My theory on President Obama's evolution on gay marriage



Barack Obama, evolving
  • Steve Jurvetson/Wikimedia Commons
  • Barack Obama, evolving
In honor of Origins Week at the Reader, I was going to write a post about one of my favorite books: On the Origin of Species.

But then I thought—ah, forget that. I want to write about a different evolutionary process: President Obama's long and steady attitude on the issue of gay marriage.

As you all know by now, the president went on national TV yesterday to announce that after years of intense soul-searching he'd come to the conclusion that he now favored gay marriage.

'Cause it was the right stance to take.

Well, with all due respect to the president—who I voted for twice—I don't believe one word of it. The soul-searching part of it, that is.

Oh, I do believe he supports gay marriage. I believe he always supported gay marriage. In fact, I don’t think his attitude on gay marriage’s changed since he was first asked about it roughly 16 years ago.

He supported it then as he supports it now and, as I suspect, he privately supported it in the interval, when his attitude was supposedly "evolving."

I say this not because I know the president—I don't. Or because I've talked to him—I haven't. But because he comes from Hyde Park. And—well, c'mon—pretty much everyone in Hyde Park supports gay marriage. Even the Republicans.

I suspect President Obama's evolution on gay marriage began when one of his political strategists—presumably David Axelrod—said: Boss, if you want to get elected president, you gotta realize, most of the country's not like Hyde Park.

Thus began the great presidential evolution, where he supposedly conferred with rabbis, priests, ministers, and imams, while watching reruns of Will and Grace, before coming to the conclusion that: Yes, I can be in favor of gay marriage!

For my part, I think it's an excellent conclusion to evolve to.

I know, I know—there's still a lot of people who are against it. Why, just the other day about 60 percent of the electorate in North Carolina voted for a constitutional amendment outlawing gay marriage.

Apparently the anti-gay marriage law they already had on the books wasn’t enough protection.

But look at it this way. Almost all of the black voters who voted for that anti-gay amendment will still vote for Obama. Just like almost all of the white people who voted for it wouldn't vote for Obama in a million years.

So, it's sort of a wash.

But even if it's politically risky, the president seized the upper hand on an issue whose day is coming. Mark my words—in time, everyone will be for gay marriage, even Republicans outside of Hyde Park.

I, for one, eagerly await the start of Mitt Romney's evolution on this issue. Yeah, right—any day now.

Anyway, well done, Mr. President. It's almost enough to get me to forgive you for sticking us with Mayor Emanuel.

I said almost. You'll have to evolve toward an endorsement of legalizing marijuana before I do that.

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