Thursday, May 10, 2012

Politics of Gay Marriage: Top 9 Things to Watch For

May 10, 2012 8:56pm

President Obama made history at the White House yesterday when he told my GMA co-anchor Robin Roberts that he supports same-sex marriage. But how will the politics play out come November?  That’s the question we’re tackling today on the Bottom Line.
Strategists on both sides of the issue – and from both Presidential campaigns – have told me the politics are likely to be a wash.  Hard to read – and certain not to supplant the economy as the campaign’s top issue.  No question that’s right.  To borrow a phrase from Donald Rumsfeld, Obama’s shift raises more “known unknowns” than firm conclusions.  So I have more questions about the politics of same sex marriage right now than answers.

Here are my top nine:
#1 – Will this fire up Christian Conservatives who have had some real qualms about Mitt Romney and skepticism about his Mormon faith?  Enough to put them enthusiastically in Romney’s camp in solid numbers?
#2 – Did this cost President Obama North Carolina? We saw the results of the referendum on Tuesday with 79 percent of the electorate supporting a ban on same-sex marriage. Additionally twenty percent of voters in the Democratic primary voted against Obama, which could show that he’s got some trouble in a state he won four years ago.
#3 – Will this motivate under 30 voters enough to get their turnout back to 2008 levels? We know they haven’t been “fired up” yet, but it’s also true that young voters are driving support for gay marriage.  According to our ABC News/Washington Post poll 61 percent of voters under the age of 40 support same-sex marriage compared to only 40% of voters over the age of 65 who support it.  Will Obama’s shift make them believe again that he’s the candidate of “hope and change?”
#4 – On the flip side, how much will older voters be turned off?  Are they more likely to focus on Obama’s stance on gay marriage, or Romney’s plans for Medicare?  That’s the key question for this group – and how they turn could make the difference in the mega battleground of Ohio.  Same goes for Iowa – and Obama’s marriage shift could put Wisconsin in play for Romney too.
#5 – A majority of African American voters are against gay marriage, but will Obama’s support for this issue reduce turnout in the black community in November?( I doubt it)
#6 – And what about Hispanics? President Obama was counting on their vote in the Southwest, specifically in Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada. But many Hispanics are Catholic and culturally conservative. Could this issue somehow tamp down turnout for the president in those key states?
#7 -Six of Obama’s top bundlers come from the gay community. Will this increase their pull in the campaign? And will it open up more contributions, especially in the Obama aligned Super PACS which have been lagging in fundraising compared to the Republican aligned Super PACS?
# 8 -Voters tend to punish whichever candidate seems to be putting the issue of same-sex marriage front and center in a political campaign.  By November will it still be front and center?  If so, will voters blame Obama for his switch – or buy his argument that Romney made it a national issue by supporting a Constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages everywhere?
# 9 – The President told Robin that he wants to leave the question of same sex marriage to the states for now. But will he face pressure to have the Justice Department join litigation seeking to strike down state bans?  That could be the next front in this war.
Those are my nine questions. Let me know yours.  I’d love to hear some of your answers too.

Prince Charles as Weatherman

Watch what happens when Prince Charles takes over a weather segment on the BBC.
00:42 | 05/10/2012

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North Korea's Kim Jong Un issues rare public drubbing -- of a roller coaster

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the Mangyongdae Funfair in Pyongyang on Wednesday.

This just in: North Korea is not a paradise in some ways — and this news comes from Pyongyang’s official mouthpiece, the Korean Central News Agency.
On Wednesday, KCNA reported that newly anointed leader Kim Jong Un had visited an amusement park where he scolded park officials for poor upkeep of the park, according to the Yonhap News Agency in South Korea.
The criticism from the young leader was the first publicly reported rebuke since he inherited leadership of the country in December, and a rare occurrence in the history of the normally laudatory "inspection tours" taken by his father, Kim Jong Il, and grandfather Kim Il Sung, who ruled before him.
Kim’s criticism of the Mangyongdae Funfair in Pyongyang was strong and detailed, going so far as to describe the state of the grounds by the Viking ride as “pathetic,” Yonhap said.
He found problems with the roller coaster, the paint on the rides and the safety of the waterpark, the report said, and instructed officials to draw a lesson from touring the site and take it as a warning of the need for a "proper spirit of serving the people."

PhotoBlog: Kim Jong-Un looks at things... and then shoots them

Analysts cited by Yonhap viewed this report as a means of the burnishing the image of Kim, thought to be about 28, as a competent and detail-oriented leader interested in citizens' welfare.
"The aim is to instill an awareness among ranking officials across North Korea that Kim Jong-un is a benevolent leader but also strict when it comes to principles," Jang Yong-seok, a senior researcher at the Institute for Peace and Unification Studies at Seoul National University told Yonhap.
Kim’s apparent efforts to consolidate his position as leader of the country’s Communist Party, government and military has not been entirely smooth.
In April, North Korea attempted a rocket launch — seen as a way of bolstering the regime’s legitimacy — despite protest from the international community. North Korea said the rocket was for putting a civilian satellite into orbit, but its critics said it was a missile test.
The rocket exploded.
The launch attempt prompted the United States to suspend 240,000 tons of planned food aid to North Korea, which is believed to be suffering a severe shortage.
Some North Korea experts are predicting that Pyongyang is planning an underground nuclear test, which likely would further isolate the regime.
Fighting between North Korea and U.S.-backed South Korea ended in armistice in 1953, but the two nations are technically still at war.
Kim Il Sung, the grandfather of the current leader, was a Communist fighter who emerged as the first leader of the north after World War II.

Yemen terror group may have made more underwear bombs, US officials say

The man at the center of the alleged al-Qaida terror plot to bring down a passenger airliner headed to the United States was a double agent cooperating with the U.S. NBC's Pete Williams reports.
Just days before the news broke about the CIA's takedown of a plot involving a sophisticated new underwear bomb, al-Qaida’s affiliate in Yemen publicly boasted that it had vastly expanded and improved its capabilities for making such devices.
That boast -- contained in a largely overlooked passage of Inspire, the online propaganda organ of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) -- has fueled concerns that there may be other versions of the seized device and more bomb makers assembling them, according to U.S. security officials and members of Congress who have been briefed on the case.
"They have a team of engineers, scientists and doctors. It's a little spooky,"  said Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas, a member of the Homeland Security Committee who was briefed this week on the intelligence operation that U.S. officials say thwarted an AQAP plot to bomb a U.S.-bound airliner. "In my view, it’s very likely they have produced more of these." One hint at the expansion of AQAP's bomb-making capabilities can be found in passages in an article entitled "Wining on the Ground," found on the 57th page of the latest 59-page edition of Inspire, released by AQAP last weekend.
In 2009, AQAP had only a "very modest and small laboratory in a rural area" to make bombs, the author of the article –identified as Yahya Ibrahim -- wrote.

Michael Leiter, former director of the National Counterterrorism Center, talks to TODAY's Ann Curry about the dangers of revealing too much information about how the U.S. and its allies foiled the alleged al-Qaida plot to bomb a passenger airliner.  
That was the year AQAP dispatched a suicide bomber to use a chemical underwear bomb to attempt to assassinate Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdul Azizbin, director of Saudi Arabia’s counterterrorism program, and later deployed another operative from Nigeria to try to blow up a U.S. airliner bound for Detroit. Neither device detonated properly, though the bomber in the first attack was killed.
But now, after obtaining “a large deal of chemicals from military laboratories" in a key city in southern Yemen -- "the modest lab has transformed into a modern one," the Inspire article stated.
"Hence, no wearisome measures are taken anymore to obtain the needed large amount of chemicals for explosives," it said. "Also, the operations now do not lack money as before."
Related stories
Lawmakers vow investigation of bomb plot leak 
Insider who thwarted bomb plot was supposed to carry it out
This was not the first time AQAP has signaled that its bomb-making capabilities may be greater than U.S. officials have suggested.
In an issue of Inspire in late 2010, the group appeared to mock comments by U.S. officials focusing on the critical role of its top bomb-maker, Ibrahim Hassan Asiri -- who has been widely credited with designing the underwear bombs.
"Isn't it funny how America thinks AQAP has only one major bomb maker?" an article stated.
Gregory Johnsen, a highly respected Yemen scholar who specializes in AQAP at Princeton University, said the propaganda outlet’s statements are likely true.
"We have to assume that there is not only one bomb-maker," he said. "It makes sense that he (Asiri) is somebody who has taught others" about making such bombs.
Johnsen said that the expansion of AQAP's bomb-making operations would be just one example of the dramatic gains the group has made in the past few years. As a result of the internal chaos in Yemen, and its shrewd exploitation of civilian casualties caused by U.S. air strikes, AQAP has made major advances, Johnsen said.
By U.S. intelligence estimates, the number of AQAP fighters has tripled to more than 1,000. It has also seized swaths of territory in southern Yemen, where it runs its own court system, deploys police officers and provides electricity to some towns, Johnsen said.
U.S. intelligence officials say they have no specific information indicating that other improvised explosive devices (IEDs) similar to the one that was turned over by a CIA informant last month have been produced and possibly spirited out of Yemen.
But John Brennan, President Barack Obama's chief counterterrorism adviser, said Tuesday in an interview with PBS that U.S. officials are taking additional measures "to prevent any other type of IED similarly constructed from getting through security procedures."
At the same time, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued new "guidance" calling for enhanced security at foreign airports, including additional pat-downs and random searches, as well as other steps aimed at detecting such bombs.

Beat The Gay Out Of Kids Pastor Apology Attacks Homosexuality As ‘Abomination’

Editor’s note: Pastor Harris gave an interview to veteran journalist Michelangelo Signorile today. Read: “Pastor Harris To Signorile: My Words Were “Chopped” And Taken Out Of Context
Pastor Sean Harris, who Sunday advocated beating the gay out of children as young as four years old, has issued two statements of apology that are far from apologies and do little to quell the damage he has done to children and families, to his ministry, to his religion, and to the people of North Carolina. Harris, undaunted, continued to bash gay people throughout his two “apologies,” claiming God can make gay people straight. Harris claims he ”can understand how these words could be misunderstood without the context of years of ministering to the people of God at Berean Baptist Church.”
Falsely claiming “[n]early every article is misquoting me,” despite nearly every article having embedded the audio of Harris’ sermon taken directly from his church website, Harris issued an “Important Clarification” on his blog, sometime yesterday, falsely claiming his words “are being completely taken out of context by those in the LGBT community.” His sermon has been denounced by a divinity professor and by the public at large, far outside the LGBT community. One news report states Harris told them he had been only joking.
The general public, as well as LGBT people, activists, and allies, were disgusted to hear Pastor Harris deride parents who don’t “squash like a cockroach” the gay out of their children on Sunday at a sermon designed to get parishioners to vote for North Carolina’s Amendment One, a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
Give them a good punch,” and “crack that wrist,” Harris told parents if their four-year old boy, for example, “starts acting a little ‘girlish’.” Pastor Harris added that parents should tell their four-year olds to “man up, son, get that dress off you get outside and dig a ditch because that’s what boys do.”
“Can I make it any clearer? Dads, the second you see that son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist. Man up. Give them a good punch. OK? You’re not going to act like that — you were made by God to be a male and you’re going to be a male,” Harris said in this audio originally provided by Jeremy Hooper at Good As You. (Hooper also points us to the official transcript of Harris’ sermon, which has edited out the offensive portions.)
Then, earlier today, Pastor Sean Harris was forced to issue an “Official Statement of Retraction,” which looks more like a legal document than an apology:
The purpose of this document is to issue an official statement of retraction of any and all words that suggest that child abuse is appropriate for any and all types of behaviors including (but not limited to) effeminacy and sexual immorality of all types. I should not have said what I said about “cracking,” “punching,” and particular bias toward outward attraction of girls. Nor should I have used the words “special dispensation.” I did not say that children should be squashed. I have never suggested children or those in the LGBT lifestyle should be beaten, punched, abused (physically or psychologically) in any form or fashion. The gospel is the only source of power sufficient to deliver anyone from the power, penalty, and presence of all forms of sin including, but not limited to, all forms of sexual immorality including homosexuality.
Claiming he “did not say anything to intentionally offend anyone in the LGBT community,” Harris went on to attack homosexuality in his Official Statement of Retraction:
The gospel is the only source of power sufficient to deliver anyone from the power, penalty, and presence of all forms of sin including, but not limited to, all forms of sexual immorality including homosexuality.

do not apologize for the manner in which the Word of God articulates sexual immorality, including homosexuality and effeminacy, as a behavior that is an abomination to God. Nothing in this official statement of retraction should be perceived as an apology for the overarching intent and message of the sermon and the need to define marriage as one man and one woman and to maintain the gender distinctions that God created from the beginning when He made them male and female (Genesis 1). I recognize that there are those in the LGBT community who believe that their sexual behavior is not sin. I do not agree with them and this official retraction should not be misunderstood as an apology for the gospel of Jesus Christ or the Word of God.
do not apologize for the manner in which I emphasized the importance of one man and one woman getting married and staying married for the benefit of their children and society.
Claiming “we also cannot compromise on what we believe the Bible teaches on all sexual perversions and immorality,” Harris wrote yesterday:
The opposition is revealing their complete lack of toleration toward those do not approve of the LGBT lifestyle or agenda. However, we must be tolerantly intolerant. Jesus our Savior provides the perfect example of grace and truth.
(Emphasis mine.)
Apparently, the Pastor has yet to hear his own words.
In his “Important Clarification,” from yesterday, Pastor Harris claimed:
I would like to have been more careful with exactly what I said, but sometimes I say things without enough clarity. I trust you understood my intent in the context of my total preaching ministry. If you did not, I would be more than happy to meet with you privately to provide clarity.
Reverend Sue Clark, Interfaith Minister/Advocate for equality and human rights today attempted to contact Pastor Sean Harris, via Twitter, but received no response.
You state, @Pastor_Sean, u will meet w/ anyone in your congreg abt your comments. How about meeting with me? Clergy-to-Clergy.
Is anyone surprised?
What Pastor Harris said was perfectly acceptable to his parishioners. The problem is that there was audio and he got caught.
Conservative Christians are claiming outrage because Dan Savage used a few inappropriate words during a journalism lecture. A dozen conservative journalism students walked out when Savage supposedly assaulted their religious sensibilities. Here we have a pastor advocating the assault of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender infants and children. Did one parent walk out?
The hypocrisy from the so-called Religious Right is abominable.

Maya calendar workshop documents time beyond 2012

Tyrone Turner / National Geographic
Boston University archaeologist William Saturno carefully uncovers art and writings left by the Maya some 1,200 years ago. The art and other symbols on the walls may have been records kept by a scribe, Saturno theorizes. Saturno's excavation and documentation of the house were supported by the National Geographic Society.

Archaeologists have found a stunning array of 1,200-year-old Maya paintings in a room that appears to have been a workshop for calendar scribes and priests, with numerical markings on the wall that denote intervals of time well beyond the controversial cycle that runs out this December.
For years, prophets of doom have been saying that we're in for an apocalypse on Dec. 21, 2012, because that marks the end of the Maya "Long Count" calendar, which was based on a cycle of 13 intervals known as "baktuns," each lasting 144,000 days. But the researchers behind the latest find, detailed in the journal Science and an upcoming issue of National Geographic, say the writing on the wall runs counter to that bogus belief.
"It's very clear that the 2012 date, while important as Baktun 13, was turning the page," David Stuart, an expert on Maya hieroglyphs at the University of Texas at Austin, told reporters today. "Baktun 14 was going to be coming, and Baktun 15 and Baktun 16. ... The Maya calendar is going to keep going, and keep going for billions, trillions, octillions of years into the future."
The current focus of the research project, led by Boston University's William Saturno, is a 6-by-6-foot room situated beneath a mound at the Xultun archaeological site in Guatemala's Peten region. Maxwell Chamberlain, a BU student participating in the excavations there, happened to notice a poorly preserved wall protruding from a trench that was previously dug by looters, with the hints of a painting on the plaster.
Saturno said he didn't think there'd be much to the wall, but "I felt we had a responsibility to find out at the very least how large this room was."
When archaeologists worked their way into the mound, they were amazed to find that it was a richly decorated room from the Classic Maya period, dating back to roughly the year 800. One niche was adorned with the faded picture of a Maya king, wearing a blue-feathered headdress and holding a white scepter. The picture of a scribe holding a stylus, perhaps the son or brother of the king, was painted nearby with the label "Younger Brother Obsidian." Another wall showed a row of three stylized black figures, with one bearing the hieroglyphic name "Older Brother Obsidian."

Tyrone Turner / National Geographic
The painted figure of a man — possibly a scribe who once lived in the house built by the ancient Maya — is illuminated through a doorway to the dwelling, in northeastern Guatemala. The structure represents the first Maya house found to contain artwork on its walls. The research is supported by the National Geographic Society.

Tyrone Turner / National Geographic
Never-before-seen artwork — the first to be found on walls of a Maya house — adorn the dwelling in the ruined city of XultĂșn. The figure at left is one of three men on the house's west wall who are painted in black and wear identical costumes. One of the black figures is named "Older Brother Obsidian." The figure at right appears to be a scribe, labeled "Younger Brother Obsidian."

Heather Hurst / National Geographic
A vibrant orange figure, kneeling in front of the king on the ruined house's north wall, is labeled "Younger Brother Obsidian," a curious title seldom seen in Maya text. The man is holding a writing instrument, which may indicate he was a scribe. The painting re-creates the design and colors of the figure in the original Maya mural.

Heather Hurst / National Geographic
Three male figures, seated and painted in black, appear in a painting that re-creates the design and colors of a Mural found on the ruined house's west wall. The men wear only white loincloths and medallions around their necks, plus a headdress bearing another medallion and a single feather. One of the figures is particularly burly and is labeled "Older Brother Obsidian." Another is labeled as a youth.

Heather Hurst / National Geographic
A Maya king, seated and wearing an elaborate headdress of blue feathers, adorns the north wall of the ruined house discovered at the Maya site of Xultun. An attendant, at right, leans out from behind the king's headdress. The painting by artist Heather Hurst re-creates the design and colors of the original Maya artwork at the site.

Rows of numbers and hieroglyphs were painted on yet another wall. In fact, it appeared that the wall had been plastered over repeatedly and covered with new sets of figures. "What these are giving us are time spans," Stuart said. "Not so much dates, but Maya notations of elapsed time."
Stuart said some sets of numbers denoted lunar cycles of 177 or 178 days, along with the sign for a patron god that was associated with each cycle. "This was, we think, a calculator for a Maya priest, an astronomer, to figure out lunar ages," he said.
In a news release, Saturno said this represents the first look at "what may be actual records kept by a scribe, whose job was to be official record keeper of a Maya community."
"It's like an episode of TV's 'Big Bang Theory,' a geek math problem and they're painting it on the wall," Saturno said. "They seem to be using it like a blackboard."
In addition to lunar cycles, the calculations on the wall could relate to the periods of Venus, Mercury and Mars, the researchers reported. Stuart said such calculations could have come into play for predicting eclipses. He imagined that there might be "one or more, maybe two or three of these astronomers or calendar priests working, sitting there on a workbench and writing these notations on the wall."
One array of numbers would be particularly intriguing to doomsday debunkers: lists that appear to denote wide ranges of accumulated time, including a 17-baktun period. "There was a lot more to the Maya calendar than just 13 baktuns," Stuart observed. Seventeen baktuns would stand for about 6,700 years, which is much longer than the 13-baktun cycle of 5,125 years. However, Stuart cautioned that the time notation shouldn't be read as specifying a date that's farther in the future than Dec. 21.
"It may just be that this is a mathematical number that's kind of interesting," he said. "We're not sure what the base of the calendar is."

 William Saturno and David Stuart / National Geographic
Four long numbers on the north wall of the ruined house relate to the Maya calendar and computations about the moon, sun and possibly Venus and Mars; the dates may stretch some 7,000 years into the future. These are the first calculations Maya archaeologists have found that seem to tabulate all of these cycles in this way. Although they all involve common multiples of key calendrical and astronomical cycles, the exact significance of these spans of time is not known.
Saturno said archaeologists have been trying to get the word that the end of the Maya culture's 13-baktun "Long Count" calendar didn't signify the end of the world, but merely a turnover to the next cycle in a potentially infinite series — like going from Dec. 31 to Jan. 1 on a modern calendar, or turning the odometer on a car over from 99999.9 to 00000.0.
"If someone is a hard-core believer that the world is going to end in 2012, no painting is going to convince them otherwise," he said. "The only thing that can convince them otherwise is waiting until Dec. 22, 2012 — which fortunately for all of us isn't that far away."
Saturno and his colleagues plan to be studying the Xultun site long after that time. He said the workshop was apparently part of a residential compound that had been razed over the ages; the workshop was preserved because it was filled in with material rather than smashed down from above. That could suggest that the room was recognized as a special place even when it was abandoned. Research into the room and its purpose is continuing, Saturno said.

In its day, Xultun apparently served as one of the major ceremonial cities for the Classic Maya civilization — and yet it's just barely been explored, in part because the area is so remote.
"We have probably 99.9 percent of Xultun left to explore," Saturno said. "We're going to be working on it probably for many decades to come. ... Four or five years in to the research project, we have yet to determine its actual boundaries — so my estimate may be off. We may have 99.99 percent left to excavate."
More Maya mysteries:

Leak hits Shell Nigeria pipeline at center of environmental case

Kristen Roy / courtesy Leigh Day & Co.
A local farmer looks on as a piece of paper dipped in a pool in the area around the Bomu-Burry pipeline is shown partially covered with oil residue in October, 2011.

A troubled Shell oil pipeline in Nigeria ruptured, spilling around hundreds of gallons of crude oil a minute for around 24 hours, a member of a nearby community told on Tuesday.
"I saw oil coming out from the ground, like a stream, on the pipeline," Erabanabari Kobah, who lives near the Bomu-Bonny pipeline, told
"Coming from four different points that are leaking and in every one second from each of these point.  (It was) not less than two liters of oil are coming out every second," Kobah said, adding that he had filmed Sunday night's leak, although had yet to see the footage.
A company spokesman confirmed the onshore spill on the Bomu-Bonny pipeline in Nigeria's Delta region but said the company would not release any details related to it until an ongoing investigation involving the Royal Dutch Shell-run joint venture, SPDC, Nigerian regulators and representatives of the local community was complete.

Landmark case: Nigerian villagers sue Shell over oil spills

The development could well complicate efforts for Shell, which is already facing a lawsuit for tens of millions of dollars in a London court for a leak on the same pipeline in nearby swampland.
Shell admits responsibility for two spills that devastated the Bodo fishing communities in the delta, a labyrinth of creeks and swamps.
The lawsuit, brought by 11,000 Nigerians from the Bodo community in the London High Court, concerns two oil spills in 2008/9 that they say destroyed their livelihoods and was at least 60 times worse than the company originally announced, advocacy group Amnesty International said on April 23.
Success for the claimants in the case would create a precedent that other communities affected by oil spills around the world might follow. It is being nervously watched by the oil industry.

100 miles of oil: Spill likely Nigeria’s worst in decade

Shell maintains that much of the oil spilled in the region is the result of theft and sabotage.  The case against the Shell rests on the contention that operational spills have caused extensive damage and, while there may be ongoing illegal theft from pipelines in the region, Shell are responsible for cleaning up the damage and compensating rural communities who have lost the fishing and farming income.
"If this was indeed operational failure, on the same pipeline from which the Bodo 2008 spills occurred, then it demonstrates an urgent need for the integrity of this particular pipeline to be reinforced or for it simply to be replaced," said Kristen Roy, of London-based law firm Leigh Day, which is representing the 11,000 Nigerians in the U.K.
Shell no longer operates in the area following lengthy disputes with local Nigerians about pollution, but still has pipelines and other infrastructure there and says it is committed to clearing up spills, whatever the cause.

PhotoBlog: Nigerian oil industry photos reveal extremes of poverty, wealth

 A United Nations report in August last year criticized Shell and the Nigerian government for contributing to 50 years of pollution in Ogoniland, which it says needs the world's largest ever oil clean-up that could take up to 30 years.
Kobah, a local environmental activist, said regardless of the outcome of the case against Shell he and others in the community wanted the company out of Nigeria.
"I was brought up in that community and I can see an unbelievable change over time," he said. "Our trees are no longer producing fruit, harvests no longer produce food, the fishing is pathetic."
"I don't think Shell should be here anymore," he said.
Reuters contributed to this report.

Obama's support for gay marriage sparks Web reaction


Politicians react to President Obama's gay marriage support

In an interview with ABC News, President Obama said, "I think same sex couples should be able to get married." Politicians, policy-makers and interest groups react to this latest development. For full coverage, follow @NBCNews or visit
  1. President Obama sent out this tweet minutes after the news broke 
  2. BarackObama
    "Same-sex couples should be able to get married."—President Obama
  3. VIDEO: NBC News Special Report
  4. Full Story: Evolution of President Obama's stance on gay marriage
  5. VIDEO: Joe Biden on Meet the Press last Sunday: I'm 'absolutely comfortable' with gay marriage

  6. Meet the Press
  7. mitchellreports
    Ok White House tell us u wouldn't have done this without the Biden push on @meetthepress
  8. Mitt Romney says he remains opposed to same-sex marriage during an event in Oklahoma City
  9. GarrettNBCNews
    Romney says in OKC that he remains opposed to same sex marriage: "I have the same view that I've had since running for office. "

  10. Dylan Ratigan
  11. GOP
    The Republican Party position is clear. We support maintaining marriage between one man and one woman:
  12. bergus
    "Marriage…can only be between one man and one woman." — E-mail from the GOP. Of Iowa. Where marriage can be between any two people.
  13. First House Republican to speak out against Obama's support of gay marriage
  14. AllenWest
    Pres failures are masked by irrelevant pandering as a collectivist who does not respect individual sovereignty. More of the same politics.
  15. House Speaker John Boehner addresses Obama's gay marriage announcement
  16. LukeRussert
    Boehner on Fox Business #SSM "I obviously believe marriage is between a man and a woman. #GOP is focused on the economy."
  17. LukeRussert
    Boehner dodges question on Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage saying "he hasn't seen proposal." #SSM
  18. Politicians speaking in favor of gay marriage 
  19. NancyPelosi
    A great day in our fight for civil rights-President Obama adds his support for marriage #equality. #BeautifulDay
  20. SenJeffMerkley
    Obama’s support today for marriage equality is HUGE. Fundamental fairness for all is within reach!
  21. DavidMDrucker
    "States are able to make decisions on domestic partner benefits." @MIttRomney
  22. ChrisCoons
    President Obama taking a historic step today in declaring support for marriage equality. Couldn't be prouder.
    1. SenGillibrand
      .@BarackObama Thx for your support of full #marriageequality today. Your leadership in the fight for #lgbt equality means so much.
    2. toddstarnes
      RNC chair: "We support maintaining marriage between one man and one woman and would oppose any attempts to change that."
    3. MikeBloomberg
      No matter the setbacks, freedom will triumph over fear & #equality will prevail over exclusion: #ssm
    4. CoryBooker
      We STILL have so much work to do. 100s of laws that deny rights & privileges to gay Americans that straight American's enjoy. #Equality4All
    5. NitaLowey
      I have been blessed to have a long and happy marriage - all Americans deserve that same opportunity. #lgbt #marriageequality
    6. jaredpolis
      Thank you @BarackObama for supporting marriage equality for all Americans
    7. MarkUdall
      Glad President @BarackObama has come out in support of marriage equality. #LGBT marriage strengthens families & communities.
    8. jahimes
      Glad the Pres finished "evolving" on marriage equality. Our core national value is equality and equal protection under the law.
    9. askgeorge
      Wanted to make sure you saw that President Obama today said that he believes “same sex couples should be able to...
    10. SenJohnThune
      I agree w/ Leader McConnell. POTUS' ‘to-do’ list for Congress is breathtaking in its cynicism. #ObamaStopList
    11. SenatorShaheen
      I applaud the president's announcement today in support of gay marriage.
    12. RepJerryNadler
      Thank you President @BarackObama for standing up for all American families and supporting marriage #equality
    13. davidcicilline
      "President Obama took bold step of recognizing same-sex couples in committed relationships entitled to the same rights as every American!
    14. repblumenauer
      Obama support for marriage equality huge step forward for America…. the tide is turning and the current running deeper and faster.
    15. RepSpeier
      Marriage is about two people who love each other. Glad to hear that Pres Obama thinks so too! #NOH8 #equality
    16. SenatorLeahy
      Thrilled to hear POTUS’s support for #marriageequality. Historic step in march for equality that touches the hearts of so many Americans.
    17. CongRothman
      Marriage Equality is a matter of basic human rights. America’s same-sex families are now closer to having their unions recognized by govt.
    18. RepJudyChu
      Thrilled to see #President #Obama back #MarriageEquality. This is a huge day for the #LGBT community!
    19. GerryConnolly
      .@BarackObama gets it right. No barriers to the inalienable rights of our Constitution for any citizen, gay or straight
    20. chelliepingree
      Why my family has always supported marriage #equalilty. #BeautifulDay #mepolitics
    21. LuisGutierrez
      Yesterday I expressed my desire that President Obama speak with clarity & come out in support of #MarriageEquality. Today, he came through!
      19 hours ago

      1. CoryBooker 
        Giambusso from The Ledger asked me 4 a statement re: Obama & marriage equality. I told him I'd give him one as soon as I stopped dancing
      2. jessetyler
        With @MichelleObama & @JustinMikita permission I would like to marry @BarackObama right now!
      3. amaeryllis
        I'm going to bet people saying President Obama's support "means nothing" never comforted a 15 yr old gay kid asking why everyone hates him.
      4. SeanEldridge
        As someone who is getting married next month, this is the greatest wedding gift of all. Thank you Mr. President.
      5. TheEllenShow
        Thank you President @BarackObama for your beautiful and brave words. I'm overwhelmed.
      6. MikeBloomberg
        President @BarackObama’s announcement is a major turning point in the history of American civil rights: #ssm
      7. janemarielynch
        Pretty darn happy today. Thanks Mr President, for supporting the dignity of my family and so many others!
      8. brianstelter
        On Fox, Shep Smith shows ABC's clip of Obama, then says: "The president of the United States: now in the 21st century."
      9. scottfujita99
        As the adopted son of a mixed race couple, I want to thank President Obama for finally stepping up & doing the right thing.
      10. GovernorOMalley
        Ultimately we all want the same thing for our kids: to live in a loving, stable committed home protected equally under the law. #MD4ME