I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors, when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together; when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.
It’s interesting to make this announcement the day after North Carolina became the 31st state to pass a marriage amendment. He won North Carolina in 2008, but speaking in favor of a policy that North Carolinians soundly rejected won’t help him him in what many are seeing as a battle ground state. The Democratic National Convention will be held in Charlotte, NC this summer as well. While Mitt Romney has not been outspoken on this issue; he has taken the opposite position. Romney said to ABC News, “My view is that marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman. That’s the position I’ve had for some time, and I don’t intend to make any adjustments at this point. … Or ever, by the way.” Even though he has stated opposition to same-sex marriage in the past it was pointed out today that he has promoted the gay-rights agenda and was headed down this road.
“The announcement today by President Obama should come as no surprise to the American public,” former GOP Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum said in a statement made earlier today. “President Obama has consistently fought against protecting the institution of marriage from radical social engineering at both the state and federal level. The President recently opposed the North Carolina constitutional amendment and, of course, he refused to defend President Clinton’s Defense of Marriage Act before the U.S. Supreme court. The charade is now over, no doubt an attempt to galvanize his core hard left supporters in advance of the November election.”
This position is sure to become an issue in Iowa which is also expected to be a battleground state in the general election. A.J. Spiker, the chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa said today, “Marriage is an institution that can only be between one man and one woman. While President Obama continues to play politics, the Republican Party of Iowa will continue to support maintaining the traditional view of marriage as between one man and one woman.”
It would seem that President Obama has thrown open the door to social issues to play a role in the upcoming election. Establishment Republicans are afraid this will be a distraction, but it could very well come back to bite him in November considering recent voter turnout when the issue has been on the ballot.