President Obama put in his support for same sex marriage after having his hand forced by Vice President Joe Biden. Many republicans are claiming this was a calculated strategy to garner more support from moderates and younger voters whose views on social issues are more liberal. A May 2011 Gallup poll showed 53% of those polled supported same sex marriage, where 45% did not.
Obama was clear about being against gay marriage in 2008 when he was first elected. Obama flip-flopping on a major issue is music to Romney’s ears.
In an interview with MTV in 2008, Obama said, "I’ve stated my opposition to this. I think it’s unnecessary," Obama told MTV. "I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage. But when you start playing around with constitutions, just to prohibit somebody who cares about another person, it just seems to me that’s not what America’s about. Usually, our constitutions expand liberties, they don’t contract them.”
Why the change of heart in 2012? Is Obama attempting to force the republicans into a corner? A large segment of the population supports civil unions for same sex partners. If the republicans come out forceful against Obama’s new view on same-sex marriage, it could alienate centrist republicans and libertarians.
Ron Paul co-founded the Marriage Protection Act that gives authority to individual states to regulate marriage. If a marriage license was issued to a same-sex couple in one state, it would not be forced to be recognized in another state where same-sex marriage was illegal. Paul personally believes that marriage should be between a man and a woman, but understands that each state should have the right to decide on the issue.
Mitt Romney has always been firmly against same-sex marriage throughout the years based on moral and religious grounds. “When I am President, I will preserve the defense of marriage act and I will fight for a federal amendment defining marriage as a relationship between one man and one woman.”
Romney could have ammunition against Obama in future debates should the issue come up. With a reputation as a flip-flopper, Romney could shove this issue in Obama’s face since he was clearly against same sex marriage when he was first elected.
Being the lame duck president, Obama has little to lose and much to gain. Same sex marriage can either be Obama’s legacy or anchor. Rand Paul said that Obama “couldn’t get any gayer.”