Sunday, March 6, 2011

Recalculating the Odds: Obama and DOMA

By Ken Connor 

imageDuring his campaign, Candidate Barack Obama repeatedly cited his opposition to same sex marriage. On the Human Rights Campaign's 2008 Presidential Survey, he stated, "I do not support gay marriage. Marriage has religious and social connotations, and I consider marriage to be between a man and a woman." Despite his formerly firm convictions, the President has now decided that traditional marriage is no longer worth defending in the civil sphere. Having determined that the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act is apparently unconstitutional, he has directed the Department of Justice to stop defending the law in federal court.

What gives? If the President was being truthful in his campaign statements about the importance of traditional marriage and his opposition to same-sex marriage, why is he now acting as though he believes the opposite? Why is he harnessing the power of his office and influence to undermine a timeless and foundational social principle? Why is he jeopardizing the power of the states to address the issue of same-sex marriage as they see fit within their borders? What has changed in the last three years to set the President on this new and unprecedented course? …

The only thing that has changed with respect to the evolution of the President's new found position is his political calculus. Plainly and simply, the President believes that public sentiment is shifting increasingly in favor of same sex marriage, and he feels comfortable in moderating his stance. If the President is right and that shift is occurring, it will only be a matter of time before Mr. Obama drops the charade altogether and explicitly endorses the religious and social appropriateness of same-sex marriage.

Apparently, the only firm foundation for the President's convictions is the ever shifting tide of public opinion. That being the case, look for more such changes in the future. Read the rest …