At his "victory lap" press conference on Wednesday, the president revealed that his views on gay marriage are "evolving".
"My feelings are constantly evolving," Obama told reporters about his position on gay marriage.
"I have friends, I have people who work for me, who are in powerful long-lasting gay or lesbians unions," he said, acknowledging that same-sex marriage is "something that means a lot to them."
"My baseline is a strong civil union that affords them legal protections," the president said Wednesday, just before leaving for his Christmas vacation in Hawaii. "I recognize from their perspective, it's not enough."
Shouldn't the gays be celebrating now that Obama has single-handedly repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and hints at support for gay marriage? One reason this gay isn't doing back flips is that Obama's views on gay marriage have already evolved.
In a 1996 questionnaire filled out for a Chicago gay and lesbian newspaper, then called Outlines, Obama came out clearly in favor of same-sex marriage, which he has opposed on the public record throughout his short career in national politics.
A Chicago Gay and Lesbian newpaper, the Windy City Times, has unearthed a candidate issue survey written by then Illinois State Senate Candidate Barack Obama in 1996.
Take a look at number 6 (larger image available here):
"6) I favor legalizing same-sex marriages,and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages."
It's possible that an aide filled this out for him, and he didn't realize what he was signing. That's a claim he's made when other discrepancies between his current views and his prior statements have emerged. The problem is that he completed another candidate survey for IMPACT, then Chicago's main GLBT political action committee, around the same time. This survey was completed by hand.
Look at question 7 (larger image available here):
Do you support the Marriage Resolution, a statement of support for the right of same-gender individuals to marry:
"Because marriage is a basic human right and an individual personal choice,
RESOLVED, the state should not interfere with same-gender couples who [choose] to marry and share fully and equally in the rights, responsibilities and commitment of civil marriage."
If you do not support the resolution, will you at least oppose any attempts to outlaw same gender marriage and/or to ammend reciprocity agreements with states which permit same-gender marriage? Will you oppose any federal initiatives which attempt to over-ride certain state laws which allow same-gender marriage?
Obama's handwritten response:
I would support such a resolution.
Forgive me while I vomit as some try to paint his "evolution" as the logical outcome of a tortured and thoughtful reflection on his faith and political beliefs. This is the main reason why I have trouble believing anything that comes out of his mouth with respect to LGBT equality. He was for it before he was kinda against it before he was thinking about kinda being for it again.