It’s been 500 days since President Obama told our own Joe Sudbay that he’s “evolving” on the question of marriage equality for gay couples. Joe writes in the Huffington Post that it’s time for the President to finish his evolution (or even begin it).
Over the course of the campaign, the president will be asked again and again about his stance on marriage equality. With court cases moving through the system and marriage referenda on the ballots in five states, marriage equality is an issue in 2012. There’s no way to avoid it, especially when the president finds himself in North Carolina, Maryland, Maine, Washington, and Minnesota. There’s also a serious effort underway by Freedom to Marry to have marriage equality included in the Democratic platform, which many of the president’s campaign co-chairs support.
And yes, I get that the GOP candidates are in lockstep with the anti-gay organizations and that rhetorical gay-bashing will be a regular element of their nominee’s campaign. But that doesn’t mean Obama shouldn’t evolve.
I’m not sure the campaign has thought through the ramifications of not supporting marriage equality, and it’s pretty clear that paid advocates aren’t helping. If Obama doesn’t support marriage equality, he’ll probably get our votes but not our enthusiasm. That surely won’t motivate people to make that extra contribution or get up early to do another lit drop.
This is the last election cycle where the Democratic nominee can consider not supporting marriage equality. That position will be untenable in 2016. It should be untenable now. Obama can either be the first nominee to endorse same-sex marriage — or he’ll be the last Democratic nominee who didn’t.
So, I would like to convey a message to the president: It’s been 500 days since we spoke. It’s even clearer where the trend lines are going. We’re still not equal. Evolve already.