General Question

alive's avatar

Obama on gay marriage?

Asked by alive (2923 points ) October 6th, 2009

Obama’s public stance as the President has been anti-gay marriage, pro-civil unions. He said this is due to his christian religious beliefs.
obama interview
and he was quoted in the Chicago Daily Tribune, saying, “I’m a Christian. And so, although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition, and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman.”

But despite his religious beliefs he still supports repealing the Defense of Marriage Act.

But, it is my understanding that prior to his presidential career, i.e. during the time he was running for the House, and when he served in the senate, he was perfectly fine supporting gay marriage.
see this link

Do you think he honestly disapproves of gay marriage (for religious reasons), or do you think this stance is a political move since during the campaign he advocated “working across the isle”?

I am confused. Please help!
Since I can’t ask Obama himself, I turn to you, oh great flutherites.

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23 Answers

SpatzieLover's avatar

Honestly, I don’t see why it matters what his stance is. He is the Prez. Gay marriage is a state issue.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

I think he actually is against it religiously, but who knows how he’ll act as the Pres. I think he is able to seperate the two pretty often.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

My instinct is the same as yours, @alive, that he honestly doesn’t care what people do in their own bedrooms or what people call what, and that he’d be fine with people being free to marry whomever they choose, but that he publicly says that he’s for “civil unions” because he doesn’t want to be called “radical” or “ultra-liberal”; moreover he wants to be seen as a “moderate”. I don’t have any evidence to support that except the same evidence you’ve presented in your link, and some other interviews & voting data I’ve seen that are along the same lines.

I disagree with the idea that the question isn’t relevant because he’s the president. In fact, I believe his stance is important because as the president he has a lot of informal political power and his public opinion influences the political climate.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@La_chica_gomela I used to think the same way “I believe his stance is important because as the president he has a lot of informal political power and his public opinion influences the political climate.”

But that argument and his opinion are moot in the Bible belt and with the Mormons in California.

eponymoushipster's avatar

he’s already married. why would he marry a dude now?

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

welcome to politics. name a president that actually told you how he felt in earnest about a subject? with this he’s merely trying to appeal to the largest demographics. and you do that by knowing ways to support both while not committing to either.

jonsblond's avatar

^^what he said^^

politics :(

SpatzieLover's avatar

@alive In both examples, he stated he’d support civil unions. I don’t believe he or Biden have ever strayed from their religious beliefs on this issue.

i.e. Neither cares what goes on in privacy. Both support a legal contract uniting a gay couple. Neither support changing the definition of marriage.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

@SpatzieLover: Okay, but there is more to America than the bible belt and Mormons in California… ;-)

wildpotato's avatar

I’d guess that he probably doesn’t care in a personal way about gay people getting married, and that he’s saying it as an effort towards bipartisanship. I can see why he’s doing it – he kind of has to – but it’s pretty upsetting that he’s backpedaling on this particular issue. I think Spatzie is right, he should just emphasize that it is an issue for states to decide.

fireinthepriory's avatar

After reading the first half of “Dreams from my Father” I was convinced that Obama was super liberal and definitely less moderate that he seems now. However I never got to finish it (it was my mom’s copy, maybe I’ll manage when I visit at Christmas) and after expressing how liberal I thought Obama “really” was to my brother, he said to me “You never got to finish Dreams of my Father, did you? He finds Jesus in the second half.” So, given that, I think I won’t be able to make up my opinion until I read the second half!

But in any case, I think that he certainly could be pro-gay marriage and keep that under wraps for the sake of appearing more moderate… Ugh, politics.

wundayatta's avatar

He’s a pragmatic politician. Every one of his policy positions that I’ve heard about strikes me as having much more than a passing influence by political considerations. While I think he is pushing the country in the right direction, mostly, I have never been certain that he can stand very strongly for what he appears to believe in. He is much more moderate, in my opinion, than Hillary is; and more pragmatic, as well. This is not necessarily a good thing.

cwilbur's avatar

I think Obama’s personal feelings on a subject rarely line up with what he says in public. I think that a large part of this is because he doesn’t want to fight over words, he wants to get things done.

Given the political climate in the country, and the loaded nature of the word “marriage,” he’s likely to get a lot farther if he doesn’t push as hard as he can for full marriage equality. Instead, he can have a public stance of being in favor of civil unions, and use that to work on abolishing things like DOMA, with the knowledge that if things continue in the same direction, in a few years marriage equality will be a done deal.

This isn’t limited to Obama, either; although George W. Bush was officially against same-sex marriage, towards the end of his term he refused to use it as a wedge issue, according to his speechwriter, saying ”I’m not going to tell some gay kid in the audience he can’t get married.

fireinthepriory's avatar

@cwilbur Wow. That actually makes me respect (ok, maybe not disrespect?) George W. somewhat. Aww.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

@fireinthepriory: Finish the book already!!! It’s really good! I wouldn’t say that he “finds Jesus” personally. The way I read it was almost like he found a way to connect with people socially and professionally, and that was through the institution of church. But really, read the book!!!!

SpatzieLover's avatar

@La_chica_gomela Yes there is more to America than those two groups…There are the Catholics-etc. Most states have some laws protecting civil unions already, others are working on it. People can choose where to reside based on these laws

tinyfaery's avatar

I’m pretty sure Obama is a member of the United Church if Christ, which is one of the first Christian churches to accept and perform gay marriages.

We can either call Obama a liar (his religion is not against it) or a pragmatic politician. I guess that’s the same thing.

fireinthepriory's avatar

@La_chica_gomela When I visit my mom at Thanksgiving I will! I hated stopping in the middle, but my mom was in the middle, too, so I couldn’t really steal it and bring it home with me. :) I’m excited to see how he gets from where I left off to where he is now(ish) – I had to stop essentially right after he moved to Chicago.

ubersiren's avatar

I don’t approve of any politician saying that he or she supports or opposes any issue based on their religion. It’s not only a kick in the face to those surrounding the issue (in this case, the gay community) but also those citizens who don’t practice the same religion.

Disc2021's avatar

As much as I love Obama, he’s still just another guy playing politics. Politicians do this – they wishy-wash on positions. So if it may seem like here he’s supporting gay marriage and there he’s not supporting it – be mindful of the fact that he has a political position/responsibility and everything/anything he says can and will affect his likability.

As far as what I think – I think internally, he wouldn’t it mind at all and I think it shows in his support for civil unions. However, his patriotism/faith has already been called out and questioned and enough folk are already terrified of the idea of having a dark skinned man in the head position of our country. He knows this and he knows for him to blatantly say that he’s in full support of gay marriage would just cause an unneeded disturbance in our country.

That, along with the idea that he has more important things to worry about at the moment is why I think he’s been the way he has about the issue. In time, I think the day will come in America when GBLT receive the same rights as anyone else and even if it is called a “civil union”, I could personally care less, the idea still remains the same along with the benefits.

Dr_C's avatar

@ABoyNamedBoobs03 i remember a president being truthful about one thing… Bill Clinton had no qualms about admitting and showing his love for Big Macs.

alive's avatar

wait… so did anybody read the obama book? what happens in the end??

does he start tipping to the right or what????

—-sooooo curious now!

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

A US president shouldn’t focus on supporting what their personal beliefs are, but what the majority of the country wants/needs. Obama may not believe in same-sex marriage, but it really doesn’t matter.

Currently, it is up to each state to decide whether it is acceptable or not. If you want to change the state laws, contact your state representatives, and let them know of your opinion.

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