Who could have doubted, though, that the president favors expanding the definition of marriage to include gays and lesbians?
Vice President Joe Biden brought this divisive social issue to the forefront of the presidential campaign with his comments Sunday on "Meet the Press." Biden said he is "absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men and women marrying one another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties."
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney tried to have it both ways when he claimed the president's position on same-sex marriage is still "evolving." Whole species have come and gone faster than the president's "evolution" on this issue. Carney said the president "opposes efforts in states to repeal rights or deny rights to LGBT citizens that have already been established." This means the president opposes North Carolina's new constitutional amendment that defines marriage as the legal union of a man and woman and bans same-sex marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships.
We are supposed to believe the president opposes "discrimination" against same-sex couples who wish to marry, but still favors traditional marriage, as he claimed back in 2008 when he said he believed "marriage is between a man and a woman." At least, of course, until Wednesday when he sat down for a hastily arranged interview with ABC's Robin Roberts and said he thinks "same-sex couples should be able to marry." It appears he's calculated that whatever votes might be lost by coming out for same-sex marriage will be gained by the activism of gay rights advocates and their political contributions.
Traditional marriage is an issue most conservative Christians embrace, but even with the North Carolina result and similar laws in other states, this is a battle they are unlikely to win for a number of reasons. One is the behavior of so many in the traditionalist camp. If you are Christian and are going to argue in favor of traditional marriage, it doesn't help that so many in your camp are poor examples of what marriage is supposed to be -- a lifetime union, steadfast and binding through good times and bad, sickness and health.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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