Tags: Barack Obama | Gay Marriage | Washington Post | Barack Obama | David Axelrod | same-sex marriage

WaPo Cites Obama's Changing Record on Same-Sex Marriage

By    |   Thursday, 02 Apr 2015 05:55 PM

The Obama administration's strident criticism of Indiana and Arkansas over passing Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) legislation rings hollow when President Barack Obama's own record on same-sex marriage is taken into account, according to The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Wednesday, "I do think that, in the mind of the president, the thought that we would have state legislatures in the 21st century in the United States of America passing laws that would use religion to try to justify discriminating against people because of who they love, is unthinkable."

Cillizza wrote in the Post, "Earnest and the White House might want to dismount that high horse very carefully, given the president's long, slow and very political evolution on gay marriage."

In fact, Cillizza and others note, Obama's quick-change on gay marriage occurred at the same time public opinion changed, and seemed to smack more of political expediency than genuinely held personal belief.

Obama, Cillizza notes, came out strongly against same-sex marriage when running for president in 2008, telling the Rev. Rick Warren of Saddleback Church, "I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian for me for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God's in the mix."

During his 2004 Senate campaign, Obama said, "I am not a supporter of gay marriage as it has been thrown about, primarily just as a strategic issue. I think that marriage, in the minds of a lot of voters, has a religious connotation," Cillizza notes.

Then, in 2012, Obama appeared to switch sides and told ABC-TV's Robin Roberts, "I've just concluded that for me, personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married."

"Lots and lots of people, including me, noted that Obama's evolution on the issue happened to correspond with the changing public attitudes toward gay marriage," Cillizza writes.

A Gallup poll notes that the American position on same-sex marriage changed to a majority favoring it over those opposing it, right at the time Obama appeared on ABC.

Obama adviser David Axelrod, in his book, "Believer: My Forty Years in Politics," writes that Obama personally supported same-sex marriage in 2008, but misled the public about his position while running for president, Time Magazine reports.

Aaron Blake, writing in the Post, comments, "His 'evolution' on gay marriage just so happened to coincide with when it became more popular than unpopular with Americans according to polls.

"This is not a coincidence. This is sticking fingers in the air and seeing which way the wind is blowing. This is nobody wanting to stick their necks out before everyone else does, even on an issue that had been trending in a very clear direction for a decade," Blake writes.

"Which makes it pretty easy to understand why we and the American people are so cynical about our politics and our politicians."

Cillizza wote, "The stridency with which Earnest condemned the idea of a debate of an active debate between religion and politics seemed a bit of overkill. After all, President Obama has opposed gay marriage for longer than he's supported it in the, to borrow Earnest's words, '21st century in the United States of America.'"

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The Obama administration's strident criticism of Indiana and Arkansas over passing Religious Freedom Restoration Act legislation rings hollow when President Obama's own record on same-sex marriage is taken into account, according to The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza.
Washington Post, Barack Obama, David Axelrod, same-sex marriage
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Thursday, 02 Apr 2015 05:55 PM
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