ONTD Political

Obama to MTV: I won't be pushing gay marriage in second term

12:49 pm - 11/11/2012

One day after endorsing gay marriage proposals in Washington and Maine, President Obama told MTV viewers Friday that he would not be pushing gay marriage in his second term, ABC News reported.

According to Obama, "it would be up to future generations of Americans to implement meaningful reform," ABC added.

"First of all, I've been very clear about my belief that same-sex couples have to be treated before the eyes of the law the same way as heterosexual couples," he told MTV's Sway Calloway. "I think that's the right thing to do. It's based on my personal experience, seeing loving couples who are committed to each other, raising kids and are just outstanding people," he added. "And I was supportive of civil unions, but they taught me, if you're using different words, if you're somehow singling them out, they don't feel true equality."

Over the years, Obama has held different opinions on the subject. In 1996, he supported gay marriage, but held a different opinion in 2004.

“What I believe is that marriage is between a man and a woman … What I believe, in my faith, is that a man and a woman, when they get married, are performing something before God, and it’s not simply the two persons who are meeting,” he said when running for the Senate.

In 2008, he supported civil unions, but did not support gay marriage.

"My feelings about this are constantly evolving. I struggle with this. At this point, what I’ve said is, is that my baseline is a strong civil union that provides them the protections and the legal rights that married couples have,” he said just two months after telling liberal bloggers that he was "unwilling to sign on to same-sex marriage."

In May, however, he reverted to his 1996 position and came out in support of gay marriage, causing a backlash from black churches.

Obama rejected the idea of federal legislation mandating gay marriage and said that it should be decided at the state level.

"For us to try to legislate federally into this area is probably the wrong way to go," he said.

One of those in the audience was a young man identified as "Tucker," who said he was from Washington State.

"I love having a president in the White House who can go on MTV and say that he thinks gay and lesbian people should get married, that's great," he said. "But the fact is, it's been four years and the Defense of Marriage Act is still on the books, and I don't think the conversation should be left to the states," he added.

He said that he was "very afraid" that Washington voters "are going to vote on my rights to marry in a way that I don't think is right."

Supporters of Washington's ballot measure, known as Referendum 74, have raised nearly $11 million to finance a well-oiled campaign designed to convince voters that gay marriage is necessary, even though the state already has an “Everything But Marriage” law that gives same-sex couples full legal rights.

A post at Twitchy wondered: "Does this mean Obama will have to stop hijacking gay pride for his own gain?"


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ennifer_jay 12th-Nov-2012 12:29 am (UTC)
Wow fuck you

ETA: not the OP; Obama.

ETA2: Like I don't even know why I'm surprised or disappointed tbh. My rights are just a bargaining chip for you. You're just like every other fucking politician.

Edited at 2012-11-12 12:42 am (UTC)
ms_maree 12th-Nov-2012 12:31 am (UTC)
As a non-American I don't see how any President in their second term has any incentive to follow through with any of their promises. No matter what, they get their four years in the job with the nice pay package and that's it, why should they personally care if they don't follow through with anything, it's not like they are going to be President after that, the people can't punish him by not re-electing him. Short of doing something really crap, and I'd imagine it would have to be something really bad, the American people are stuck with him.
anolinde 12th-Nov-2012 12:39 am (UTC)
On the other hand, they can do whatever the fuck they want (i.e. support gay marriage) and not face any punishment for it, so. =/
astridmyrna 12th-Nov-2012 12:36 am (UTC)
Oh ffs.
ms_maree 12th-Nov-2012 01:06 am (UTC)
Fair enough.

umm threadfail, responding above. (sorry)

Edited at 2012-11-12 01:07 am (UTC)
pinksta_r 12th-Nov-2012 12:42 am (UTC)
No, no, no. Please don't do this to me, Obama. We can't leave this up to a vote. I'm in Texas and I'll never see it passed unless it handled at the federal level.
redstar826 12th-Nov-2012 12:45 am (UTC)
Isn't this pretty much what he has been saying ever since he endorsed same-sex marriage back in May? I don't think is anything new.

Realistically, with the Republicans still controlling the House, what are the chances of advancing legislation on this issue at the federal level?
psychicherz 12th-Nov-2012 12:47 am (UTC)
Well, right up until he came out in favor of personally supporting marriage equality, he was still "evolving" (i.e. stalling till it was politically feasible to support it). I'm sure he's aware that right now with half the country upset about him winning is not the ideal time to suggest he'd want to do more.

I do think ordering DOMA not to be defended, asking immigration to consider longterm same-sex couples as though they were married, etc show a desire to change how same-sex couples are treated by the FEDERAL govt, not just state-by-state. But I think he plays the long game, and knows that pushing right now is more likely to cause a backlash than actually change anything.

If the Dems take back the house in 2014, I think we'll be hearing a very different tune from him. He knows how history will judge this issue.
tabaqui 12th-Nov-2012 12:53 am (UTC)
I think you're right. Right now, if he suggested giving everyone a house and a new car, and here's a billion tons of gold to pay for it, the GOP would have a fit, so....

schmanda 12th-Nov-2012 04:15 am (UTC)
This article is dated prior to him winning the election, which I think makes a huge difference -- but honestly, I suspect he's expecting what a lot of people seem to be, which is that gay marriage, like desegregation, will be legalized by the Supreme Court.
That's what I'm thinking/hoping too.
zemi_chan 12th-Nov-2012 01:00 am (UTC)
....I don't quite know what to do with this.
rex_dart 12th-Nov-2012 01:06 am (UTC)
I didn't vote for him because I thought he was going to push federal legislation or some shit; I voted for him because I expect him to make the SCOTUS appointments that will lead to marriage equality. Because, you know, I'm more of a civil rights realist.
winniechili 12th-Nov-2012 01:10 am (UTC)
This story is from October and this is the full quote.

""But what I've also said is, historically, marriages have been defined at the state level. And there's a conversation going on ... there's some states that are still having the debate. And I think for us to try to legislate federally into this is probably the wrong way to go," Obama continued. "The courts are going to be examining these issues. I've stood up and said I'm opposed to the so-called Defense of Marriage Act ... I've said that's wrong, [and] there are a couple of cases that are working their way through the courts, and my expectation is that Defense of Marriage Act will be overturned. But, ultimately, I believe that if we have that conversation at the state level, the evolution that's taking place in this country will get us to a place where we are going to be recognizing everybody fairly.""

FFS can we stop using The Examiner as a source around here?
liret 12th-Nov-2012 01:21 am (UTC)
Yeah. I think at the federal level getting rid of the DOMA needs to be done before anything else, and if anything, the president not denying the idea that he would force states to allow gay marrages if he gets the chance would make a lot of people see the DOMA as the last thing standing between them and Armageddon. He's not dialing back his support, he's saying he isn't going to try and force something that would be opposed by most Democrats in Congress, let alone the Republicans.
liret 12th-Nov-2012 01:16 am (UTC)
I don't think he actually said anything - good or bad - about what he plans to do, at least in this interview. Not 'pushing' gay marrage is kind of like not 'pushing' abortion. It's a meaningless statement. It's perfectly reasonable to be angry at him for being vague and noncommittal, but I don't see why people are treating this like a signal of a policy change.
redstar826 12th-Nov-2012 01:19 am (UTC)
Yeah, and it was right before the election, so of course he was going to be more vague about controversial issues
vvalkyri 12th-Nov-2012 01:28 am (UTC)
I think that marriage equality will get to the supreme court within the year, and DOMA will go down as against Equal Protection, at which point the Feds will be able to recognize any state marriages. I see that happening pretty quickly post DOMA given the exec orders re state department families and re federal employee domestic partners.

Marriage terms have historically been state by state; federal legislation of what constitutes marriage would be pretty difficult to implement.
alryssa 13th-Nov-2012 08:07 am (UTC)
This is my understanding, to be honest. SCOTUS is the most legitimate way of getting this shit done at last.
metanoiame 12th-Nov-2012 01:44 am (UTC)
Even thought I think most social issues SHOULD be left to the state and local level, I don't Obama has a history of waffling on LGBT equality laws because he shares that principle. I think it's because he's playing politics with the issue - when it's something he could be taking the lead on. Blaming Republicans or saying federal legislation doesn't mean that he couldn't be taking a stronger stance.
lizzy_someone 12th-Nov-2012 05:17 am (UTC)
This is not news, this is not inconsistent, this is exactly what he said in the first place -- namely, that if some states want to legalize gay marriage, he personally does not oppose that, and if other states want to ban gay marriage, he's not going to do anything to change that.

On the bright side, I don't think anything useful could come of announcing a policy effort much in advance. Don't advertise your plan to the enemy before you have to. This is probably the smart thing to say whether he plans to push it or not.
yndigot 12th-Nov-2012 05:21 am (UTC)
I know a bunch of people are saying this, but I'm going to say it again -- one one level, it's frustrating to hear that he's not going to try to push it, but on the other hand ... if he did push it, nothing would come of it.

Basically, I think the takeaway message is that there are things he can spend time on that will actually get through congress, and there are things like same-sex marriage that will be more effectively changed at the state level and through the Supreme Court.

Also, since this is dated before the election, he probably wanted to ride the fence a bit anyway, lbr. That's one thing about American politics that sucks, but it's true.
maynardsong 12th-Nov-2012 05:39 am (UTC)
I'm pretty disappointed with how many people seem to have failed to take five seconds to reflect on what the source is. Examiner is as bad a rag as The Daily Mail. But I suppose it's much much easier to get righteously outraged over Obama's insufficient progressivism instead.
ms_maree 12th-Nov-2012 05:43 am (UTC)
I'm only familiar with the local tabloids in my area. I guess I fail.
kyra_neko_rei 12th-Nov-2012 06:02 am (UTC)
According to Obama, "it would be up to future generations of Americans to implement meaningful reform," ABC added.

. . . What, the current generations aren't good enough for you?

What the hell is this, did he forget EVERYTHING about how to not alienate people? Did he suddenly have an attack of paranoia and decide he needed to surrender to the rightwing whose collective ass he just kicked to the moon? What the fuck?

I mean, he doesn't want to implement gay marriage at the federal level---shitty enough---but he says it like this, publicly drops---drop-kicks, in fact---the moral high ground equality ball in its entirety and insults other bits of the gay-rights equation in the process?

I mean for fuck's sake, Mr. President, if you can't be bothered to support marriage equality at the federal level, at least don't insult the concept and everything related to it! Talk about the difficulty of getting such a thing done at the federal level; bring up the strong differential in states' opinions of it and question whether there's enough political capital at present. Apologize for this. And then throw your support and approval behind any state that chooses to make that move. And bust your ass about the other gay-rights issues that can be tackled at the federal level, like repealing DOMA and offering paths to citizenship for state-recognized spouses and committed partners of US citizens.

Spin that shit---yes, we'll call it bullshit, over here on the left, and we'll be disappointed and angry, but at least it won't encourage the opponents of marriage equality that you're siding with them now, or folding to them now, or rejecting us now. There's obviously a shitload of precedent for a president being unable to move forward on a particular agenda, but unfortunately you've developed yourself a reputation for capitulating before the battle has begun and getting no points for it from the Right as they steamroll over your starting position just as hard as they would've if it was more demanding. If you're not gonna fight for something, you can at least avoid working against it.

Edit: Annnnd fuck it. Saying this in October is rather different.

Edited at 2012-11-12 06:06 am (UTC)
baked_goldfish 12th-Nov-2012 06:27 am (UTC)
Two federal courts have already ruled DOMA unconstitutional. Obama ordered the DOJ a year ago to stop defending DOMA in court. There is no way that a GOP-held House overturns DOMA; there's a good chance that it gets ruled unconstitutional in the Supreme Court, though, and that's one of the things Obama was getting at in that interview.
pennylane101 12th-Nov-2012 04:25 pm (UTC)
ok thx for putting it into perspective. i feel a bit better now if that makes any sense
lantean_breeze 12th-Nov-2012 06:29 am (UTC)
I think he's honestly doing what he can. He's been, is, and will be catching so much CRAP for being half-Black that I don't think he can afford to do more than he's doing now. Gays aren't the only minorities that are disappointed, but it is what it is.
cozmic_oceanz 12th-Nov-2012 12:50 pm (UTC)
Hmm, this isn't very surprising. Obama is pretty moderate when it comes to things like this. I knew he thought gay marriage should be up to the states for a while now. Is this really news.
pennylane101 12th-Nov-2012 01:35 pm (UTC)
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

THE FUCK????????
bnmc2005 12th-Nov-2012 03:10 pm (UTC)
I'm not too bothered. I didn't expect the legislative Executive branch to initiate anything. In the end it's going to have to be resolved in the courts.

What I expect os for the President and the Administration to not get in the way- and to appoint a Supreme Court justice who understands the meaning of the word, "justice".

ETA for the right word.

Edited at 2012-11-12 03:11 pm (UTC)
bnmc2005 12th-Nov-2012 03:14 pm (UTC)
And I don't think the president "hijacked" pride. He stated something very positive about Gay Marriage and you can't tell me that didn't have an influence on various local elections in a positive way. He's done some good stuff for gay rights. I'm not going to negate that for this.

crossfire 12th-Nov-2012 05:52 pm (UTC)
Rolling my eyes at this entire article, tbh.
jessyryan 12th-Nov-2012 07:23 pm (UTC)
It's not like he could get it passed if he tried.
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