President Barack Obama’s endorsement of same sex marriage on Wednesday caused confusion, controversy, and anger all over the United States. While Sean Hannity of Fox News said that it “sounds like this president can’t make up his mind very well” and Michelle Malkin, also of Fox, said that Obama is “trying to pander to wealthy, gay donors”¹, ABC News called Obama’s endorsement a “historic political and cultural moment in this country”. All the positive and negative media attention has made it difficult to figure out whether Obama’s move was a good one. Here are a few reasons why Obama didn’t hurt himself in endorsing gay marriage, and why Mitt Romney is in deeper trouble than before.
1) Donations To The Obama Campaign Have Greatly Increased
Though many homosexual voters already supported Obama before his endorsement of same-sex marriage, his announcement has further increased his popularity. According to CBS News, “President Barack Obama has seen an uptick in fundraising since he announced his shift on gay marriage, with some Democratic rainmakers citing renewed interest from gay and lesbian donors who had been urging the president to clarify his stance on the divisive social issue.”² By voicing his support for same-sex marriage, Obama almost guaranteed himself a large portion of the LGBT vote.
2) Though He Hadn’t Officially Endorsed Same Sex Marriage, Obama Was A Longtime Supporter Of Gay Rights
Before his endorsement of Same Sex Marriage, Obama voiced his support for civil unions and repealed the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. Most Gay voters still supported him because he was in favor of more rights for them, even if he didn’t want same sex marriage.
3) Romney Bullied A Gay Student While In School
Though he and other conservatives deny it, substantial rumors have circulated that Romney cut off the hair of a crying gay boy while at prep school. Phillip Maxwell, one of Romney’s former classmates, said,”this was bullying supreme”⁴, and several other classmates came forward as well. To “bubble” voters still deciding between Romney and Obama, this incident could persuade them to vote for Obama.
Nobody likes a school bully.
Barack Obama’s decision to support marriage was a correct and timely one. Gay voters will almost certainly vote for him, and borderline voters scared by Mitt Romney’s behavior as an adolescent will also give him their votes. Obama has given himself a bigger advantage going into the fall elections.
I was unable to post the ABC News video. However, it should come up easily when searched on Youtube or Google.
1. Vamburkar, Meenal. “Hannity Panel Blasts Obama’s ‘Flip-Flopping’ On Gay Marriage.” Mediaite.com. Mediaite, LLC, 9 May 2012. Web. 12 May 2012. http://www.mediaite.com/tv/hannity-panel-blasts-obamas-flip-flopping-on-gay-marriage/.
2. “Gay Marriage Shift Gives Obama Fundraising Boost.” CBSNews. CBS Interactive, 11 May 2012. Web. 12 May 2012. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57433121/gay-marriage-shift-gives-obama-fundraising-boost/.
3. Negrin, Matt. “Bullying Story Sidetracks Romney’s Campaign.” ABC News. ABC News Network, 11 May 2012. Web. 12 May 2012. <http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/bullying-story-sidetracks-romneys-campaign/story?id=16327280>.