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For Obama, 1996 support for marriage equality is becoming an issue for 2012

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So, no mention of marriage in the State of the Union, which isn't really a surprise. Last October, the President told me that he's evolving on the issue -- and that's about it. Meanwhile, the Obama administration continues to defend DOMA in courts.

Over the past week, for the first time in a long time, there have been a number of mentions of Obama's 1996 support for marriage -- as reported in January of 2009 by the Windy City Times. At the White House briefing on Monday, the Washington Blade's Chris Johnson asked Robert Gibbs about it -- and Gibbs deflected.

But, since Obama claims to be evolving now, when did he devolve from the 1996 position? Was there a policy reason or was it a political calculation? Kerry Eleveld thinks this could become an issue for 2012 (I think so, too):

White House aides have never faced serious questioning on the matter of Obama's previous stance and the reasons for his devolution on same-sex marriage - an explanation on which I'm sure they'd rather not deliberate.

But I have spoken with enough mainstream journalists to know that they are already curious about what "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal means for marriage equality and, if the president's '96 positioning becomes part of the mainstream discussion, the White House will have to find a way to redirect this recurring loop in the media before President Obama enters the thick of the 2012 election.
Supporting civil unions was a politically acceptable position in 2008. Not anymore.

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