President Obama appears to be moving away from his 2009 stance of opposing gay marriage. He is opposing a proposed constitutional amendment in North Carolina that would define marriage as between one man and one woman.
"While the president does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the record is clear that the President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same-sex couples," said Obama's North Carolina spokesperson, Cameron French, last Friday.
"That's what the North Carolina ballot initiative would do – it would single out and discriminate against committed gay and lesbian couples – and that's why the President does not support it."
Obama's current position on gay marriage seems to have taken a series of 180-degree turns since he embarked on his public service career in the 1990s.
In a 1996 letter to a homosexual publication in Chicago, then State Senate candidate Barrack Obama gave an affirmative response to a question on same-sex marriage.
"6) I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages."
As a sitting Illinois State Senator in 1998, Obama responded to another question asking if the state should recognize same-sex marriages. "Undecided," was his checked response.
In a 2008 interview with MTV, then U.S. Senator Barack Obama and Democratic presidential candidate stated he was opposed to same-sex marriage.
"I believe that marriage is between a man and woman and I am not in favor of gay marriage."
David Axelrod, a former White House advisor and now Obama campaign strategist, told MSNBC in 2010 that Obama "does oppose same-sex marriage, but he supports equality for gay and lesbian couples … He supports civil unions. That's been his position throughout. So nothing has changed."
The upcoming May 8 constitutional amendment vote in North Carolina is only the latest battle in an on-going turf war to redefine the boundaries of traditional marriage and prohibit the judicial branch from defining the issue for the citizens of a state.
The North Carolina amendment, more commonly known as Amendment 1, reads: "Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State."
Tami Fitzgerald who chairs Vote FOR Marriage NC – the coalition of groups supporting passage of the amendment – says judicial activism is one of the primary reasons they want the amendment passed.
"Not only did President Obama state during his election battle in 2008 that he believes marriage is the union between one man and woman, but he said that for him as a Christian, it is also a sacred union, invoking the name of 'God' as his source," Fitzgerald said in a statement.
"Unfortunately, his recommendation against the Marriage Protection Amendment would leave the definition of marriage up to an activist judge instead of the people of our state," she added. "President Obama has no business inserting himself into the people's business in North Carolina. The people of North Carolina cannot sit by and let marriage as the union of one man and one woman be destroyed by a handful of political activists or by activists judges."
According to two recent polls, the amendment is favored by a majority of the state's voters.
A Public Policy Polling survey, known to favor Democrat voters, showed 54 percent of 780 registered voters supporting the amendment's passage. The PPP survey was conducted in early January of this year.
Another Civitas poll conducted in late February of 600 likely voters had the amendment passing with 64 percent of the vote.
When marriage amendments of bills have been played before the voters over the past several years, they have passed 31 times in 31 states – a perfect record.
Besides North Carolina, Maryland and Minnesota will have same-sex marriage issues before their voters in 2012.