Weapon of mass distraction

In gay marriage flip-flop, Obama again opts for political expediency

Chalk up another huge election-year distraction – but this time, one with lasting and uncertain implications.


Instead of debating our government’s unsustainable spending, and the danger of crashing the currency and falling into Europe’s black hole of roiling debt, or discussing how to create a new economy that leads to job growth, we’re talking about gay marriage.

However awkwardly the Obama administration got into the gay marriage arena – through Vice President Joe Biden’s getting embarrassingly out in front of his equivocating president – it’s still a useful distraction from his mournful record on the economy, energy, jobs and more.

The focus should be on reducing the deficit, growing jobs and making our nation safe. Period. But here we go again down the Boulevard of Tangents.

The president also is being disingenuous, at best, when he claims that his years-long “evolution” in thinking on gay marriage just happened to end right in-between Biden’s remarks and a star-studded fundraiser in Hollywood – and all in time to shore up his liberal base for the election.

And when he wants you to believe it’s a states’ rights issue – well, that’s the biggest joke since the last White House Correspondents Dinner. When has he ever been in favor of states’ rights? The cold, hard truth is, we’ve rarely seen a president with a dimmer view of states’ rights: His administration is currently suing several states over their immigration enforcement laws and their voter ID laws, and his National Labor Relations Board tried to prevent South Carolina from bringing in a Boeing plant. Oh, and his health-care act ignited a full-blown rebellion of more than half the states.

In addition, Mr. Obama
famously decided not to enforce the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which grants states express authority not to recognize gay marriages from other states.

Nor is it as if Mr. Obama has only changed his mind since opposing gay marriage in the 2008 election cycle. Frankly, he has merely said whatever was politically expedient at the time. In 1996 when running for the Illinois Senate, he told a Chicago newspaper, “I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.”

That’s not in the least bit equivocal.

Then, in 1998, he was “undecided.”

Then, in 2004, he said, “I am a fierce supporter of domestic-partnership and civil-union laws. I am not a supporter of gay marriage ...”

Then, facing a nationwide electorate in 2008, he flat-out opposed gay marriage.

Somehow or another, his view “evolved” from favoring gay marriage to being undecided to being mostly against it to opposing it and then, suddenly on Wednesday, to supporting it again.

That’s not just a flip-flop or two. That’s a Slinky slinking down a stairway.

Ask yourself this: What happens when push comes to shove and someone is trying to force a church or individual opposed to gay marriage to perform, host or recognize one? Do you trust that this administration, if given a second and final term, wouldn’t go to court – as it has with a number of sovereign states – to force someone to participate in a ceremony or recognize an institution he or she finds morally objectionable?

And what happens when someone goes to court to challenge one of the 30 state prohibitions against gay marriage?
It seems clear he won’t hesitate to go to battle against such states.

Though Mr. Obama’s personal views seem to change with the prevailing winds, his administration’s record is clear: Political correctness wins out over religious freedom every time. Just look at the contraception issue, in which the administration has tried to force birth control and even abortion pills on religious entities that oppose them.

Moreover, the president’s hastily thrown-together pronouncement this week is tinkering with an institution – marriage – that has been a cornerstone of human societies for all of recorded history. How can one possibly know all the repercussions? A decline in traditional marriage, for instance, already has directly led to increases in poverty and other social ills.

But heck, as long as there may be votes in it – and it diverts attention away from the state of the Union.