AC 360: Obama's Devolution on Marriage Equality
by Dan Savage
on Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 8:32 AM
Anderson Cooper walks us through the president's long, slow, and insulting ("God is in the mix") walk-back of his support for marriage equality:
Totally maddening. I agree 100% with Cleve. But I gotta say...
It's true that a slight-but-growing majority of Americans support marriage equality. But that SBG majority isn't evenly spread throughout the country. There's the electoral college to think about, the state-by-state battle for the White House. And the electoral college, like the U.S. Senate, is a powerfully anti-Democratic institution. Something can poll well nationally—single payer, abortion rights, gun control—and still be blocked. Again, I'd like to see the president evolve—evolve back, evolve quickly, evolve tonight—to his previous position on marriage equality. But is it wise to do so in this election cycle? Andrew Cuomo is clearly betting that support for marriage equality will be an asset when he runs for president in 2016 or 2020. But what about now? What about 2012?
I'm not making excuses for the president. I think we should press him, and other opponents of marriage equality, because we got that SBG majority on marriage equality by pressing, marching, arguing, suing, and demonstrating. But... if the president doesn't endorse marriage equality and loses the election, Obama lost the election. If he endorses marriage equality and loses the election, the gays lost the election. Even if it wasn't marriage equality that lost the election, even if it was the economy or the wars or irresistibility of the Cain/Santorum ticket, we will be blamed.