OFA Opposes Minnesota Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Despite all evidence to the contrary, the myth that President Obama secretly opposes same-sex marriage persists among the liberal blogosphere. A theory supported, disappointingly, by some individuals whom I expect better of.

President Obama has a clear record of supporting equal marriage rights, from the imminent end of DOMA to the administration's support for affording benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees, and for ending discriminatory laws not related to marriage that are related to LGBT rights, such as the end of DADT.

Add to the list an official statement today from OFA that the president opposes a ballot initiative in Minnesota, which will appear on the November ballot, that would ban same-sex marriage.

The Obama campaign has announced its opposition to the marriage amendment that will be on the November ballot in Minnesota that would restrict marriage only to opposite-sex couples there, echoing a theme from its earlier opposition to such an amendment in North Carolina that will appear on the May primary ballot. [...]

According to a statement released today by Obama for America Minnesota Communications Director Kristin Sosanie, she said, "While the President does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the record is clear that the President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same sex couples."

In the statement provided to Metro Weekly, she continued, "That's what the Minnesota ballot initiative would do -- it would single out and discriminate against committed gay and lesbian couples -- and that's why the President does not support it."

The Obama campaign has chosen to oppose several ballot initiatives to ban same-sex marriage, one of which will appear on a general election ballot, yet somehow the theory that the Obama campaign doesn't want to make this a general election issue is still out there. Much to my dismay.

Given that the president has personally spoken the words that he supports equal marriage rights, and that the policies of his administration directly reflect that position, and that his campaign has taken these positions, I'm not sure what else he can do that wouldn't end up being the equivalent of wearing a flag lapel pin.

This president has been more friendly to the LGBT community than any previous president, and public opinion is already moving in the right direction without making the issue entirely about him.

  • muselet

    It’s a lot like the Right’s constant whingeing about how “Obama doesn’t believe in American exceptionalism!” even though Obama is the first president of any party actually to use those words. The people who believe he’s implacably opposed to marriage equality will never believe otherwise; the people who believe he doesn’t believe in American exceptionalism will never believe otherwise.

    Alas, that’s not false equivalence.


    • eljefejeff

      actually, it’s very different. If he spoke the words “I support gay marriage” or “I support marriage equality”, almost all who support gay marriage would be convinced that he actually does. Why? Because we’re progressives/liberals and our judgments and beliefs are based on facts. Conservatives ignore truth and evidence, which is why they don’t believe our president believes in american exceptonalism even when he repeatedly says he does.

      • muselet

        I don’t think it is materially different, and I don’t think the judgments and beliefs of progressives/liberals are necessarily fact-based (SEE: Greenwald, Glenn; SEE ALSO: Hamsher, Jane).

        I support marriage equality. Condemning people to second-class–citizen status is plain wrong, and it’s doubly wrong to do so just because a noisy subpopulation believes that gay sex is icky. I applaud the Obama Administration for pushing the repeal of DADT and I applaud the administration for deciding not to defend DOMA in court. The repeal of DADT was not an easy fight and it was one that politically benefitted the president hardly at all: the Right screeched that gays have cooties and should be kept out of the oh-so-manly military, while the ProLeft screeched that Obama should have issued an executive order on his first day in office. Likewise, not defending DOMA resulted in the Right screeching that it’s not the place of the executive branch to decide which laws to enforce or defend, while the ProLeft screeched that Obama should have issued an executive order on his first day in office.

        The political reality in 2012, with the House in the hands of the Rs and with the Senate having a small D majority (which becomes nonexistent when the self-described “centrists”—ever whimsical—decide they haven’t been sufficiently appeased that day), is that every forward step is an unnecessarily difficult chore, and President Obama speaking the words would change not one damn’ thing, with the possible exception of making his reelection that much more difficult.

        We have two political parties in the United States. The Republican Party is opposed to marriage equality—if memory serves, it’s even a plank in the party’s platform. The Democratic Party is, well, all over the place with regards to gay rights, but is generally supportive; at the least, Ds aren’t officially squicked by the mere existence of gay people.

        I would be delighted if President Obama declared flatly that he supports marriage equality, but I am perplexed by those who believe his solemnly intoning the proper magical incantation would change everything for the better—that’s not how government works, after all—and I would have expected that people would recall the old adage, “Actions speak louder than words.”

        (Yeah, yeah, easy for a pale, middle-aged, Kinsey 0 male to say.)

        I don’t blame anyone for wondering what it will take for the US to grow the hell up. I don’t blame anyone for being impatient with the glacial pace of change. We agree on the policy. We disagree on the power of a presidential pronouncement.


  • The activist yearns for freedom now. The president schedules his Emancipation Proclamation for the Republican National Convention.

  • stacib23

    they want a grand speech, from his lips daily

    Fixed it for ya.

  • ArrogantDemon

    They will not be happy until he says the words.

    He can do all these positive actions to push gay rights further than any president in recent history, they want a grand speech, from his lips, and out in the world, and nothing will do until them, thats how it is.

    I’m sorry to say, these types are acting like fucking babies

    • Scopedog

      “I’m sorry to say, these types are acting like fucking babies.”

      100% true.

    • JMAshby

      That’s the thing though, he has said the words. He said he supports equal marriage rights. What else does he need to do?

      • eljefejeff

        Ashby I know you post about this a lot, but I don’t remember actually seeing a quote from the president saying he supports equal marriage rights. Do you have a link?

        I know he isn’t defending DOMA and he opposes bills to erode rights such as the one in Minnesota, and I agree he’s clearly not being hostile to gays as previous administrations have been, and he’s definitely supported greater rights for gays. But as far as I’ve seen, he’s covering his bases so that he can appease as many voters as possible, so he uses phrases like “my views are evolving” so that he can still convince some who aren’t as comfortable that he isn’t totally on the gay marriage bandwagon. If he thinks that’s what he has to do to win re-election, I understand that, but whereas with pretty much every other issue he’s taken a clear and unequivocal stance, he appears as if he’s trying to have this one both ways.

        Just my opinion. It won’t affect how I vote in November.

        • JMAshby


          “every single American — gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, transgender — every single American deserves to be treated equally in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of our society. It’s a pretty simple proposition.”

          And you’re missing the point. Or maybe I’m not being clear enough. My point is this is another professional-left manufactured non-troversy. I don’t see a lot of complaining by the LGBT community. It’s mostly pro-left bloggers just making shit up.

          • eljefejeff

            I didn’t watch the whole thing but I didn’t catch where he said anything specific about supporting marriage equality. However he speaks about gay rights and equality in general in a way no president has before. He obviously completely accepts the gay lifestyle as legitimate and makes no apologies about it, not to mention all the real progress over which he presided for the past 3 years.

          • JMAshby


            “every single American — gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, transgender — every single American deserves to be treated equally in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of our society. It’s a pretty simple proposition.”

            I quoted it for you so you wouldn’t have to watch it.

            They deserve to be treated equally under the law.

            What else is there to say?

          • eljefejeff

            ok….like I said, he didn’t say anything about marriage, most likely on purpose. This man chooses his words very carefully. He says gays deserve to be “treated equally in the eyes of the law” because he knows that will satisfy the largest number of people….only far right social conservatives actually hate gays and think they’re subhuman, so that statement is not objectionable to most voters. OTOH, progressives hear him say that and draw the conclusion that he supports marriage equality even though he didn’t say it. It’s a win-win for the president. Sorry if I sound cynical, I’m just recognizing the reality of his campaign.

            I’m not pressing this issue anymore. I am convinced he’s on the side of gay rights, but I think it’s obvious he doesn’t yet feel comfortable specifically supporting gay marriage.

          • JMAshby

            You’re killing me.

            Equal treatment under the law IS about marriage.

    • eljefejeff

      fucking babies? Isn’t that a little excessive? I’m a straight white guy, not part of any oppressed minority, but it seems to me that gays, who as a group have been discriminated against for years, have a right to be a little skeptical when the president is on the record as saying he supports gay rights but opposes gay marriage, and then soldiers are actually discharged for being openly gay. They mistrusted him from that point on, and no, they aren’t totally satisfied when he simply doesn’t defend a discriminatory bill such as DOMA. They do want to hear him say the words, and I don’t blame them. If they withhold their votes over it, then yes, that reaches whiny crybaby status. Until then, cut them some slack. They’ve hidden who they are for centuries or millenia. Hell some of them have actually been killed for being gay. This is a sensitive subject for them.