When the 2012 elections come around next year, three states will have marriage amendments on the ballot – right next to the presidential ballot that will most likely have Barack Obama’s name as the Democratic nominee. That's why the homosexual community wants the president to come out in support of same-sex marriages.
"That would surprise me if that happens,” said Bill Meinke, a Republican campaign strategist. “Obama needs the middle-of-the-road independent now, more than ever. There’s too much at risk for him to blatantly campaign against a marriage amendment next year. But Obama certainly wants the gay community to think he’s in their corner.”
Even most Democratic pundits and strategists agree that President Obama is a firm supporter of gay rights, but to come out and make a definitive statement on the issue is something most would advise against – especially in 2012.
However, that’s not keeping Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese from pressing his former boss and the administration for some behind-the-scenes support.
“One thing that would be incredibly helpful would be for the president and the administration to look out across the electoral landscape next year, understand where it is that we’re engaged in marriage fights – whether overturning the ban in Oregon or fighting a ban in Minnesota or North Carolina – and have something to say about that,” Solmonese told ABC News in an interview.
“I think that will be important, particularly in North Carolina, where the legislature just passed a bill that would put a marriage ban on the ballot next year and where the president will find himself for the Democratic National Convention.”
Solmonese, who has led the nation’s largest pro-homosexual group, will be leaving in March of 2012. Prior to HRC, he worked at EMILY’S list and for Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.).
Much to the chagrin of some of his liberal base, President Obama has stated he opposes same-sex marriage, believing it to be an issue each state should decide. During fundraisers in New York earlier this summer, homosexual protesters greeted the president with posters and shouts wanting to know when he was going to champion their cause.
“He came into office opposed to [gay] marriage, and an administration that was defending the DOMA,” Solmonese said during his ABC interview. “He now says he’s ‘evolving’ on marriage, and he and the administration have determined that DOMA is unconstitutional and not worthy of defense.”
Michael L. Brown, author of A Queer Thing Happened to America, is not surprised by the president’s position.
"All of us who oppose the redefinition of marriage know that President Obama is not going to stand with us and come out in support of upholding natural marriage. In fact, Mr. Obama has made it very clear in his comments in front of the United Nations and other groups that he is in support of the goals of radical gay activism,” said Brown.
Solmonese calls the 2012 GOP presidential field “fairly dangerous,” and thinks that homosexuals, maybe more than any other group in the liberal base, have a “great deal of enthusiasm” for the Obama candidacy.
“At the end of the day, the only thing that really matters is getting this guy [Obama] reelected,” he said in the interview. “Because one thing that’s really clear is where he stands and where the rest of the field stands.”
President Obama will address the Human Right’s campaign annual gala in Washington, D.C., Saturday evening.