Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

As a Californian, I’m really happy that Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in our state, was ruled unconstitutional by a judge yesterday. David Axelrod responded to questions about the overturning of this discriminatory law and attempted to clarify the president’s non-position on the matter. Here’s what Axelrod had to say on MSNBC this am:

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, CO-HOST:  While the president is here in Chicago, his senior adviser, David Axelrod, apparently holding down the fort there in Washington.  He joins us live from the White House Briefing Room this morning.

David, thanks for being with us.

DAVID AXELROD, WHITE HOUSE SR. ADVISER:  Good to be with you guys.

GUTHRIE:  So let’s start with the news, the federal judge striking down the ban on same-sex marriage that California voters passed in 2008.  I think the American public could be forgiven if they’re a little confused about where the president stands on all of this. He has said he opposes same-sex marriage.  He has said during the campaign he didn’t mind what California voters were trying to do, trying to ban Prop 8.  Yesterday, though, the White House comes out and says, well, the president has spoken out against Prop 8 in the past.  He said he would work to repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act, but that the Justice Department, since he’s been president, has actually litigated on behalf of that law.  So let’s just forget all of that in the past and ask you, where does the president stand today?  Does he still opposed same-sex marriage?

AXELROD:  Well, Savannah, let me just correct something in your rather lengthy litany of events there.

The president opposed Proposition 8 at the time.  He felt that it was divisive.  He felt that it was mean-spirited, and he opposed it at the time.  So we reiterated that position yesterday.  The president does oppose same-sex marriage, but he supports equality for gay and lesbian couples, and benefits and other issues, and that has been effectuated in federal agencies under his control.  He’s supports civil unions, and that’s been his position throughout.  So nothing has changed.

GUTHRIE:  But David, can I just say, I’m looking at an interview right here that Jake Tapper of ABC did back in June of 2008, where Tapper asks him, “Does it bother you what California’s doing?”  And the president responds, “No.”

AXELROD:  Well, Savannah, I’m at a loss here, because I’m just sitting on a set, but I’d be happy to ship you the statements that the president made on — specifically on Proposition 8 and his opposition to it at the time.  So you’re working off of incomplete information there.

TODD:  Well, David, how about let’s clear this up — does the president support states trying to go their own way on same-sex marriage?  Do you think it’s appropriate for a state to ban it and appropriate for other states to decide it’s OK?

AXELROD:  Well, he does believe that marriage is an issue for the states, and he did oppose Proposition 8.

TODD:  OK.  All right.

AXELROD:  So that’s been his position.

TODD:  OK.

Clear enough for ya? So let’s get it straight — the president agrees that gay marriage should not happen. But he also agrees in LGBT equality and believes that Prop. 8 was wrong. So no matter what your position is on gay rights concerning marriage, Barack Obama would like you to know that he agrees with you. If you’re gay, he loves you and celebrates your equality. If you’re homophobic, the president shares your concerns about the limits of how much gayness we should condone and accept in our society. Marriage as a state issue… where have we heard that before? De-segregation, inter-racial marriage, abortion, etc. Wow, how stupid and craven did Axelrod feel spouting such utter nonsense on national tv?

Mr. President, for younger generations, this is a no brainer. It’s not uncommon for us to have gay and lesbian friends or relatives who are out of the closet. It’s normal to laugh and cry watching sympathetic LGBT characters in movies and on TV. It doesn’t matter to me what 2 consenting adults do — my gay friends in no way infringe upon my ability to be heterosexual. In fact, they often have great dating advice!

Younger people are supportive of gay marriage and equal rights for gays and lesbians. Whether you like it or not, it is inevitable that it will be the law of the land. From the Chronicle of Higher Education March 2010:

Over all, 65 percent of the college freshmen surveyed last fall supported same-sex marriage, compared with 58 percent of Americans 18 to 29 years old and 39 percent of the population nationwide, according to the Pew research groups’ study.

[...]

Among freshmen, Hispanic students were 69 percent supportive, white students 65 percent supportive, and black students 53 percent supportive. Support among those groups in the population at large was lower: 45 percent among Hispanics, 39 percent among whites, and 26 percent among blacks.

Why wait to support what’s just? Your hesitance to take a strong stand on what you know is right and moral and good — which is honoring love & commitment between two people — will not look good in the history book. An eagerness to please may gain you a handful of votes now. A careful dance between the lines may keep a few people happy or at least helpfully confused as to what you really think as you give a supportive wink to each side — for now. But beware of how you plan to explain this moral ambiguity at a critical juncture in American history to your kids and grandkids — and their friends — someday.

You can’t have it both ways. Well, I guess you can if you’re bisexual or transgender. (LOL – just kidding) But last time I checked, Barack Obama seemed to be neither bisexual nor transgender. Pick a side Mr. President. As Abe Lincoln said — you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

Related Posts with Thumbnails