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VP Biden: Gay marriage inevitable

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden told ABC News on Dec. 24 that the nation
will reach consensus on supporting legalization of same-sex marriage.

“I think there’s an inevitability for a national consensus on gay
marriage,” Biden said. “That is my view. … It is evolving. I think the
country’s evolving.”

President Barack Obama has made similar statements.

On Oct. 27, Obama told gay blogger Joe Sudbay: “(Y)ou’re right that
attitudes evolve, including mine. And I think that it is an issue that I
wrestle with and think about because I have a whole host of friends who
are in gay partnerships. I have staff members who are in committed,
monogamous relationships, who are raising children, who are wonderful
parents, and I care about them deeply. And so while I’m not prepared to
reverse myself here, sitting in the Roosevelt Room at 3:30 in the
afternoon, I think it’s fair to say that it’s something that I think a lot
about. That’s probably the best you’ll do out of me today. … The one
thing I will say today is I think it’s pretty clear where the trendlines
are going … the arc of history.”

In a Dec. 22 interview with The Advocate’s Kerry Eleveld, Obama continued:
“Joe asked me the same question. … The sentiment I expressed then is
still where I am — which is, like a lot of people, I’m wrestling with
this. My attitudes are evolving on this. I have always firmly believed in
having a robust civil union that provides the rights and benefits under
the law that marriage does. I’ve wrestled with the fact that marriage
traditionally has had a different connotation. But I also have a lot of
very close friends who are married gay or lesbian couples. And squaring
that circle is something that I have not done yet, but I’m continually
asking myself this question, and I do think that — I will make this
observation, that I notice there is a big generational difference. When
you talk to people who are in their 20s, they don’t understand what the
holdup is on this, regardless of their own sexual orientation. And
obviously when you talk to older folks, then there’s greater resistance.”

The L.A. Times editorial board criticized Obama’s statements Dec. 30.

“The president could spare himself that struggle if he would analyze the
issue logically,” the newspaper said. “If he did, he would recognize that
it’s irrational, once same-sex couples are given the practical advantages
of marriage, to deny them married status. Civil unions, while a vast
improvement over the absence of any recognition of same-sex relationships,
are almost by definition second-class arrangements. The temptation is to
think that Obama knows this, and that his reluctance to endorse marriage
equality is more political than personal.”

Indeed, in early 1996, then-state-Senate candidate Barack Obama wrote to
the Chicago gay newspaper Outlines (now known as Windy City Times), “I
favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit
such marriages.” WCT has reproduced the letter at tinyurl.com/3aghmsf.

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