A screen grab of President Obama as he announces his support of same sex marriage.
After months of “evolving” his stance on gay marriage, President Obama came out with a resounding endorsement in gay marriage.
It’s unclear whether his hand was forced by his vice president Joe Biden and his education secretary Arne Duncan last week breaking ranks and coming out in support of marriage equality. Or perhaps it was the vote in North Carolina yesterday, in which voters approved Amendment 1, which bans gay marriage and civil unions and may curtail the rights of other couples, by a margin of 61 to 29 percent, making the southern state the 30th state to have some kind of law or statute that limits marriage to a union of one man and one woman.
Either way, there will be political ramifications on both sides. Candidate Barack Obama won North Carolina in the 2008 election and the Democratic National Convention is set to take place in the state’s largest city of Charlotte in September. Americans are divided on the issue, with 50 percent in support and 48 percent opposed to legalizing gay marriage according to a Gallup Poll released yesterday, but a significant swing towards support of the rights of same sex couples to marry has taken place in the last 8 years.
What’s your reaction to today’s news and how do you think it will affect President Obama as he begins his campaign for re-election?
Bill Rosendahl, Los Angeles City Councilman
Mark Armour, Los Angeles-based Democratic political consultant; worked with the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) on the No on Amendment One campaign in North Carolina and the No on Prop 8 campaign in California; president, Armour Media
Bill Schneider, resident fellow, Third Way; former political analyst, CNN, Los Angeles Times
Christian Berle, deputy executive director, Log Cabin Republicans, a national gay and lesbian Republican grassroots organization