I posted just before the election about the old internet story on the Windy City Times' site from when Obama was running for the Illinois senate that stated that he supported same-sex marriage. Since it wasn't a quotation, but a journalist's interpretation of his words, we couldn't really know exactly what he meant and the journalist said she simply thought he was talking about his opposition to Illinois's proposed DOMA.
Turns out he wasn't. The WCT found his original questionnaire answers (links to pdf) and here's what he told Outlines, a Chicago LGBT paper that eventually merged with the WCT:
I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.
And here's the question asked by IMPACT, the PAC that eventually became Equality Illinois:
Do you endorse the Marriage Resolution, a statement of support for the rights of same-gender individuals to marry:
Because marriage is a basic human right and an individual personal choice,
RESOLVED, the state should not interfere with same-gender couples who chose to marry and share fully and equally in the rights, responsibilities and commitment of civil marriage.
If you do not support the marriage resolution, will you at least oppose any attempts to outlaw same-gender marriage and/or amend reciprocity agreements with states which permit same-gender marriage? Will you oppose any federal initiatives which attempt to override certain state laws which allow same-gender marriage?
To which Obama responded:
I WOULD SUPPORT SUCH A RESOLUTION.
While this is all very interesting academically, I doesn't really do much for us now. He's actually taken on a position where he has less power to enact same-sex marriage than an Illinois state senator would. We already knew where he stood on DOMA and there's no indication that he would use a homophobic litmus test when it comes to court appointments.
Moreover, I don't see what this really changes, other than to inform us a little more about Obama's evolution as a politician. He went from supporting same-sex marriage in 1996, to opposing it because of political expediency in 2004, to opposing it because of religion, semantics, and "states' rights" in 2008.
When it came to same-sex marriage in 2005 when he started working for that Senate seat with obvious presidential aspirations, the US wasn't in a place to elect someone who supported that issue, unlike his district in Chicago in 1996. I'm guessing this just wasn't an issue they thought they could move people on in 4 years' time, and
Here are the copies of his original survey answers, which talk about many LGBT issues outside of marriage. Click to enlarge. From Outlines:
And the two pages from IMPACT: