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.
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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....

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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.
wrestlingdog 12th-Nov-2012 01:42 am (UTC)
Yeah, I definitely think the SCOTUS is going to decide this in the end.
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.
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.
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