barack Obama's position on the issue has now "evolved" to the point where he can "go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married."
Coincidently, the move comes just as national polls have shifted in favor of same-sex marriage, the president's new position.
All things considered the announcement is sure to fire up the Democratic Party's more liberal base that has felt alienated towards the president during his first term on not only LGBT issues, but lukewarm support of environmental interests and a hawkish foreign policy stance not too different from his predecessor. After covering the Biden remarks inside and out over the last 3 days, the mainstream media is now saying, at the tail end of their breaking announcements across every outlet, that same-sex marriage will not be a major issue in the general election.
While most predict that jobs and the economy will be heavily focused on, it seems naive to think that Democrats and progressive organizations won't now push greater pressure on Mitt Romney and his position on same-sex marriage as the president has more clearly aligned himself with the progressive base. Especially considering all the "gay money" coming to Chicago from some of the Obama campaign's biggest donors.
Speaking to Fox 31 in Colorado Tuesday, Romney reaffirmed the stance he had as governor of Massachusetts on same-sex marriage:
“Well, when these issues were raised in my state of Massachusetts, I indicated my view, which is I do not favor marriage between people of the same gender, and I do not favor civil unions if they are identical to marriage other than by name,” Romney said during a visit to Fort Lupton. “My view is the domestic partnership benefits, hospital visitation rights, and the like are appropriate but that the others are not.”
It should be noted that despite the kind words, some have already criticized the enthusiasm and extent of President Obama's announcement Wednesday.
Christopher R. Barron, Chief Strategist and Co-Founder of GOProud, issued a less than glowing statement in response to the president's remarks Wednesday:
“It is good to see that after intense political pressure that President Obama has finally come around to the Dick Cheney position on marriage equality. I am sure, however, the President’s newly discovered support for marriage is cold comfort to the gay couples in North Carolina. The President waited until after North Carolina passed a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.”
“This is hardly a profile in courage by President Obama. For years now, President Obama has tried his hardest to have it both ways on this issue.
“The real kudos here goes to LGBT activists and their allies who finally forced the President into yielding on this issue.”