Christmas Eve day, on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Vice President Joe Biden said there was an “inevitability for a national consensus on gay marriage”.
“I think the country’s evolving,” he said. “And I think you’re going to see, you know, the next effort is probably going to be to deal with so called DOMA [Defence of Marriage Act].”
DOMA prohibits the federal government from recognizing gay marriage, meaning that even if states allow the practice, gay couples still cannot access federal benefits.
President Obama was asked about his position in the gay marriage debate merely hours after signing the repeal for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The president gave a simple, but honest answer claiming he was still considering the issue of marriage equality.
President Obama followed with, “This is an issue that I’m still wrestling with, others are still wrestling with,” he said.
“What I know is that at minimum, a baseline is that there has to be a strong, robust civil union available to all gay and lesbian couples.”
Obama’s statements regarding consideration to gay marriage certainly support Vice President Biden’s observation of evolving feelings toward equality. After all, during his campaign, Obama was clear he disagreed with DOMA, but also asserted his disapproval for gay marriage.
Lefty presidents in recent years have struggled with this issue. President Bill Clinton created the now repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy for the military, and President Obama promised repeatedly in his 2008 campaign for the presidency that his administration would have a more supportive attitude toward gays. But gay rights groups also have said frequently they have been disappointed with the administration’s performance on this issue.
We’ll have to wait to see whether the Obama Administration will advocate for gay marriage just after what American history will remember as a landmark decision to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. One thing is clear: in the wake of uncertainty, the issue is not going away and the Obama Administration will have to decide how they intend to handle it.
What do you think? Do you believe the Obama Administration will legalize gay marriage during his presidency?
Shana Sureck for The New York Times
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