Wednesday marked a big day in the history of the United States presidency as President Barack Obama announced that he supports same sex marriage. The plan was for Obama to announce his thoughts prior to the Democratic National Convention but that changed when Vice President Joe Biden announced his support for same sex marriage on Sunday. Obama announced his support during an interview with Robin Roberts of ABC on Wednesday afternoon. Obama explained how he came to the decision over the past 18 months.
The White House was planning to make the announcement in the same setting as it was done on Wednesday but it just had to be put together quicker and under some secrecy. Jay Carney, the Press Secretary, answered close to 50 questions regarding Biden’s comments on ‘Meet the Press’ on Sunday. This forced the White House to contact ABC and schedule a sit-down with Roberts. Officials from Obama’s administration made every effort to let people know that Obama made the announcement based on his personal views and not his political position. Obama explained that he made his decision because of a recent trip he made to New York for fundraising not long after the state legalized same sex marriage. Obama said that he tried to figure out how he would have voted on the issue if he were a state legislator. Obama said that his two daughters have friends who have gay parents and said they would never view same sex marriage as controversial.
The officials from the administration did not mention if Obama would be pushing for same sex marriage to be a key part of the Democratic National Convention. Obama also made it known that he would not sign the Executive Order that bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation that would be against federal contractors. Administration officials also said that the public’s views on this issue changed faster than they had seen any issue in their careers. Officials from the Democratic party had urged that Obama hold off on his announcement until after the election because of the possibility that some voters will be turned away in conservative-leaning swing states.
“The question is, is there a risk?” a prominent Democratic Party official said. “It is not nationwide [polling] we are talking about. We are talking about Virginia, North Carolina and other swing states. And we are talking about, would Karl Rove and his team stoop to using horribly grotesque and hateful tactics … and would that peel off 10,000 votes?”