Obama’s Repetitive Marriage Definition Draws Fire

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Gay marriage may not become a national issue this election, but it’s certainly becoming more of an issue for Democratic nominee Barack Obama.

The Senator from Illinois sat down with ABC News’ Jake Tapper early this week, just as California began issuing same-sex marriage licenses. Obviously Tapper broached the issue. Here is their exchange:

TAPPER: Do you think that the fact that this is now going on in California, does that cause you to re-think your pledge to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act?

OBAMA: No. I still think that these are decisions that need to be made at a state and local level. I’m a strong supporter of civil unions. And I think that, you know, we’re involved in a national conversation about this issue. You know, I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, but I also think that same-sex partners should be able to visit each other in hospitals, they should be able to transfer property, they should be able to get the same federal rights and benefits that are conferred onto married couples.

None of this should surprise us, of course. Obama’s held the same view since he got into the election and doesn’t seem to be budging. The politico’s repetition of his ideal marriage definition has some gays riled, like Sara Whitman, who blasted Obama last night.

Wrote Whitman:

If I hear “Marriage is between one man and one woman” one more time from Obama’s mouth- or any Democrat’s mouth- I’m going to scream. Last night, while being questioned on California’s decision, Obama just had to say it. One man, one woman.

How is this change? Leadership? Hope?

Or do only straight people get to hope?

As historical as having an African-American man run for the highest office in this nation is, it is not the only history being made. The fact that the second state in this country- and a fairly big state- has laid claim to the belief that separate is not equal is just as historically significant.

All this begs the question: was Obama thinking aloud in that interview, video of which can be found below, or did he want to signal to conservatives that he’s on their side of the marriage aisle? In definition, at least.

Regardless of the answer, Whitman’s anger clearly indicates that Obama and his campaign could be in dangerous territory with some gays. As has been mentioned, he’ll have to make sure his LGBT Vote initiative gains traction with the rank-and-file. And, clearly, Obama should keep his gay explanations to a minimum. Besides, it’s not as if we haven’t heard it before…

[Image via Obama’s Flickr page.]