In 1996 Barack Obama told a newspaper in Chicago that he was in favor of same-sex marriage.
“During his run for Illinois state Senate in 1996, Barack Obama stated his unequivocal support for gay marriage, according to an exclusive story in the Jan. 14, 2009 Windy City Times newspaper. President-elect Obama’s answer to a 1996 Outlines newspaper question on marriage was: ‘I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.’ There was no use of the phrase ‘civil unions’. [Outlines purchased Windy City Times in 2000 and merged companies.] This answer is among those included in this week’s Windy City Times feature on Obama’s evolving position on gay marriage. Windy City Times also includes his answers to the candidate questionnaire of IMPACT, at one time a gay political action committee in Illinois. In that survey he also stated his support of same-sex marriage.”
During the presidential campaign in 2008, Mr. Obama said he believed marriage was between a man and a woman, but that same-sex couples were entitled to the same rights as straight couples through civil unions and that it was up to the states to determine their laws and he opposed the Constitutional amendment defining marriage.
Am I surprised that he changed his point of view? No. I doubt that in 1996, at the age of 34 and running for a state senate seat from Chicago, Barack Obama had any solid plans for running for president; if he did, he would have couched his responses on the questionnaire more carefully.
Am I disappointed that he doesn’t support same-sex marriage? Sure, but I’m also a realist, and if Barack Obama had done so during the campaign, we would be bracing ourselves for the inauguration of another Republican president next week. So while his support of marriage equality is not what I want or think we are entitled to, it’s better than having someone in office from a party who likens my sexual orientation to a compulsion.