“I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors, when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together; when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, 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 [Robin] Roberts in an interview to appear on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Thursday.
Obama took this position the day after voters in North Carolina approved a constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage and civil unions in the state.
Obama’s Republican opponent in the 2012 election, Mitt Romney, opposes the legalization of same-sex marriage.
Even aside from the marriage issue, Romney hasn’t exactly been a profile in courage when it comes to equal rights for gays. His openly-gay foreign policy spokesman, Ric Grennell, resigned from the campaign under pressure from social conservatives. Romney’s people urged Grennell not to quit. But Romney himself– who could have used the opportunity to denounce the anti-gay elements on the Republican right and have his own Sister Souljah moment– chose not to take that route.
One of the gay bashers whom Romney declined to challenge on the Grennell matter was Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association. None other than Fischer himself mocked Romney for his cowardice:
If Mitt Romney can be pushed around, intimidated, coerced, co-opted by a conservative radio talk show host in Middle America, then how is he going to stand up to the Chinese? How is he going to stand up to Putin? How is he going to stand up to North Korea if he can be pushed around by a yokel like me? I don’t think Romney is realizing the doubts that this begins to raise about his leadership.
He said it. I didn’t.