Barack Obama’s view has finally evolved to the right position: “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.”
This is important for reasons beyond this particular issue. Considering the importance of marriage status in so many areas of our lives, this is a fundamental issue of individual rights and liberty. With the Republicans pushing a social agenda of increased government intrusion in the private lives of individuals. I would like to see the Democrats be more consistent in taking a pro-liberty stance. (Now if Obama would stop those marijuana raids as he promised.)
Prior to this interview, I had been wondering if Biden’s statement that he backed gay marriage was a planned trial balloon as opposed to Biden running off at the mouth?
With the importance of this news, I reversed usual procedure and posted on social networks (where much of the blog discussion has moved) first while writing the full post. The discussion on Facebook shows enthusiasm for this decision, along with a warning that this might energize the base on the right. There is a danger that this might get some evangelists to vote who might have stayed home. However, it works both ways. This might also help increase turnout among the young, showing another clear distinction between the parties. Democrats are not going to win long term by shying away from principle. It is harder to accept a disagreement on basic principles as opposed to accepting compromises on other types of policy issues. For example, many who would have preferred a single payer system still appreciate Obama’s tremendous accomplishment with health care reform and recognize that a single payer plan is not politically feasible in this country at this time. It is harder to justify taking the wrong position on a matter of individual rights of this nature.
In contrast, Republicans were victorious in passing an amendment to block same sex marriage in North Carolina last night. Just a reminder to Republicans: You are not a supporter of small government if you want to tell people who they may or may not marry. You are not a supporter of small government if you want the government to tell women whether they can use contraception or have an abortion. You are not a supporter of small government if you supported the war in Iraq or the Patriot Act.