- The Washington Times - Friday, May 11, 2012

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

President Obama’s newly adopted stance regarding same-sex “marriage” is overhyped. “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,” he said. This convoluted statement merely reflects that he was forced to come out because he needs his extremist base in an election year.

Voluble Vice President Joe Biden unexpectedly pulled the issue into the spotlight with his own personal declaration on a weekend news show, a blunder for which he apologized. Mr. Obama was seeking to motivate openly homosexual fundraisers who were holding back on their efforts until they saw movement on the issue. So rather than a profile in courage, the change in position was exposed for being what it is: election-year expediency.

Mr. Obama’s personal declaration has no legal relevance. The White House has resisted signing a proposed executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. In his supposedly historic statement, the president added that he continues to believe, “this is an issue that’s going to be worked out at the local level because historically this has not been a federal issue.” In this respect, he is in line with many conservatives who argue that the matter should be left up to the states, where - by the way - 31 governments already have passed bans on homosexual “marriage.” If Mr. Obama applied this state-centric logic to the rest of his big-government thinking, the national debt wouldn’t be $15.7 trillion.

The statement came a day after voters in North Carolina approved a state constitutional amendment affirming that “marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.” Robin Roberts of ABC News called Mr. Obama on this, saying his approach in essence validated the outcome in the Tar Heel State. The president equivocated, explaining, “different states are coming to different conclusions” and suggested many supporters of such measures “are not coming at it from a mean-spirited perspective.” For the most part, homosexual activists and the liberal media are pretending to ignore this transparent attempt at triangulation.

Appearing to take a stand for same-sex “marriage” temporarily roused the Democratic base, but overall it will hurt Mr. Obama’s re-election effort. The issue has the potential to be a boon for Republicans. While the Romney campaign would rather not take attention away from the limping economy, defending traditional marriage can serve as a rallying point for conservatives nursing grudges after the contentious GOP primary contest.

The Obama team was trying to avoid the issue because it’s a liability in critical swing states. In 2008, Mr. Obama won seven states - Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Florida and Minnesota - that either have state laws or constitutional amendments banning same-sex unions. Together, they represent 117 electoral votes. Mr. Obama cannot win in November without most or all of them. While this controversy may not be decisive this year - the dismal economy is much more pressing with most voters - the issue clearly doesn’t help the president.

The Washington Times

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