Alex Blaze

Confirmed: Obama supported same-sex marriage in 1996

Filed By Alex Blaze | January 14, 2009 10:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Barack Obama, gay marriage, illinois, illinois equality, impact, marriage, marriage equality, outlines, same-sex marriage, Windy City Times

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:


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:



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Is God in the mix or not?

He isn't the first politician to speak out of both sides of his mouth (and if enablers Crawford and his doublemint twin Monica have their way he won't be the last), but this revelation does give us an opportunity to highlight the ease with with religious conviction is bought and sold in the US of A-hole.

Oh, sure, debate at Warren's ranch and express your belief that same-sex marriage is somehow godless and then you ask Warren to bless your first term in office...and its supposed to be a lesson in inclusiveness.

It isn't lost on me that he is easily swayed by the threats from religious fanatics...and unless the LGBT population finds a way to match the ferocity of those extremists, Obama will continue to drag his knuckles like a caveman (to satisfy them) while speaking eloquently of change (because his hollow words are usually enough to persuade his sycophants that demand nothing more than his words).

By the way, Warren made some unpleasant remarks about Gene Robinson recently.

I think your take on this information is too simplistic. I don't see a contradiction. His support for that resolution doesn't necessarily preclude a personal objection to same-sex marriage, which is what he is professing now.

beachcombterT | January 15, 2009 7:12 AM

Strange how this historical information lay safely buried in the gay newspaper's files until after the election. One would think any files related to Obama would have been unearthed and examined closely during the Democratic primaries.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | January 15, 2009 1:46 PM

beachcomber, Rachel Maddow also mentioned the news on her widely watched show last night, too. So it hasn't totally been buried.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | January 15, 2009 8:52 AM

No surprises here.

A Clinton clone and tow bit Daley machine hustler abandoned principles and embraced the bigotry of the superstitious pigheaded leaders of the mormon, catholic and southern baptist cults, the unholy trinity of hate. Obama did it to get elected.

Those who voted for him have a lot of explaining to do. How is he worse than McCain? They both took the low road to get elected. Both are now acknowledged bigots and both come from parties that, in true bipartisan fashion, gave us DOMA and DADT and gutted ENDA, etc., etc., etc. GLBT Democrats exactly duplicated the disastrous folly of Mixner and the Stonewall Dems who believed the lies of Clinton and found out the hard way.

Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it. - George Santayana

Thankfully I live in a state where you can vote for "None of the above candidates". Otherwise I'd have stayed at home.

But what I’m wondering is why all the Obamadolaters are avoiding this story like the plague. Have they nothing to say when the Savior is exposed as just another common run of the mill con artist? The silence is telling.

Well, we all knew that the Dem presidential candidates all support same-sex marriage no matter what they run on. That's the disgusting part of it all.