Social Question

Linda_Owl's avatar

Do you think that Obama coming out & saying that he favors gay people being able to marry, will it help his campaign or will it affect him negatively?

Asked by Linda_Owl (7707 points ) May 10th, 2012

All things considered, especially the rabid right-wing conservative pro-religion, pro-strict interpretation of the Bible individuals ~ will Obama’s statement that people should be able to marry who they want to marry, hurt his election chances in November – or will it help his chances to be re-elected? Do you think it will help Romney win the election (Romney is still firmly against gays being able to marry)?

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39 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

Obama’s best voters are people who already feel passionately about these things. He definitely has already solidified the young and gay vote. And it’s not just gay people, it’s their families and the people that know gay people, the same reason why anti-gay people lose votes.

josie's avatar

It won’t make any difference one way or the other. And he had polling data evidence that it would not before he ever made the announcement.
Anyway, regarding the policy’s legal status, it is not a decision that any president will make on his own anyway. It is simply a way to shake loose some campaign money.

tedd's avatar

I don’t think it will help or hurt the number of voters coming out for either side. Most the people who disagree with him were already going to vote against him, and their increased turnout will likely be offset by the increased turnout on the other side of the argument.

One thing it will definitely do though, is excite the bases on both sides.

syz's avatar

Whether it’s true or not, in order to maintain my sanity, I have to believe that the racist, misogynistic, bigoted, and hateful idiots are just the loudest part of our population and so get more than their fair share of media coverage. If so, then Obama should easily win.

If I am mistaken, you’ll know it’s me when you hear the news of a sharp shooter on the water tower.

Jaxk's avatar

Always a calculated response. The country is fairly split on the issue. He may pick up some and he may lose some. The real intention here is to gain some financial support and to change the conversation. Obama doesn’t want to talk about the economy, so anything he can do to get us talking about something else will help him. At least I believe that is the strategy.

Paradox25's avatar

It’s not going to make that much of a difference because people who are passionate about gay rights issues will almost definitely not vote Republican. I do know of many gays/lesbians who are upset with Obama on this issue, and they might be sceptical with his about face close to election time, but they will support Obama here regardless.

Qingu's avatar

@Jaxk, “Obama doesn’t want to talk about the economy,”

That’s almost all he’s been talking up until this point. As you’re well aware.

elbanditoroso's avatar

it will be a net positive, but with minimal effect.

People who hated him before weren’t going to vote for him anyway; this is not going to change their minds.

People who liked him before aren’t going change their minds and vote for someone else.

The only people whose minds will change are those people who wanted him to more for the gay rights movement, and who were pissed off that he hadn’t move things forward. That group is now happier. But they were probably pro-Obama anyway.

The main thing this changed is that now the democrats have a GREAT issue to bash the republicans on and the republicans don’t really have a great response.

Qingu's avatar

I do love how Fox News reacted:

“OBAMA FLIP FLOPS, DECLARES WAR ON MARRIAGE”

mowens's avatar

So, i’m gay. I voted against Obama last time, and this time, I haven’t decided yet. However, if he was going for votes… he picked the wrong demographic to go after. There aren’t a lot of us…. but we can be very loud. I think he did this because it was the right thing to do. For this I respect him, but I haven’t decided if he is getting my vote yet or not.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@elbanditoroso I don’t know. I have something of a hard time feeling really happy with this. After all these years, it feels less like a win of any kind than Obama asking for a donation for doing the bare minimum of basic human decency. DADT – that felt like standing up for GLBs. I’ll vote for Obama either way, because my other option is freaking Romney, but this actually makes me a bit more uneasy with Obama, not less.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

My nephew posted a statement on FB along the same vein as this question. Here it is:
Yes, North Caroline sucks for their decision, and no, it’s not a coincidence the president chose to voice his stance on the issue so close to election time.

Here is my response: I’m not so sure that it is a coincidence that Obama chose this time to voice his evolving opinon. His public announcement might may influence a few one way or another, but most US citizens already have their vote cast by their leanings towards a particular party. The shift in voting for one political party candidate over another based upon an opinion change, such as this, isn’t likely to move the needle. It often takes a scandal prior to election to change a citizen’s mind on who they cast their vote for. This is not a scandal, nor is it a statement of his political stance.

tinyfaery's avatar

He had no choice. He has to win back the voters who felt he did not keep his promises. I’m sure the big bash at Clooney’s tonight has nothing to do with it.~

It is going to mess up my commute home today.

cookieman's avatar

@tinyfaery: Perhaps you could stop by George’s for a drink? ;^)

ucme's avatar

I think it paves the way for he & Biden to make sweet, sweet love & run away together….New Mexico being a likely destination.

ragingloli's avatar

Hussein Obama admits that he supports gay “marriage”.
Is there any more proof needed to show Hussein Obama is the most anti-American, liberal terrorist demoncrat ever? Hussein Obama should just concede now, he just lost all of the American straight vote.” – Guy_des-Lusignan, jyver.com

Blackberry's avatar

Why are some people so stupid? This hurts my brain.

nikipedia's avatar

Don’t know if it will help him but he did the right thing. Again.

Sunny2's avatar

@Linda_Owl Romney is against gays marrying, but thinks they should have the right to raise children, according to NPR today.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Romney denies beating up gay kids when he was in high school….

augustlan's avatar

I was just talking about this with my step-son, who asked if I thought he did it to gain votes. It seems to me that he might actually lose votes, because there’s a pretty significant portion of black and Latino voters who are very religious. If I recall, a lot of them voted for Prop 8 in California. He risks losing some of their votes. He already had the gay voters, pretty much. I’d like to think he did it because it was the right thing to do, regardless of the outcome.

Also: [mod says] This is our Question of the Day!

JLeslie's avatar

I agree with @augustlan, she took the words right out of my mouth. There are a lot of black voters where I live who vote Democrat, but are socially very conservative. They are not going to like Obama supporting gay marriage. My facebook lit up with comments from black people when “don’t ask don’t tell” was in the news saying things akin to a gay bunkmate is not going to be tolerated by a straight one. Seriously, it was like they thought gay people had no self control. My response was always, if I had to share a room with a straight man who I trained with, fight with, and respect, I would assume he would respect me and not try to rape me. I mean, come on! Many black people also seem very offended at terming gay marriage as a civil rights issue – I think it is a civil rights issue. As far as Hispanics, I am not sure, it depends on the Hispanic person. Well, it depends on the black person too obviously. I do think it could cause some people in those minority groups to not bother to come out and vote.

On the other hand, a bunch of us who had been annoyed with Obama on several of his decisions, but who had voted for him, are thrilled he has officially said he supports gay marriage! I think it will help him raise money. I don’t know what he will really do in a practical sense? Is he going to try and pass a federal law now?

bkcunningham's avatar

I think Obama will lose more votes than he gets on this one. What I think is more interesting than Obama’s evolution, is how the Democrats will handle the choice of their location for the Democratic National Convention in September.

AngryWhiteMale's avatar

No, @augustlan, I don’t think he “already had the gay voters.” His waffling was actually pissing off the gay community, and they were starting to turn off the spigot where donations were concerned. I think that, combined with other factors, prompted the administration to send Biden out to test a trial balloon with the statement of support for gay marriage. When the response from the media/public/electorate was measured, Obama then came out to state his opinion on the matter. Note, his opinion. Not any support for legislation, executive orders, or federal actions. In fact, he is leaving this to the states.

His opinion had the desired effect; many of my gay friends are now saying they’ll vote for him this fall, based on Obama’s statement of his personal opinion, and not much else.

I think those that would vote against him based on this opinion about marriage were probably people who weren’t going to vote for him anyway, and most of those people live in states he wasn’t going to win anyway. In the end, the election will be won or lost due to other factors, such as the economy.

ETpro's avatar

We’ve got lots of opinions here, and lots of them make great sense. I’d like to address the OP premise that the Christian Conservatives so against same-sex marriage are ”...pro-strict interpretation of the Bible…” I do not think that’s true. A more accurate statement would be that like their supposed support of strict interpretation of the Constitution, they strictly limit what parts they wish to read, and which they prefer to ignore.

They very much like Leviticus 20:13, which says “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” Being as they personally have no interest in lying with a man as with a woman, this one’s a piece of cake to support—and cram down the throats of people who feel otherwise.

They don’t so much like:
Leviticus 11: 4 Nevertheless these shall ye not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof: [as] the camel, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he [is] unclean unto you.

5 And the coney, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he [is] unclean unto you.

6 And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he [is] unclean unto you.

7 And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he [is] unclean to you.

8 Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they [are] unclean to you.

9 These shall ye eat of all that [are] in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat.

10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which [is] in the waters, they [shall be] an abomination unto you:

11 They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination.

12 Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that [shall be] an abomination unto you.

13 And these [are they which] ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they [are] an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray,

14 And the vulture, and the kite after his kind;

15 Every raven after his kind;

16 And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind,

17 And the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl,

18 And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle,

19 And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.

20 All fowls that creep, going upon [all] four, [shall be] an abomination unto you.

So eating bacon, or having a ham sandwich, or going to Red Lobster all all abominations. They all call for being stoned to death.

Forget that God said in Genisis 9:3–4: “Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant. Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.

God changed his mind, I guess.

Moreover, Christian “strict interpretationists” don’t like the prohibitions against wearing mixed fibers, or planting mixed seeds. These too are abominations worthy of stoning to death under the Law. But these “strict interpretationists” like to wear cotton polyester Permapress and eat at Red Lobster.

They aren’t too keen on Jesus’ admonition to care for the poor, either. They’re much more into building mega-churches and massive off-shore bank accounts, and blessing all others who do so.

OK, that’s my rant about that. The reeking hypocrisy of it really annoys me, because while these Bible thumpers seek to destroy other people’s lives for being a little different from them, they seem to be completely clueless about what the book they base all their judgementalism on actually says.

likipie's avatar

Depends on which side you’re on. For people that agree with him, it helps. For people that don’t agree with him it will hurt. Simple.

ETpro's avatar

@likipie The question is which constituency is larger, isn’t it? In the latest national poling 53% of Americans favor marriage equality and 40% favor discrimination. But of that 40%, many go to churches where their preacher man will whip them into a froth of fear and hate. They will be told that this will destroy traditional marriage (as if polygamy wasn’t a part of “traditional marriage” before the 1860s). They will be told it will bring God’s judgement on America, that straights will catch the gay, that men will marry dogs and elope with cattle, and that the nation’s teachers and Boy Scout leaders will start indoctrinating their kids into the gay lifestyle. They will be told that AIDS is God;s judgement on the abomination of being LBGT and that the virus will never be defeated because God causes it to mutate before a vaccine can be created.

The gay community has no such hate and bigotry apparatus to whip their supporters into action. So it will all come down to which side turns out the most voters at the polls. So far, in state referenda, it’s been no contest. .The bigots have won every time. But Dr King was right when he said, “The moral arc of the universe is long but it bends towards justice.”

augustlan's avatar

@AngryWhiteMale But who else were your gay friends going to vote for? I can’t imagine very many of them would have jumped ship and voted Republican. Obama may not have fully met all their hopes, but he’s a damn sight closer than Romney. Or are you saying they just weren’t going to vote at all?

JLeslie's avatar

@AngryWhiteMale I agree some donors were holding back, but in terms of the electoral vote I would say maybe the only swing state the gay vote matters in is FL. The rest of the states with a decent size gay population and supporters are pretty blue. I think the last stat I read was the gay population is about 2% of the US population. They count, don’t get me wrong, but mostly because we have an electoral college rather than a direct popular vote.

Qingu's avatar

Who knows if he’ll actually lose socially conservative black and Latino votes over this? I mean maybe his (belated) support of gay rights will help lead those communities to become more tolerant. He’s certainly a role model for many people of color.

I think his “conversion story” of his supposed evolution is probably fictional—I seriously doubt that Obama was ever actually opposed to gay marriage, only that he had to say he was for political reasons. But at the same time, the story he tells probably resonates with a lot of people who are on the fence about gay marriage. There are a lot of people who probably oppose gay marriage by default, without really thinking about it, but then start having doubts when they hear stories about gay monogamous couples raising normal children. Maybe Obama’s framing of the issue will end up being the push they need to just join the 21st century and accept it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Obama is no chicken, I’ll say that. He took a stand against a very popular (albeit ridiculous) sentiment of anti-gay marriage. He did it knowing full well that it might cost him votes. If he was a weeny, he could have just kept quiet, but he didn’t.

I don’t know how Obama actually feels about it, but since we’re roughly the same age, I can tell you that “evolving” is a good term for coming to a decision. Growing up I’d never thought even thought about gay people, and there is a good chance that he didn’t either. It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s or 40’s that I realized there was even an issue. At that point I felt that it made no evolutionary sense. I wasn’t shocked or disgusted, just puzzled. Since then, I have evolved enough to say, “Hey. Live and let live.”

ragingloli's avatar

well, before his election, he was for gay marriage. during the election, he was against gay marriage, and supported domestic partnerships instead. now he is for gay marriage again.
I would not call this evolution, but bumbling around.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@ragingloli Do you have some citations for us?

Qingu's avatar

I have trouble deciding if it was just cynical pandering on Obama’s part to shift to anti-gay marriage during the 2008 election, or if it was an earnest outgrowth of his naive desire to be “bipartisan” and respect the views of idiots who believe for religious reasons that marriage is between a man and a woman. Maybe it’s both.

JLeslie's avatar

@Qingu What about the portion of the black vote who had never voted before the Obama McCain run? Do you think they will go back to the polls easily, willingly, this time? Or, do they need to be motivated and focused on? Regardless of the gay marriage issue?

Qingu's avatar

I dunno. I believe Obama is still quite popular with blacks in general.

There are two segments of black voters that are relevant to my point:
1. Black voters who will not vote for Obama because he supports gay marriage
2. Black voters who are opposed/ambivalent about gay marriage but who now support it because Obama does.

This is just a guess but I’m guessing the population of #2 is at least as large as #1. And chances are that the voters in #1 probably didn’t vote for Obama anyway, because if you feel that strongly about being anti-gay, chances are you are a Republican (black Republicans do exist).

JLeslie's avatar

@Qingu My only disagreement with your statement is the blacks who are Republicans already probably were very politcially tuned in and already voting Republican. Most of the black people who voted for the first time I would guess voted for Obama, and are more likely to be Democrats. Just a guess. A generalization. My black friends (really acquaintances, I don’t know them very well) who are Republicans feed on Fox news and all the propoganda that circulates.

AngryWhiteMale's avatar

@JLeslie, good point about the Electoral College, but these days, elections are all about money, and any money that’s not coming in can make a difference. Besides, the electoral college still depends to a degree on the popular vote, and Obama has pissed off enough on the left that many are contemplating staying home, or at least not pulling the lever next to his name. If you add in gays to that mix, the numbers could hemorrhage enough it could make a difference…

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