Evolving or Evading?

President Obama has attempted to maintain a position of ambiguity on the same-sex marriage debate since he launched his campaign for the presidency in 2007. During the presidential debate hosted by Pastor Rick Warren on August 16, 2008, Candidate Obama was asked to define marriage. Obama replied, “Marriage is between a man and a woman.” He then continued, “But I do believe in civil unions.” Did he say he was against same-sex marriage? No. He slid around the question. He knew it would be politically damaging to openly endorse same-sex marriage at that time.

 President Obama’s Homosexual Beliefs

Irvin Baxter

President Obama has subsequently stated that his views on same-sex marriage have been “evolving”. However, this is simply not true. He clearly endorsed same-sex marriage two months before his deceptive answer to Pastor Rick Warren.


It happened in a letter Candidate Obama sent to the Alice B. Toklas LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender) Democratic Club’s Pride Breakfast in June of 2008. After commending the organization for its wonderful work through the years, he concluded, “Finally, I want to congratulate all of you who have shown your love for each other by getting married these last few weeks.” This was during the window in which gay partners were allowed to marry in California.


Question: If you are opposed to something, do you congratulate persons for doing that to which you are opposed?


In this same letter in June of 2008, President Obama condemned Proposition 8, which was being placed on the November ballot in California. Proposition 8 was an amendment to California’s state constitution making same-sex marriage unconstitutional. It stated: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”


You don’t believe marriage should be between one man and one woman when you send congratulations to same-sex couples that have just married. You don’t believe marriage should be between one man and one woman when you campaign against a law that would require marriage to be between one man and one woman.


Has President Obama been “evolving” on the same-sex marriage issue? No. He has merely been evading coming out of the closet on the issue until he judged it politically advantageous. That day apparently arrived on May 9, 2012, when he openly endorsed same-sex marriage on an ABC interview.


June 30, 2008


Letter from Sen. Barack Obama to the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club:


Dear Friends,


Thank you for the opportunity to welcome everyone to the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club’s Pride Breakfast and to congratulate you on continuing a legacy of success, stretching back thirty-six years. As one of the oldest and most influential LGBT organizations in the country, you have continually rallied to support Democratic candidates and causes, and have fought tirelessly to secure equal rights and opportunities for LGBT Americans in California and throughout the country.


As the Democratic nominee for President, I am proud to join with and support the LGBT community in an effort to set our nation on a course that recognizes LGBT Americans with full equality under the law. That is why I support extending fully equal rights and benefits to same sex couples under both state and federal law. That is why I support repealing the Defense of Marriage Act and the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy, and the passage of laws to protect LGBT Americans from hate crimes and employment discrimination. And that is why I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states.


For too long, issues of LGBT rights have been exploited by those seeking to divide us. It’s time to move beyond polarization and live up to our founding promise of equality by treating all our citizens with dignity and respect. This is no less than a core issue about who we are as Democrats and as Americans.


Finally, I want to congratulate all of you who have shown your love for each other by getting married these last few weeks. My thanks again to the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club for allowing me to be a part of today’s celebration. I look forward to working with you in the coming months and years, and I wish you all continued success.




Barack Obama

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