Today the President announced that he has evolved on the issue of gay marriage and that, contrary to what he said in 2004 and 2008, he now supports it. But there’s reason to question whether Obama was ever really against gay marriage or whether he simply took the path of least resistance to get elected to the Senate and then the White House.
Over at BuzzFeed, Andrew Kaczynski points out a questionnaire Obama filled out for a gay newspaper in Chicago back in 1996. At the time he wrote unequivocally “I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.”
So what happened between 1996 when Obama supported gay marriage and 2004 when Obama claimed he believed marriage was between a man and a woman and was not a civil right:
Well, at the time, Obama was running for Senate. Then in 2008 he was running for President. At that time, support for gay marriage was seen as a losing proposition. Now, however, polls have shifted to the point where gay marriage is essentially a 50-50 proposition (though it lost the other day in North Carolina).
Based on the public record, there’s every reason to think that Obama was always in support of gay marriage. It’s only now that the polls are more favorable and his re-election depends on turning out base voters (and talking about any issue other than the state of our economy) that he sees fit to announce his “new” position.
Given the amount of energy his campaign has spent arguing his Republican opponent is a flip-flopper on issues including abortion, it will be interesting to see if the media holds Obama to the same standard. He has either flip-flopped on this issue twice or, more likely, simply lied to the American people about his beliefs.