Monday, May 26, 2008
Does Obama Support Gay Marriage?
National Review Online: The Senator's Response To Calif. Supreme Court Decision Is Telling
Barack Obama might be the first major candidate for president to support same-sex marriage.
He won’t say as much. His definition of a “new politics” is capacious enough to allow for pose and slipperiness (as long as he’s the one engaged in them). But his stance on a California supreme-court decision that ripped away any middle ground on the issue makes him operationally pro-gay marriage.
In California, a domestic-partnership law gives gay couples, in the words of the decision, “virtually all of the legal rights and responsibilities accorded married couples under California law.” But that’s not enough. Marriage must be redefined to include same-sex relationships. Any arrangement short of this is comparable to segregation: famously progressive California as Bull Connor’s Alabama.
In a carefully hedged statement, Obama said he “respects the decision of the California Supreme Court.” He respects a decision that disregarded the will of the people in California, as expressed by a 2000 referendum that defined marriage as between a man and a woman; he respects a decision that excoriated his own position of support for civil unions and (theoretical) opposition to same-sex marriage; he respects a decision that rejects the sort of political compromise he extols. It’s like a professed abolitionist in 1857 saying he “respects” the Dred Scott ruling.
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