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Barack Obama: Gay-Marriage Ban Supporter?

When it comes to gay issues, President Obama swings both ways. Ignoring what he has or hasn't accomplished yet, even Obama's campaign promises were conflicted. He promised to end Don't Ask, Don't Tell (still waiting), help repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (coming soon?), and he has signed an anti-hate crime bill into law, as promised. But on the issue of gay marriage, Obama said, "I don't" instead of "I do."

Now this presidential position is being used by the supporters of Proposition 8, California's gay marriage ban currently being appealed in federal court. Supporters of the ban have argued in court that Obama's views prove that you can favor "traditional" marriage without being a bigot.

So what would Obama himself say about Prop 8? Well back in Nov. 2008, Obama straddled the issue — saying although he opposed same-sex marriage on religious grounds, he also opposed Prop. 8 because it was "divisive and discriminatory." Seems like Obama could play for either team in the Prop. 8 debate.

Image Source: Getty
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postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 7 years
"It is the act of oppression that we should be concerned with not who has racked up more points of being oppressed." Very well said. Personally, I can't even see how this is an issue in the 21st century and I cannot see any single argument against equal marriage rights among same sex couples as anything but bigotry, no matter how much one tries to defend the position against it.
jkat jkat 7 years
It physically disgusts me that people can sit there an tell an entire group of American citizens to accept blatant discrimination for a little while longer and maybe we will get around to giving them equal rights. How vile! Some politician should definitely risk their career for this cause. History will eventually recognize him or her as a national civil rights leader. The Trib had a great article on the enormous expense gay couples are forced to shoulder to attempt to re-create the same benefits any two straight people who barely know each other can get for the cost of a $40 marriage license. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-gays-pay-more-18-jan18,0,2205178.story I am an unemployed (heterosexual, just an fyi) attorney, laid off from an excellent BigLaw firm, who is feeling the effects of this economic disaster. But I would never ask the government to keep an entire group of people who love each other and deserve the protection of a state-sponsored institution in a form of second class citizenship to fix our "bigger" economic problems. The ignorance of this ASTOUNDS me. As does the ignorance of the bigots who think that gays should not be afforded the rights they are due as American citizens.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
I agree staple that there have also been friendly or indifferent cultures to homosexuality and that's a good thing but unfortunately that doesn't cover the globe in it's entirety. And yes my point is that the tit for tat comparison of racial vs. sexual orientation discrimination is absurd. It is the act of oppression that we should be concerned with not who has racked up more points of being oppressed.
JessieSP JessieSP 7 years
I agree. I also don't think that gays should compare themselves to what African Americans went through. It is nowhere near the same. Everyday of their lives it was so physically torturous for African Americans. As for President Obama, I think he will get to his promise but like with most things, it will take him some time. Priorities first.
staple-salad staple-salad 7 years
@Hypon, I agree with you and your stance on the issue, however, homosexually isn't as persecuted... I mean, homosexuals have been discriminated against in quite a few cultures, there's active discrimination and discriminatory laws in the US (luckily those are getting repelled now), and they were persecuted alongside the Jews by Hitler (which for some reason, nobody ever acknowledges). However, some of the most studied cultures (I'm looking at you, Ancient Greece!), where it was a complete non-issue and almost expected. Sexuality back then was more about your style rather than who you preferred to sleep with. And I'm sure there are many more like that. But this doesn't really impact your point (for many cultures, skin color is a non-issue as well, or at least, not used as a basis for discrimination), I just wanted to point it out.
staple-salad staple-salad 7 years
I'm counting more on the supreme court's ruling on Prop 8 (and hoping that they find that it violates the federal constitution, thus making the states who have gay marriage illegal now be forced to legalize it) more than the president. The president doesn't really have power here, and as long as he's not saying that it should never, ever be legalized for whatever discriminatory reason the opposition is pulling out their butts now, then I don't think his personal stance is an issue. He's really taking the only stand he can. I mean, a bill proposed by the president only has so much of a chance if congress doesn't agree. But the supreme court can rule banning gay marriage as unconstitutional because it violates the rights of a minority and isn't upholding the constitution/bill of right's fundamental purpose of protecting the minority from the tyranny of the majority. Though, I think this whole thing is a really good example of why the founding fathers didn't really like democracy all that much.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
I appreciate the passion of some of the heated emotions here. I too thirst for the day when Liberty will truly adopt us (homosexuals) as her own and bring us into the fold. It will happen and your impatience is understandable but as with any societal enlightenment we can never get around the process of things. Gay rights and acceptance in America has mad remarkable strides in the past twenty years and it was because of your passion. There is no reason in my heart or mind that tells me it will not continue to do so. Would I like it to happen sooner, sure, like yesterday but that's not going to happen so I rest with peace of mind that I know it will happen. As for President Obama as I said there is a process to everything that can not be avoided and even though our plight may burn at our heals it is in a world one of so many. He is only one quarter of the way through his first term so let's take a deep breath and encourage him rather than cut the hand we need to strike our oppression. Finally, with all due respect to my brothers and sisters of color who are perplexed by the notion that homosexuals would compare our oppression to that of people of color in America. Just take a moment to realize that homo-sexuality has been around since the dawn of civilization and persecuted by the same means since the dawn of civilization which by my account came a long time before the American slave trade. So rather than keep points on who is more oppressed which is rather ridiculous why don't we just call injustice and oppression any time any where wrong.
jenni5 jenni5 7 years
Is this really a surprise to anyone? He said what he needed to say to get elected now he can go back on everything he promised.
PinkNC PinkNC 7 years
I'm with *Hypno* here. That's what I was trying to express earlier. Be "willing to give him more than one year of his first term to get the job done" President Obama has a lot on his plate. It was loaded down before he was officially sworn in.
PhillyEagles1 PhillyEagles1 7 years
ckeller - thanks for clearing that up. He seems to say things that please the parties on both sides of the issue... never taking a true stance for one side or the other.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
Well I'm gay and IMO I don't think the President was straddling anything. He simply separated Church and State as he should. But rather than be celebrated for holding the line between his personal feelings and his duty to the constitution of the U.S. he's manipulated by the anti-gay rights crowd and criticized the gay activists. He didn't give a shady answer, he gave the right answer. I have no problem with the Presidents personal religious views as he does his job and I'm quite willing to give him more than one year of his first term to get the job done.
ckeller825 ckeller825 7 years
Philly - I'm not sure if you followed the 2008 Presidential campaign like I did, but Obama DID say he was not for same-sex marriage. HOWEVER, he said he was for full civil unions that gave same-sex couples the same rights as married couples.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
well said imLissy!
imLissy imLissy 7 years
There will always be "more important" things going on, how long should people have to wait? Does he have to get up and do something right now this very minute? No, but there was an article posted today on this site and we're all talking about it right now... I think there are many of us here fighting for marriage equality who are not gay. It's a basic right that everyone in the country should have. It's not a matter of want, this is what America is supposed to be about.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
You don't have to agree with my views. It's when you want a certain group of citizens, homosexuals, to be denied freedoms/rights that another group, heterosexuals has that I have a problem with your view. You can sit there and think it's wrong for them to get married, I don't care. Just don't deny them the choice or option because of your view, because that is when you become a bigot.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
The only people annoyed by this are the one's who aren't denied the ability to marry their loved one, the one's who are happy with the current situation of denying marriage to the gay population, and the ones who are bigots. Which one are you?
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
Um, first, I happen to be a heterosexual who is married. And no, the gay issue doesn't annoy me, I find their plight very similar to any other civil rights movement we have had in the past. I find it disgusting that people aren't alarmed that there is a segment of our population who is continually denied the same freedoms that everyone else enjoys. Especially that it is done in the name of religion and protecting traditional marriage. I think the bigots would love to keep putting it on the backburner rather than confront the issue and show the world their true bigotry.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
SKG - I thought the same thing, "you gays".
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
Isn't there always going to poor and needy in some part of the world? According to you, the gay community shouldn't ever fight for equality because there's always something more important. How about we deny everyone the right to be married until this is settled? We just put it on the backburner because well as you say, people are dying in Haiti and there are true needy in the world. Surely it's not important for anyone to get married since there are TRUE needy in the world.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
What I don't get is how he is even being used in their defense of Prop 8? "Supporters of the ban have argued in court that Obama's views prove that you can favor "traditional" marriage without being a bigot." Their argument is what he said proves that their not bigots? So really, they want to deny people the same freedoms they enjoy but are worried about being labeled as bigots? Definition of bigot: a person obstinantly devoted to his own opinions and prejudices, especially one who treats or regards members of a group with hatred and intolerance. Strongly prejudices, strongly partial to one's own group or religion. Sounds like they fit the definition of a bigot to me. Even the president (any president) can be guilty of being a bigot at times. Just because the president said it, doesn't mean it's a carte blanche to continue to discriminate against certain citizens. It is discrimination.
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