Yes, voicing his support was a calculated move done to help increase his support among his base, which is not the religious, middle-of-the-road, conservative voters, but his young and left-wing voters. Polls say that he has lost some support among these voters and that his strategists are having him focus on "symbolic" issues to win them over that won't call for him having to actually create any legislation.

From here:

I do think it would be abominable for a president not to voice support for marriage equality or to support but remain silent about it. However, he's not going to do anything about this. It's actually rather safe for him to say he supports this as it's an issue decided on the state level, not one under his jurisdiction anyway.
Originally Posted by diaspora
Got to say I can't believe that's true, but if it is, it means Team Obama is in major danger. He absolutely can't afford to lose anyone in his base. At the same time I'm sorry but Obama can't afford for more than a second of his time to go to keeping young and left-wing voters. If he doesn't already have them he's already screwed. It's all about moving to the middle if he wants to win and gay marriage is waaay more than a symbolic issue for the middle.
Originally Posted by NorahBugg
... I ...

Okay, the people for whom gay marriage is more than a symbolic issue are those of us who might want to get one someday.

For him to abandon us in order to win reelection would be an awful move and I think I might even be more upset to think that was happening than to see Romney win. If we've got a Democrat as a President who won't do anything differently than any given Republican because he's trying to appease Congress and the electorate, what's the point?

Statistics have shown that support for marriage equality is increasing, rapidly and dramatically. Even if he loses in November, ultimately, that's where we're clearly headed, and he is doing the right thing by standing on the side of equality.
Originally Posted by amandamarie
In my opinion, gay marriage is more than a symbolic issue (it's an issue of equality so it's extremely important) which is why I put "symbolic" in quotes, to show that it's the author's opinion of how the Obama administration views the issue, not my opinion on the importance of the issue. Sorry if I wasn't clear. I'm angry that he didn't come out in support of this earlier, but does so now as part of a political strategy. It leads me to believe that he does see this issue as symbolic more than righteous and urgent. Also, I think what the author means by "symbolic" is that a president supporting an issue he is not expected to produce and push through legislation for (marriage is decided by states) is symbolic support for the issue.

I have marched for marriage equality even though I won't get one and take issue with the institution of marriage. If it exists, people deserve equal access to it. There are benefits attached to marriage that everyone deserves.
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Last edited by diaspora; 05-10-2012 at 02:58 PM. Reason: repeat words