I have no problem with this position as stated by Presidential Candidate Barack Obama to Reverend Rick Warren (ironically in California). Here is the transcript of that meeting. Personally, I would vote for same sex marriage. But I recognize that same sex has been around for a very long time, same sex marriage is something new. Unlike polygamy, it has not been recognized by any government or state until relatively recently. I do not like the idea of courts imposing this on us--I want to see it passed democratically--through legislative action or voter referendums/initiatives. And the right to define marriage by the state is illusory if the voters cannot reverse a decision by the legislature (and in this case within a matter of months). The offending Proposition 8 amendment is: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." That amendment did not, however, take away civil unions or the rights they provided under California law. Personally, I would not have voted for Proposition 8, but a majority of Californians did. If you want same sex marriage, you have the burden of convincing the voters it is a good idea. SEN. OBAMA: "I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman."
So I am willing to go farther than President Obama stated above. But I think we all know Barack Obama is also pandering above. If he thought it would help him get elected (or re-elected) he would probably adopt Dan Savage or Andrew Sullivan's position on gay marriage. If he thought it would cost him votes or support from his base, he would express a more restrictive view on same sex rights. At the same time, there are a lot of issues that Barack Obama wants to be transformative on. Dan Savage predicts a sudden "evolution" by Barack Obama following the 2012 election (assuming of course he is re-elected). Barack Obama has an agenda that he has not been open about with the American people.
Update: Boy or boy did Dan Savage predict that right. Look at this image that the left is now circulating about Barack Obama's same sex marriage position:
|Can you imagine the raaaaacist outrage if a publication on the right did this?|
The 9th Circuit just took the right of the citizens of California to define marriage away, claiming that it is discrimination to do so under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and there is no rational basis to define marriage this way. Does anyone really believe that when the 14th Amendment was ratified on July 9, 1868 it was done with the intent of guaranteeing same sex marriage? If that was the case, why did we need the 20th Amendment (ratified on August 18, 1920) to guarantee women had the right to vote? Why wasn't that covered by the 14th Amendment? Presumably there were people still alive when the 20th Amendment was ratified who remembered the ratification of the 14th Amendment.
Is there any rational reason for Proposition 8? Yes, the voters (at least a majority in California) thought the definition of marriage (that has been in place in the Western world for thousands of years) should be limited to one man, one woman. You might disagree, but it is not irrational. It is the same position that Barack Obama took above. But here is the part that really frosts me--it is terrible precedent to defer that much power to some unelected justices from the people and this is not good for same sex marriage: people are getting more used to same sex marriage. Are you telling me that it would not be possible to do another proposition in California to change that amendment to include same sex marriage? Isn't it better for the cause to allow this issue to pass democratically, as opposed to forcing it on people through the courts? Is this just a Pyhhric victory?
In 1878, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that polygamy violated criminal law and was not defensible as an exercise of religious liberty. In 1890, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints banned plural marriage. Utah became a state on January 4, 1896. A condition of Utah obtaining statehood was that it incorporate a ban on plural marriage in its state constitution. If there is no rational basis for a state defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman, why would there be a rational basis for banning plural marriage? Plural marriage, unlike same sex marriage, has existed for thousands of years. If it is between consenting adults, why should the state not allow people who engage in that the benefits of marriage. Most states still treat bigamy as a crime. If you leave it to the states and the voters, there is a natural societal tampering to the law to conform with society. If you leave it to a few justices (especially when they serve with life time appointments and are unelected), well anything is possible. And Barack Obama and the Democratic Party elites (and sadly a few Republican elites too) know and want that. They know better than us. Hey, we are just "bigger clingers."
But an interesting thing is going on. The press and his supporters are starting to catch on that Barack Obama is not playing this issue straight (so to speak). And it is not just gay marriage, Obama is disappointing his supporters on campaign finance rules, attacking the Catholic Church, engaging in economic policy that is stagnating growth, pandering to donors on Wall Street, Guantanamo (of course he hopes to make up for that with his progressive pals by releasing photos under "Bush's" regime), and taking positions that benefit a few of his very close "special" friends personally.
As the Washington Examiner noted:
Obama's decision to take advantage of campaign finance rules permitting superPACs, which he has decried as a "threat to our democracy," dominated the early part of the briefing. "What is the point of taking a principled stand and campaigning against something if then you switch course and abandon it for the sake of strategy?" the Associated Press's Ben Feller asked White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, who dodged the question and argued that Obama still opposed superPACs, but would not yield the fundraising advantage to Democrats...
The hypocrisy charge resurfaced when incredulous journalists asked Carney about Obama's thoughts on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturning the California ban on gay marriage. "[T]here’s a fundamental inconsistency -- correct me if I’m wrong -- if he says on one hand it’s up to the states to decide [their policy on gay marriage], but that those states who decide that they’re against it are divisive and discriminatory," one of the reporters said to Carney. "How is this not just complete hypocrisy if he’s saying that it’s up to states to decide but he won’t back a state that does make the decision?" Carney repeated his talking points of Obama opposing discrimination and refused to comment on the particular California case.So will the 9th Circuit decision be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court? There are likely four justices who would want to hear that case. Even if they agree with the rationale of 2 of the 3 justices who ruled on it, the Supreme Court is not going to give the 9th Circuit last word on the subject (the decision only pertains to California, but it obviously has huge implications for the rest of the country). Unlike the constitutionality of Obamacare, this issue is not probably not going to be heard before the election (unless the Supreme Court declines to accept the case, which I think is unlikely).
Will any of this matter in the general election? I hope so. Can you imagine the impact to the Supreme Court if Barack Obama gets to replace one of two of the conservative justices? And Barack Obama being re-elected will have a huge impact on the federal appeals courts (like the 9th Circuit). But Barack Obama's re-election will likely turn on the state of the national economy in 2012. While growth in most of the country remains mostly stagnant, he may ironically be saved by an industry he has openly opposed. There is growth in the United States in the oil and natural gas energy sector. Many places in North Dakota are roaring boom towns economically. North Dakota produced over 500,000 barrels of oil in December 2011.
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Obama makes the Koch Brothers enemies of the state.
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Was the contraception conflict with the Catholic Bishops just a trap for the GOP? Perhaps in part but that hardly explains the rest of what Barack Obama is engaged in.
Mark Steyn: Obama goes Henry VIII on the Church
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Obama hostility to the oil and coal industries...