Barack Obama today said he supports allowing gays to marry. While this is an important win for gay rights, I’m not terrifically impressed nor do I think it will have an impact on the election. Several media outlets are alleging that his “evolution” was more of a response to gay donors and bundlers threatening to withhold contributions (and good for them for holding his feet to the fire). But, more importantly, we all knew this is what Obama really thought. His pretense at opposing gay marriage didn’t fool anyone. All it did was make his supporters miserable and harm attempts to implement marriage equality on the state level.
It does show a measure of political courage to say this. And it’s important to do so after yesterday’s shameful vote in North Carolina. However, that courage pales in comparison to the political courage of the handful of Republicans who have supported gay marriage. A Democrat who supports gay marriage faces few consequences. A Republican who does so faces primary challenges, accusations of RINOism, pillorying by NOM and other Religious right bastions and, sometimes, big losses in campaign support.
So good on Obama. But not, you know, that good on him.