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June 21st, 2011
04:30 PM ET

Opinion: Is Obama ready to support gay marriage?

Editor's note: LZ Granderson writes a weekly column for CNN.com. A senior writer and columnist for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com, he has contributed to ESPN's "Sports Center," "Outside the Lines" and "First Take." He is a 2010 nominee and the 2009 winner of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation award for online journalism and a 2010 and 2008 honoree of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association for column writing.

Grand Rapids, Michigan (CNN) - After last week's GOP debate it would be safe to assume that President Obama pretty much has the 2012 gay vote all sewn up.

Not only has he done more for the gay community than any president in history, but some of his Republican challengers are threatening to undo all of the gay good he's already done if elected. Five of the seven GOP candidates said they would go so far as to support some form of anti-gay discrimination written directly into the Constitution, including leading candidate Mitt Romney.

Now how much of the anti-gay rhetoric was merely pandering to their base and how much of it was authentic likely varies from person to person. But one thing is clear for the proponents of gay rights, President Obama is the lesser of two evils.

So why is this week's speech at a fundraiser targeting the gay community such a big deal?

Because it's in Manhattan, which happens to be in the state of New York, which happens to be in the throes of a marriage equality debate, which happens to be the one area Obama remains right of center on.

If asked he would tell you that his opinion on the topic is "evolving."

If pushed he would tell you he believes marriage should be between one man and one woman.

That makes asking gay folks for campaign money ... tricky.

If marriage equality passes in New York, he's in the clear. All he has to do is show some clips from last week's debate, mention the Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal a few times and pass a bucket around.

But if it fails, oh boy.

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soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Fiona

    I don't understand why CNN assumes so many people are in favor of gay marriage. I oppose gay marriage but am for civil unions. Why is that not enough? Why the need to redefine marriage? What does the future hold for our children if we promote marriage in this way? Everyone knows the definition of marriage is between a man and a woman. Just because you want to change it, doesn't make it right or okay to take it upon yourself to redefine it.

    June 21, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
  2. Lisa Greenberg

    I don't think its fair to criticize Obama's "evolution" or even his going back and forth on his feelings about it. That's happened to many many people. I am very open, have many gay friends and only recently truly support gay marriage. At first I wasn't sure how I felt, then I supporred civil unions and now I support gay marriage. We have been pre-programed by society; a society that is inevitably evolving as a whole as well. This is one of the many "processes" happening on the planet.

    June 21, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
  3. David

    He probably is in favor of it, but he just "evolves" with societal opinions so it doesn't hurt his chances to get re-elected.

    June 21, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
  4. Steven Wheeler

    I do not think our president is in favor of gay marriage. But he will say he is to get the gay vote. I know a lot of gay people who say they are going to vote for Ron Paul go figure that.

    June 21, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
  5. Ursula

    Anderson Cooper,
    I was changing the channel on my television, when I came across you speaking to Paul B. about the president's position of gay/lesbian marriages. It would have been appropriate for you to educate your viewers on this president's record with regards to the G/L communities, and all the things he has accomplished on behalf of the G/L communities. This president has done more for the G/L communities than any other president in history. President Obama stated that he believes in civil union and not in same sex marriages due to his christian faith. I will support this president on whatever decision he makes.
    Thanks,

    Ex Viewer

    June 21, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
  6. Pjohnson

    President Obama professes to be a born again Christian. The President's position present-time syncronizes with biblical scripture. There has not been any rhetorial evolution only spiritual development.

    June 21, 2011 at 10:20 pm |