Gay Marriage Debate: Obama Morally Unserious?
President Obama is under pressure over what many view as inconsistency in his same-sex marriage stance.
Journalists from prominent publications The New York Times and The Washington Post have questioned the president’s leadership and personal integrity for trying to have it both ways on the divisive issue of marriage and rights for gays.
“At the core of Obama’s stance is a logical inconsistency: He believes gay Americans should be fully equal under the law, but by opposing gay marriage he supports a system that denies same-sex couples some 1,300 federal rights and benefits that married couples receive. The civil unions Obama favors as an alternative have little meaning in federal law,” Dana Milbank wrote in The Washington Post Tuesday.
The New York Times’ Sheryl Gay Stolberg also made a point on Tuesday about how Obama’s stance makes for an awkward moment between him and gay rights advocates.
“When President Obama’s guests arrive at the White House on Wednesday for a Gay Pride reception - just days after New York became the largest state in the country to make same-sex marriage legal - they will no doubt be in a mood to celebrate. But for their host, who does not endorse same-sex marriage, it could be somewhat awkward.”
In his latest remarks on the issue, Obama did little to appease the public and the media.
On Wednesday, he commented on the legalization of gay marriage in New York last week, saying it was “a good thing.”
“What I’ve seen happen over the last several years and what happened in New York last week, I think, was a good thing,” Obama said during a press conference that centered on the budget and deficit issues.
Obama also said the New York debate was emotional and having such a debate and talking through such issues was in the best interest of citizens. “I think that’s how things should work,” he added.
When pressed on the issue of homosexual marriage by Wall Street Journal’s Laura Meckler, the president responded by saying, “I’m not going to make news on that today. Good try though,” indicating that he would not officially endorse same-sex marriage.
Dr. Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a preeminent evangelical, agrees that Obama has been “very coy” on this issue.
“The president has openly celebrated the action of the state of New York in legalizing same-sex marriage. But he’s also said … that his Christian convictions lead him to oppose same-sex marriage,” Mohler said in his Wednesday online program of “The Briefing.”
“The obvious question not only for the president but for any morally serious person is ‘how you can celebrate what you believe is wrong?’”
While gay rights advocates wait for Obama to endorse marriage for gays and lesbians, Christians wonder whether he truly holds to his previously stated belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman.
“President Obama has found himself in a genuine political predicament here,” Mohler noted. “What makes this particular issue more dangerous for … this president … is that this issue represents a direct threat to the president’s own sense of personal integrity and how that integrity is read by the American public.”
The Southern Baptist doesn’t believe Obama can duck the issue any longer with increasing pressure from the public and the media. Whatever Obama’s next move is or isn’t, his moral integrity is at stake, Mohler underlined.
"This president now risks losing his personal credibility and a sense of his moral integrity just over the issue of same-sex marriage. Let this be a sign to others as well: anyone who is asked his or her position on an issue as important as same-sex marriage and the answer comes back in a way that is unclear, that person is going to be considered morally unserious.”
Christian Post Reporter Paul Stanley contributed to this article.