Following several administration leaders including VP Joe Biden who announced they favored recognition of same sex marriage the President announced that he too believed that same sex couples ought to have the right to marry. Having six month of news to fill about an election where the candidates and their stand on the issues is well known (Mr. Romney’s positions of course being subject to change) the major news outlets treated this as a big story.
Obama’s statement was greeted by gay rights supporters as a historic milestone in the history of the movement — an unprecedented moment of validation from the country’s most important political figure.
“Today, President Obama made history by boldly stating that gay and lesbian Americans should be fully and equally part of the fabric of American society and that our families deserve nothing less than the equal respect and recognition that comes through marriage,” said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group close to the White House. The group’s incoming president,
major Obama fundraiser, added that the president’s words “will be celebrated by
generations to come.” Griffin
The reason this is not big news is that first of all anyone who was going to vote on the basis on the same sex marriage issue has already made up their minds, and more importantly that bothersome thing called the 10th amendment.
The 10th amendment is cherished by Conservatives. It delegates all the governmental power not specifically given to the Federal government to the state governments. And one of those powers is the power to determine and regulate and define marriage. So if the chief Federal officer of the land supports same sex marriage it don’t matter a bit. It is still a state issue. What Mr. Obama thinks or what any other President thinks is irrelevant. The issue is decided at the state level.
Of course it may be that the Federal government could play a role. For example, the Supreme Court may rule that states that do not allow same sex marriage cannot do so, because they have no legal justification to doing so since their only justification for the ban is because they don’t like gay people. This is possible but unlikely.
A second way the Feds may get involved is that for all their statements in support of the 10th amendment, it turns out Conservatives don’t really believe in it all that much. They particularly don’t believe in it when the citizens of a state decide to do something Conservatives don’t like, such as allow gay marriage. When that happens Conservatives turn to the Federal government and demand Federal action.
This means Conservatives support a Constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage for every state, so that even when a state wants to do something that has been state power for over 200 years, they cannot do so. Again the President is irrelevant, having no role in the passing and approval of a Constitutional amendment. As for Conservatives their position is clear. When that nice 10th amendment gets in the way of what they want, well they just boot it out of their way.