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.