- (Reuters/Chris Kleponis)
Obama campaign manager Jim Messina is treading lightly on the issue of whether President Obama will throw his support behind the Democratic Party endorsing gay marriage at this summer's nation convention. However, the convention's chairman fully supports the issue.
On Wednesday morning, Los Angles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called for the Democratic Party to include language that would endorse gay marriage after a reporter asked about the issue.
"I do," Villaraigosa replied. "We want to make this the most accessible convention possible. This just isn't going to be open to a small group of people. The delegates will make the decision on the platform but I do support it and certainly have for a long time."
Tony Perkins, who heads up the Family Research Council, meanwhile, says Democrats are only trying to distract the voters and that traditional marriage still has plenty of support, even among many moderate to conservative Democrats.
"The media will do what it can to persuade people that conservatives are losing momentum. Don't believe it," Perkins wrote in an article that he sent to The Christian Post. "
"Some legislators can be bought, but the American people cannot. The majority of the country [Democrats, Republicans and Independents] are still firmly planted in the camp of man-woman marriage. As the old proverb says, 'The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places.' Keep your foot on the accelerator and meet the perceptions with persistence."
Villaraigosa will chair the 2012 Democratic Convention in Charlotte, N.C., in September, just three months after the state's voters will weigh in on an amendment that would define marriage as between one man and one woman. Advocates on both sides are gearing up for a hard-fought contest.
"There is a process to go through this discussion," noted Messina in a conference call with reporters. "By the end of the September convention we will have a platform." Whether or not that would include supporting same-sex marriage is unclear.
The issue of supporting same-sex marriage has placed President Obama in a precarious position.
While Obama has made overtures to the homosexual community with is his soft and often unspoken support of same-sex marriage, the issue has placed him in a difficult position from a political standpoint.
Campaign operatives such as Messina argue that the president's record is one that is not only "evolving," but is quite clear saying, "our record stands in sharp contrast to the other side and what the other side has said is that they want a constitutional amendment on anti-marriage," referring to many Republicans supporting an amendment that defines marriage as between one man and one woman.
"They want to put back into place Don't Ask Don't Tell and a bunch of other regressive politics," Messina added.
Still, Obama has not given the homosexual community the commitment they are looking for – one where he publicly professes his complete and total support for same-sex marriage.
During a recent fundraiser with wealthy gay donors – who collectively contributed $1.5 million in just one evening to the president's reelection coffers – Obama once again made comments that stopped short of a complete and total commitment to their most important issue.
"We're going to have more work to do on this issue, as is true of a lot of other issues. There's still areas where fairness is not the rule," he told the crowd at the Feb. 9 event. "And we're going to have to keep on pushing in the same way – persistently, politely, listening to folks who don't always agree with us, but sticking to our guns in terms of what our values are all about. What American values are all about."
Obama's public reluctance to come out for same-sex marriage remains a thorn in the side of the homosexual community. A group of gay marriage activists called Freedom to Marry has garnered the signature of about 24 U.S. Senators calling for the Democratic Party to include the issue in their platform.