On Wednesday President Obama affirmed his support for gay marriage in the United States before a T.V. audience with ABC News’ Robin Roberts.
Breaking away from his longstanding opposition to gay marriage and support for civil unions for gay and lesbian couples, Obama moved firmly to the left corner of his Democratic party and made it clear that he is willing to stand with them on the polarizing and political divisive issue.
“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,” Obama told Roberts.
With presidential elections only six months away, President Obama is appealing to wealthy liberal donors who are decidedly in support of gay marriage and want a presidential endorsement to gain more legitimacy in the minds of Americans.
However, Obama’s recent policy reversal with the simmering social issue of gay marriage will likely result in some new risks to his presidential campaign.
Obama is risking the potential votes of independent voters and socially conservative African American and Latinos who are not inclined to support gay marriage and are concerned about the erosion of traditional family values throughout the United States.
Although new polls are showing wider acceptance of gay marriage across the United States, thirty eight states have adopted prohibitions of same sex marriage. Opposition remains strong in the deep South, especially in some key battleground states such as North Carolina which recently voted to ban gay marriage.
A recent Pew Research Center poll showed that 1 in 3 swing voters in the South strongly opposes gay marriage. Recently, Colorado Republicans rejected a measure to approve civil unions in Colorado.
Since the gay right supporters of the Democratic party are not considering to jump ship and vote for Mitt Romney during the upcoming 2012 presidential elections, President Obama gains no new votes from liberals and yet he increases the chances of losing more potential votes to swing voters and independents who don’t support Obama’s latest endorsement of gay marriage.
Obama has demonstrated to social conservatives that his social policies are guided by shifting moral principles and wavering opinions. And that could become a liability for him during the final six months of the U.S. election season when the political circus comes to town and often turns rowdy.
One of the key weaknesses that likely Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has on his plate heading into the presidential elections is his past political record which contains some wavering social policies as a former U.S. governor with the issues of abortion, and mandatory state health care. Although Romney was pro-choice as governor, he is now firmly pro-life and opposes abortion. He also distances himself from mandated health care.
After Obama’s recent gay marriage endorsement on Wednesday, Mitt Romney could point out in a future presidential debate that President Obama is also guilty of showing mercurial traits concerning his social policies.
Although Obama said during the 2008 presidential campaign that he believes marriage is between a man and a woman, his Justice Department put an end to defending the Defense of Marriage Act which defines marriage as between a man and woman.
According to a 2011 study by the Center for Applied Research, there are 68.5 million registered Catholics in the United States.
The Catholic Church has remained steadfast in defending the definition of marriage between a man and a woman.
In January President Obama stirred up a hornet’s nest with U.S. Catholics after he appealed to his liberal base of the Democratic Party and ruled that religious institutions had to follow the same rules as other employers and provide free contraception (birth control) as part of health insurance coverage.
The view that the government would force Catholic hospitals to subsidize birth control did not sit well in the minds of many Catholics who grew increasingly uneasy with President Obama’s cavalier secular agenda and his blurring of the lines between church and state.
Mitt Romney, opposes gay marriage, and battled the highest state court while serving as governor and Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriage in 2004.
Yesterday during his presidential campaign tour, Romney spoke about his views of gay marriage.
“I indicated my view, which is I do not favor marriage between people of the same gender, and I do not favor civil unions if they are identical to marriage other than by name” Romney said.
“My view is the domestic-partnership benefits, hospital visitation rights, and the like are appropriate but that the others are not.”