BREAKING: President Obama supports marriage equality

On October 27, 2010, I asked the President Obama what his position was on same-sex marriage.  He told me that his position was evolving.  Today, Barack Obama’s evolution on marriage equality is complete.

 President Obama has told ABC News that “same sex marriage should be legal…. I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.”  (ABC has the video.)

Obama became the first President of the United States to support marriage equality. It’s a very welcome development. As you know, the President first announced that he was evolving during our interview on October 27, 2010. In response to my question, the President said:

I think it’s a fair question to ask. I think that — I am a strong supporter of civil unions. As you say, I have been to this point unwilling to sign on to same-sex marriage primarily because of my understandings of the traditional definitions of marriage. But I also think you’re right that attitudes evolve, including mine. And I think that it is an issue that I wrestle with and think about because I have a whole host of friends who are in gay partnerships. I have staff members who are in committed, monogamous relationships, who are raising children, who are wonderful parents. And I care about them deeply. And so while I’m not prepared to reverse myself here, sitting in the Roosevelt Room at 3:30 in the afternoon, I think it’s fair to say that it’s something that I think a lot about. That’s probably the best you’ll do out of me today.

I told the President that if our relationships weren’t treated like everyone else’s, we aren’t equal. Today, he acknowledged that we are.

Now, this doesn’t change any law or over rule any constitutional amendment. It’s symbolic. But, it certainly feels different to know that, for the first time, our President thinks our relationships are equal.

During our interview, the President said, “The one thing I will say today is I think it’s pretty clear where the trendlines are going.” Now, he’s with the trend. And, our talk concluded:

Q The arc of history. THE PRESIDENT: The arc of history.

Yep. The arc of history. And, I’m honored to have played a small role in this. (h/t to ThinkProgress for the transcript of today’s interview.)

——

NOTE FROM JOHN: A few points.  First, this is major news and these aren’t “just words.”  When the President of the United States makes a statement about an issue this big, the words have impact.  They can impact court cases around the country, and just as importantly, people’s attitudes. Those attitudes matter at the ballot box and in the schoolyard.  The President’s opinion matters.  This is an important day for gays and lesbians, our allies, and for all Americans who believe that our country stands for more than cheap political slogans.  Today we showed that it does.

________________________

UPDATE:

Here’s the photo from the October 27, 2010 interview. The other bloggers from left to right are John Amato, Oliver Willis, Duncan Black, Barb Morrill. To the President’s left are Jesse Lee and Macon Phillips from the White House.

Five progressive bloggers interview President Obama in October, 2010.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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