An editorial appearing in The New York Times on Sunday calls on President Barack Obama to evolve on marriage equality.
In the 2008 campaign, when Mr. Obama said he supported civil unions and believed marriage should be between men and women, he may have wanted to appeal to slightly more conservative voters who were wary of him.
After he took office, it became evident that Republicans intended to portray him as a radical, out-of-touch leftist no matter what he did. Supporting same-sex marriage at this point is hardly going to change that drumbeat …
Firm support for gay marriage is, on the other hand, likely to help him among his cheerless base. Mr. Obama opposes the Defense of Marriage Act and is presiding over the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” He signed the United Nations declaration on gay rights, and allowed the Census to count same-sex relationships. But he has been absent from the biggest and most difficult drive of all.
Public opinion has swung toward acceptance of gay marriage since 2008; five more states and the District of Columbia have lifted marriage bans. Thousands of gay men and lesbians now possess marriage certificates and many former skeptics have come to realize that the moral foundation of the country has been strengthened. It is long past time for the president to catch up. He often criticizes discrimination with the memorable phrase, “that’s not who we are.” Favoring this discrimination should not be who he is.