Obama’s Support of Gay Americans Won't Translate Into Votes

Gay Marriage in DCPresident Obama's announcement in support of marriage equality last week was a brave and courageous one. One that demonstrated the President's support for gay and lesbian Americans who unfortunately aren't guaranteed the same fundamental rights that the rest of their American neighbors are entitled to.  

But even though President Obama’s support of same-sex marriage was a step in the right direction towards marriage equality, I don’t think his announcement will help him win or lose the election this November. Although marriage equality is an important issue, the segment of the population that considers this issue a game changer would have never voted for Romney anyway. Issues that will decide this election include those that relate to the economy, health care, and immigration.

Not gay rights.  


For those few voters that may have been undecided, Obama’s recent announcement would likely be a wash for that group. Reports indicate that the small segment that continues to be undecided include religious leaders and Independents. As for the religious leaders, CBS reports that Obama has likely lost the support of only those leaders that may have remained “on the fence” about voting for Obama. With regard to the Independent voters, those voters probably knew that Obama was likely a supporter of gay rights even without his explicit announcement last week. So it appears that the bottom line result of Obama’s announcement is that if gay rights is an important issue to you, then the presumptive nominee was certainly not going to advocate for you on that issue. 

While I admire Obama’s announcement, what does it really change? At the moment, nothing. Obama stated that he has "concluded that ... same-sex couples should be able to get married." Obama has not indicated any plans to propose new legislation. Even with all the immediate press and buzz his announcement generated on traditional media channels and in social media, it was all very anticlimactic. What happens next? Well, most likely it will be up to the states to decide how this story will end. Until then, I hope that gay Americans know that at least in the White House, they have someone that will rally in support of their rights.   


Image via NotionsCapital.com/Flickr

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