President Obama finally announced that he supports gay marriage, but was there a reason behind his so-called 'evolution'? Maybe. About 1 in 6 of Obama's key financial supporters are gay and naturally, they wanted the president to support gay marriage. When Vice President Biden announced on Sunday that he supported gay marriage, the pressure for Obama to publicly endorse gay marriage increased dramatically. Along with his support, he added that he still feels it is the responsibility of each state to make the rules regarding same-sex marriage.
Deciding to publicly support gay marriage was a no-brainer for the president. Polls show that the American public is also evolving on their view of gay marriage. Some of his biggest supporters, black Americans, are the most undecided on the issue with only 42 percent supportive and 55 percent opposing. The Washington Post said, "The political upside of coming out in support of gay marriage is simply not as high as the political downside of coming out in support of gay marriage." Now that he has come out in support, will there be a political downside? Unlikely, the people who were upset about his lack of support for same-sex marriage weren't likely to vote for Romney anyway. If anything, this will bring in more support for Obama's re-election.
In another Washington Post article written just days before President Obama announced his support, it was clear that pressure was mounting. "Some leading gay and progressive donors are so angry over Obama's refusal to sign an executive order barring same-sex discrimination by federal contractors that they are refusing to give any more money to the pro-Obama super PAC," wrote Greg Sargent. Surely this election was viewed as a great time to exercise some financial muscle and get the president to speak up.
There's little doubt that the combination of VP Biden's comments, the actions of key financial backers and the support of most Americans created a perfect storm of sorts, good timing for the president to make his support public. Is the timing questionable? Probably. 48 hours before Obama's announcement, Paul Yandura, political adviser to gay philanthropist and leading Democratic fundraiser, Jonathan Lewis, sent the following email to Greg Sargent:
"A number of gay and progressive donors, unsolicited, have indicated to us that they aren't considering requests to donate to the Obama SuperPac because of the president's refusal to the sign the order. And those are high-dollar asks, some in the seven digits. We have heard from at least half a dozen major gay and progressive donors that they stand united with us. There is still time for the President to do the right thing and sign this executive order, our great hope is that he does so immediately."
The threat of action was definitely there, and the timing might be telling. Isn't that the point of donating, to help elect leaders who share your views? No matter what motivated President Obama to make the announcement, it's a good thing. It has no bearing on any laws and it won't force any churches or people to perform gay marriages. However, it sends out a message of fairness and of love and it's admirable that he can admit he changed his mind. As for people who object because of religion, if it is against God's wishes, He will take it up with them later.
Â© Margie Wilson-Mars 2012