Obama Endorses Same-Sex Marriage In Ballot Initiative Fights

President Obama has put his Presidential thumb on the scale in four states considering ballot measures that would legalize same-sex marriage:

President Obama’s campaign gave a boost today to ballot measures to grant same-sex couples’ marriage rights, endorsing a Washington referendum and a Maine initiative to do so. His campaign earlier announced his opposition to a constitutional amendment in Minnesota and Obama himself has signaled his support for a referendum in Maryland.

The support is not a significant surprise in light of President Obama’s May announcement that he personally supports marriage equality. Today’s statements — particularly in Maine, where the measure is a voter-backed initiative — more likely are a sign of the Obama campaign’s confidence that his support for gay rights will not hurt him in the close presidential contest.

Mitt Romney, on the other hand, opposes marriage equality, and a senior campaign adviser this past weekend reiterated his support for a federal constitutional amendment banning states from granting same-sex couples’ equal marriage rights.

The Obama campaign statements, several of which were released this afternoon, use similar language to each other and to statements issued in the past, but, also as in the past, the statements came not from the president or a national spokesperson but instead from campaign spokespersons in the states facing the measures.

President Obama is going to win all four of these states, of course, but it’s unclear how much his endorsement will help the cause of marriage equality. Polling would seem to indicate that one or more of these efforts is likely to succeed, but it’s worth remembering that polling in 2008 showed that Proposition 8 would be going down to defeat, and it ended up passing.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Campaign 2012, Politicians, Quick Takes, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    Back when I was young and dinosaurs ruled the earth, I lived in a country where national-level leaders avoided opining on issues facing local voters. Of course, in those days the party out of power was “the loyal opposition” and not a bunch of zealots who were willing to burn down the country for a chance to rule over the ashes.

  2. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Remember: in the 1990’s, Obama was for gay marriage. Then, for about a decade, he was firmly, resolutely, absolutely against gay marriage. Then he had a huge (and politically convenient) change of heart and was for gay marriage again.

  3. bill says:

    desperate times = desperate measures. didn’t he just “come out” a few months ago, after clueless joe kicked down the closet door?!

  4. bandit says:

    it’s unclear how much his endorsement will help the cause of marriage equality.

    About as much as it helped the Chicago Olympics and WC22

  5. David M says:

    It’s just an interesting sign of where the country is that an endorsement like this by the president isn’t a big deal anymore.

  6. anjin-san says:

    Hey, three stooges on the same thread…

  7. @Jenos Idanian #13: Wait, supporting gay marriage now is “politically convenient”? Does that mean conservatives are now willing to admit that a majority of Americans support gay marriage?

  8. Herb says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    “Remember: in the 1990′s, Obama was for gay marriage. Then, for about a decade, he was firmly, resolutely, absolutely against gay marriage. Then he had a huge (and politically convenient) change of heart and was for gay marriage again.”

    So?

    Does the GOP get extra points for still being wrong on the issue?

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Then he had a huge (and politically convenient) change of heart and was for gay marriage again.

    Wow…. It must be nice to so untroubled by reality.

  10. C. Clavin says:

    Obama endorses the expanding of equal rights for gays.
    And the Romney campaign brings back the 50’s…with Sununu saying Powell endorsed Obama because he is black.
    The choice is clear…we can go towards the future with Obama…or backwards with Romney and Jenos and Bandit and the rest.

  11. Franklin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Remember: in the 1990′s, Obama was for gay marriage.

    … according to exactly one questionnaire, possibly filled out by a staffer.

    Then, for about a decade, he was firmly, resolutely, absolutely against gay marriage.

    … during which he said his “views were evolving.”

    Then he had a huge (and politically convenient) change of heart and was for gay marriage again.

    True, his views evolved, but I guess Republicans still don’t believe in evolution. Not to mention, it’s actually okay to change your mind if you’re changing to the correct answer.

  12. mantis says:

    @Jay Tea’s puppet Jenos Idanian #13:

    Remember: in the 1990′s, Obama was for gay marriage. Then, for about a decade, he was firmly, resolutely, absolutely against gay marriage. Then he had a huge (and politically convenient) change of heart and was for gay marriage again.

    I’ll take it over Romney, whose positions flip daily.

  13. Delmar says:

    Obama and other Federal politicians should stay out of the state politics and decisions of the people.