"Santorum Compares Gay Marriage to Polygamy," blared the next day's headlines across the country. Santorum, of course, did not "compare" same-sex marriage. He merely raised a legitimate issue. Where, if at all, does society draw the line? If one rejects society's consensus that, until now, confined marriage to a man and a woman, why limit a marriage to but one spouse? What argument prevents someone from declaring his undying love for three people and insists that the law permit him to marry all three?
The real story should have been this: Why did the teen get away with simply saying, in effect, "I'm not talking about more than one spouse"? Does that end the discussion?
Obama, as a candidate for the Illinois Senate in 1996, responded to a questionnaire from the newspaper Outlines (now the Windy City Times): "I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages." Two years later, in an Illinois legislative survey, Obama was "undecided" on whether Illinois should recognize same-sex marriage.
Obama reversed Don't Ask Don't Tell so that one cannot be expelled from the military solely because of sexual orientation. And Obama refuses to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage, at the federal level, as between a man and a woman and allows any state to refuse to recognize a same-sex marriage entered into in another state.
Given these "pro-gay" measures, how much of a leap is it for Obama now to assert his support for gay marriage? New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer came out last year in support of gay marriage. So has former President Bill Clinton. Instead, Obama said his position on gay marriage is "evolving" -- and he gets away with it. The media seem unbothered by Obama's reversal on the question of same-sex marriage. Santorum, however, is pressed to explain his opposition.
Does Obama, like Santorum, worry about boundaries and limits if he were to support same-sex marriage? Does Obama's religion, like that of Santorum's, still inform his position on gay marriage? If so, how is that any more tolerant than the "hostile-to-gay-rights" Santorum?
Santorum actually praised the citizens of New Hampshire for the way it went about legalizing gay marriage. The people of that state, said Santorum, legalized gay marriage "the right way -- they passed it through the (state) legislature, they didn't have the court impose it like they did in other states."
Santorum, like it or not, is clear -- and consistent. Why does Obama get a pass?