Getting the president to say “marriage equality” may feel good, but it’s bad politics and misleading to the LGBT community. Why? No one in the LGBT movement or DNC is proposing a federal law to outlaw marriage discrimination in the 50 states. Democrats have simply not yet made same-sex marriage equality a federal issue. So there’s no corresponding “ask” and Obama saying “marriage” or the DNC Platform using the word “marry” — in the absence of a call for full federal equality including marriage nondiscrimination — does nothing more than stir the cultural political debate at our expense and box-in the president as his campaign rightly fears.
Meanwhile, the sometimes states-rights Republicans have no problem making marriage inequality a federal issue, calling boldly for the federal government to outlaw marriage discrimination via a U.S. constitutional amendment. This too is equally implausible as a post-election agenda item, though its tactical electoral use continues.
The 2008 RNC Platform reads:
“Because our children’s future is best preserved within the traditional understanding of marriage, we call for a constitutional amendment that fully protects marriage as a union of a man and a woman, so that judges cannot make other arrangements equivalent to it. In the absence of a national amendment, we support the right of the people of the various states to affirm traditional marriage through state initiatives.”
This threat — of a constitutional amendment — is allegedly what scared President Clinton, HRC and Barney Frank into capitulating to DOMA 16 years go. But while plausible then, today the demographics of youth support for marriage equality pushing 70% have likely destroyed the RNC ability and appetite to push such an agenda. And while Romney may have taken the NOM Pledge for this to win a Republican primary, it’s unlikely he will either campaign on this in the general election or waste a possible first term on such issues.
Nevertheless, to counterbalance this idea
This article originally appeared on: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/todd-fernandez/obama-gay-marriage_b_1385105.html