Obama’s Support for Same-Sex Marriage

The gay rights movement has won Americans’ hearts and minds. The tide has turned. Opponents can try, but they can’t push it back. As I wrote today in my article in today’s Huffington Post, “Obama’s and America’s Remarkable Evolution on Gay Rights,” historians will no doubt view President Barack Obama’s announcement Wednesday favoring same-sex marriage as ay historic statement, parallel to those of FDR on workers’ rights and LBJ on civil rights. Although nobody believes that homophobia has disappeared, public support for gay rights in general and same-sex marriage in particular has been steadily growing among every demographic group, and is particularly strong among Americans under 30. I also compare the gay rights movement to the civil rights movement, including changes in both public opinion (for example, on inter-racial marriage) and legislation. Obama took some risks in coming out for same-sex marriage in an election year where a few thousand votes in ten key battleground states could determine the outcome of November’s election, but his willingness to do so should be seen in the context of the success of a powerful grassroots movement to change the tide of public opinion.

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