Is President Obama’s “evolution” on same sex marriage finally complete? His call for the legalization of same-sex marriage yesterday is an historic and tragic milestone. An incumbent President of the United States has now called for a transformation of civilization’s central institution. And yet, no observer of this President could be surprised. The arrival of this announcement was only a matter of time.
He then reflects on the timing, and the President’s waffling position as a matter of character:
Why now? The Washington Post reports that he was under intense pressure from many Democrats, including his major campaign fundraisers. According to the paper’s report, one in six of the President’s major “bundlers,” or fundraisers, is a self-identified homosexual.
The immediate pressure came after Vice President Joe Biden said last Sunday that he was “completely comfortable” with same-sex marriage. The Vice President’s statement on the issue delivered full support for same-sex marriage. On Monday, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan followed Biden’s lead.
The President was under intense pressure within his party, but the issue quickly turned into an issue of presidential character. No one made this point more directly than Ruth Marcus of The Washington Post, in a column that ran yesterday morning. “Same-sex marriage is turning into a test of character and leadership for President Obama,” she wrote. “Does he favor it, or doesn’t he? In the wake of Vice President Biden’s remarks supportive of marriage equality, the continued presidential equivocation makes Obama look weak and evasive”
She wasn’t finished. “The longer Obama waits, the worse he looks. The President’s first stall tactic, that he is ‘evolving’ on the issue, doesn’t cut it anymore. Even Darwin would have lost patience by now. His second approach, the not-gonna-make-news-for-you-today cop-out, has also worn thin. If you wonder whether the President actually opposes same-sex marriage, doesn’t evolution imply change? And if you think perhaps he’s still conflicted — well, that’s hardly an advertisement to be leader of the free world. At this point, Obama’s reticence is looking cowardly.”
And he concludes…
He made his statement the day after voters in North Carolina voted overwhelmingly in support of defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman — the 30th state to have taken such action.
Honesty is the best policy, and the President has now made his position clear. He is again for what he was until today against, but that was only after he was for it before. The American people will have to unravel that as an issue of character. He is hardly the first politician to find himself holding to an “evolving” position on an issue of fundamental importance. Most politicians, however, do their best to avoid the kind of situation in which the President found himself on this issue.
In any event, the fact remains that the President of the United States has now put himself publicly on the line for the radical redefinition of marriage, subverting society’s most central institution.
Mr. Mohler is right, it is, indeed, a sad day for marriage.