Custom Search

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Vulnerable Democrats Run From Obama's Gay Marriage Endorsement

By Susan Duclos

The Hill reports that Senate Democrats up for reelection are running from Obama's very public endorsement of gay marriage. Not that they necessarily disagree but they are fighting for their political careers and up for reelection in 2012, and happen to live in states that have constitutional amendments or laws banning same-sex marriage.

Sens. Jon Tester (Mont.),Claire McCaskill (Mo.),  Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Bob Casey (Pa.) and Bill Nelson (Fla.) are all distancing themselves from Obama's recent reversal on his stance on same-sex marriages.

• “Jon believes in civil unions for committed same-sex couples but in Montana a marriage is defined as between a man and a woman,” said Andrea Helling, Tester’s spokeswoman.

• Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who has been one of Obama’s closest allies in the Senate, has also kept her distance.

Her spokesman declined to endorse the president’s position. In an email to the Springfield News-Leader, John LaBombard said, “Claire recognizes this is a very personal issue for many Missourians” and said she thinks states should “take the lead in determining marriage equality.”

“The state of Missouri’s position on this issue has been clearly established since 2004 and nothing about today’s announcement changes that,” he added.

•  Nelson said the federal government should not interfere with state laws.

“I have a record fighting against discrimination and standing up for people’s civil rights based on their sexual orientation.  I believe marriage should be left to the states, and Florida voted on same-sex marriage in 2008,” he said in a statement to The Hill.

Manchin and Casey, who represent states with laws banning gay marriage, have also split with Obama.

• “His position hasn’t changed; he believes marriage is between one man and one woman,” said Manchin spokeswoman Marni Goldberg.

•  April Mellody, a spokeswoman for Casey, said her boss “supports civil unions, strongly opposes discrimination and has condemned discriminatory measures such as a federal constitutional amendment.”

She said Casey does not agree with the president’s endorsement of same-sex marriage but has taken steps to combat discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Barack Obama, suffering from donors refusing to donate to his campaign, strategically manipulated those donors with the timing of his reversal of positions on the same-sex marriage issue without consideration of how Senate Democrats would be affected if they stood beside him, forcing them to come out publicly to distance themselves from him.

MediaIte reports that , Ann Coulter, describes Obama's thought process on this was just to “screw them [Senate Democrats] six ways to Sunday” and keep the focus on his own reelection.