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On how the Republicans will paint President Obama as pro “gay marriage”

Community/Meta Marriage equality

By Adam Bink

Following up on the Obama/same-sex marriage discussion that Jacob posted on earlier today, John Aravosis makes this point over at AMERICABlog Gay in a piece titled “Note to the White House: Gingrich is already painting you as pro “gay marriage”:

Joe has written about this point repeatedly. No matter what the President does, the Republicans are going to paint him pink. Obama can say he’s “evolving” on marriage, but to the GOP that means he plans on hosting mass gay weddings in the Oval Office. Decades of experience fighting the far right has shown that they’re not exactly honestly in their accusations. The President can try to split the difference on gay marriage – evolving our way while still saying “no” – but to Republicans, to those who don’t like him and are just looking for a reason not to vote for him, the nuance is lost. The GOP is going to accuse President Obama of being pro gay marriage regardless of what the President actually says and does. Why not just embrace it, come out for marriage equality, and reap the benefits too.

It’s a good question, and I guess it’s predicated on three points being true (1) the people who are going to disapprove of Obama if he comes out for same-sex marriage aren’t going to vote for him anyway, or it will not be the overriding factor on their voting decision (2) for the people who will approve of his decision, it is a factor in their vote and/or they will work hard or harder than they currently have been to get him re-elected (3) group #2 > group #1, notwithstanding where they live and vote.

Your thoughts?


  • 1. Marta  |  December 23, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    I think he'll come out vocally against DOMA (esp. regarding federal rights for legally married folks) and vocally for gay marriage in general, but say that the process is working and that gay marriage should be decided on a state-by-state basis. It's not really philosophically defensible, but if he can find a way to defend it legally, it comes across as more moderate (i.e., the federal government isn't "forcing" gay marriage on anybody, states get to choose when they're ready for equality).

  • 2. Adam Bink  |  December 23, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    Actually, he's already come out against DOMA.

  • 3. Marta  |  December 23, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    I know he said he said he thought DOMA was unconstitutional and that would no longer defend it, but he hasn't tried to make a major issue out of it, compared to the way he was with DADT and the way has talked about the economy, the deficit, etc.

    I should have put more emphasis on the word "vocally."

  • 4. Adam Bink  |  December 26, 2011 at 7:27 am

    That's a fair point.

  • 5. thark  |  December 23, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    I think he'll use the final burial of CA's Flop 8 as a point of departure; Judge Walker's ruling is a perfect blue print on how to win the Marriage equality debate.

    The antigays, in the meantime, will be commanded more than once, to point out the alleged errors in the Flop 8 ruling. Each time they fail to explain in detail, why Gays are 3/5 American, the Antigays will have no recourse, but to accidentally ALSO slip in a slur or demeaning epithet, just to get through the day's interviews/debates.

    And each irrational response we will hear from the GOP, only guts the GOP. Obama can keep on quoting Walker, verbatim, and reminding folks that Walker was a BUSH appointee, to boot!

  • 6. shawn  |  December 23, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    #4. Republicans in some states are becoming less anti-equal marriage. Republicans in NH are in commercials for equal marriage and equal marriage passed in NY with support from Republicans in the legislature. This will not be a repeat of 2004. The defining issue will not be equal marriage for independents. Let conservatives think that it is. It is a good red herring for them. Let them waste their resources on a non-issue.

  • 7. shawn  |  December 23, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Progressives and Conservatives do not decide presidential elections in the US. Independents in swing states decide the elections. For Obama to win, we need independent voters in swing states to support him. If he can win FL and OH, he will win and we will win.

  • 8. Reformed  |  December 23, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Being "from" both of these states, I hate that my vote is now wasted in Texas.

  • 9. Sam  |  December 23, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    This is true, and this is what I'm a bit concerned about when it comes to the President doing an all-out endorsement for marriage equality. There are a lot of small town Independents out there, and many of them lean conservative on social issues. Maybe if the President remains in an "evolving" state until after the election, he won't risk losing any potential Independents who may be turned off by it, but who otherwise support Obama (on economic issues, etc.). Maybe I'm being a bit paranoid, but it's just something I've thought about.

  • 10. NYCBruce  |  December 23, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    How about this: SCREW Newt Gingrich! Everything he is going to say from here on out is going to be a bald-faced lie anyway. Plus, the people that will be swayed by the Beltway Doughboy on this issue aren't going to vote for Obama under ANY circumstances. Why not just ignore him, and DON'T allow him to "frame the discussion" on gay marriage OR ANYTHING ELSE?! Mr Obama– just do whatever you think is right and just, and let the Republicans stew in their own little hatred bath.

  • 11. Fr. Bill  |  December 23, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    President Obama has already more than earned the votes and active support of the GLBT community: DADT, DOMA, changing hospital regulations, etc. We do not need the Republicans to name more conservative justices to the Supreme Court nor more judges to the Federal bench. There are a lot of swing voters (especially Catholics) who need to come our way.

  • 12. SoCal_Dave  |  December 23, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    I agree with Fr. Bill here. I think Pres.Obama has done more for us than all previous presidents put together. I'm OK with it if he decides he needs to do the nuance thing for a little longer. If it helps get to a 2nd term, he can (and I believe will) do even more.

  • 13. Sagesse  |  December 23, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    Did I just read that the 9th Circuit has delivered an opinion in Perry?

  • 14. jpmassar  |  December 23, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    If you did, no one else has, it seems. What did you see?

  • 15. Kate  |  December 23, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Kathleen posted elsewhere that there was a housekeeping sort of thing filed in Perry; could that be what you saw?

  • 16. Sagesse  |  December 23, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    Probably. Their email announcements are quite obscure.

  • 17. Bob  |  December 24, 2011 at 10:37 am

    I'm waiting,,,, for a Christmas present,,,, for the ruling,,,,, on Perry,,,, what a gift that could be!!!!!!!!! come on Judges

  • 18. Rob in CA  |  December 23, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    I just checked the 9th circuit's web site and saw nothing new there yet regarding Perry.

  • 19. Christopher In SF  |  December 23, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    I got that email from the court too. It said something about letter to counsel: opinion now final dated 12/20. Is this it? Are we going to hear the ruling soon???
    BTW…I haven't posted in ages but have been with u guys everyday since day one.
    –Christopher in San Francisco

  • 20. B Z  |  December 25, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    This was in reference to the California Supreme Court's opinion on standing. No opinion yet from the 9th Circuit.

  • 21. Rob in CA  |  December 23, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    At this point I think it would be a prudent move for the federal government to get out of the marriage definition game by doing away with DOMA and allowing full federal marriage benefits for all married couples including same sex in the states that allow it. Once that happens states which do not allow SSM will be at a distinct disadvantage. I can almost see state legislatures stumbling over themselves to allow SSM so as to put their citizens on an equal footing federally with those other states which allow it. If at some point the supreme court comes out against marriage descrimination all the better but I think allowing federal benefits will be a huge push for marriage equality.

  • 22. bythesea  |  December 23, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Well, that's true, but if DOMA goes down there is a pretty good chance that both provisions will go depending on the ruling, and in that case the couple could marry in states that allow it and obtain the right to be recognized in those that don't (with some time and effort).

  • 23. jpmassar  |  December 23, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    As far as I am aware, all the DOMA cases are only challenging Section III (federal benefts), not Section II (recognizing marriages across state lines)

  • 24. bythesea  |  December 23, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    That's true, however opinions I have read suggest a ruling on section three would be likely to also bring down section two as a by-product. That may not be the case of course, but I guess we will see.

  • 25. Drpatrick1  |  December 23, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    You are correct. Section 3 is so laughably unconstitutional, we will either have a 9-0 decision, or history will record a dissent (a dissent cause we will still win) that will be talked about in the same chapter as plessy v ferguson! Section 2 relies on full faith and credit, which to us non lawyers sounds like a slam dunk, but in reality this is a rather novel look at applying full faith and credit. It certainly seems like we should still win here, but there is some room for the bigots on the court to create some convoluted argument against us.

  • 26. Steve  |  December 24, 2011 at 3:59 am

    That's not what Section 2 is about. Getting rid of it won't mean that other states automatically have to recognize out-of-state SSMs. They'd still have to change their laws individually to do that.

    Federal recognition will still lead to a great deal of marriage tourism though. For some people, federal benefits are arguably more important than state ones

  • 27. bythesea  |  December 24, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    I did not mean to imply anything was automatic at all, but that if section two also falls then it becomes just a matter of time until states recognize other states sam-sex marriages (via culture, attitudes, state and local actions, follow-up court cases, etc)

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