Thursday, May 10, 2012

Obama decides to make his support of same-sex marriage public.

My reaction to President Obama's decision to "go ahead and affirm" that he supports same-sex marriage (adapted from a comment by me on Metafilter):

It's nice that Obama has made this announcement, albeit after noticing that other high-level politicians like Joe Biden, Al Gore, Bill Clinton, and Dick Cheney don't seem to have suffered much political blowback from doing the same thing. (It's interesting that our 3 most recent vice presidents are all supporters of same-sex marriage.) Obama's switch from supporting it in 1996 to opposing it in time to run for president to supporting it again (now that the polls are turning in its favor) seems analogous to Mitt Romney's calculated flip-flop on abortion. Again, I'm glad about Obama's announcement, but I don't find his "evolution" particularly inspiring.

I don't think many of those who previously criticized Obama's opposition to same-sex marriage thought he was bigoted in the slightest. I assume his personal views, then and now, are not anti-gay, and I can't believe he was being honest in the past about being genuinely opposed to same-sex marriage. I find it hard to imagine that he ever had a private conversation with someone in which he passionately defended his view that two women or two men shouldn't be able to get legally married. I assume, though it's of course impossible to know, that he's been in favor of same-sex marriage all along and has decided to be honest about it now. Good.