On Wednesday, May 9, President Obama announced to ABC News’ Robin Roberts his support for same sex marriage.
“At a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me, personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama said during the interview.
Already the first black president, Obama has a knack for stirring up headlines and making history. Though his personal opinion on the subject won’t enact any new legislation, never before has a president, much less an incumbent up for re-election, chosen this side of the same sex marriage issue.
“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that,” junior Jasper Moshur-Ware said.
Obama, who once opposed such marriages, said that his decision had “evolved” due, in most part, to his daughters who have friends with same sex parents.
“It wouldn’t dawn on them that somehow their friends’ parents would be treated differently. It doesn’t make sense to them and frankly, that’s the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective,” Obama said.
The statement’s effect on the upcoming election is yet to be seen. On the one hand, it’s considered a positive development to many of the liberal, same-sex marriage supporters who made up Obama’s base in 2008. On the other, it stamped an official dividing line between Obama and the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, and his social conservative backers. Even the nation is as divided as the two parties on this issue: a Gallup Poll released Tuesday showed 50% of Americans for and 48% against legal recognition of same-sex marriages. This gap will most likely make this close election even closer, dividing upon generational and religious lines.
“I don’t agree with it personally, but the colonists came to America to secure equal rights for all people. I think the president is going with what the founding fathers would want,” senior Sergio Perez said.
Many have written off Obama’s statement as a flip-flopping attempt at gaining votes, but the issue sits close to home in San Antonio.
“I applaud the president’s recognition that gays and lesbians should not be treated as second-class citizens with regard to marriage,” Mayor Castro said. “I don’t think is this about getting re-elected, this is about what is morally right.”