By Syed Ubaidur Rahman (NVONews.com)
North Carolina gay marriage referendum has started a new debate in the Us. President Obama has sided with gay marriage lobby to become the first US president to do so, says Syed Ubaidur Rahman of NVONews.com
By openly supporting the gay marriage Barack Husain Obama on Wednesday became the first United States President to publicly express support for the same-sex marriage. Curiously, he told ABC’s Robin Roberts that he was influenced by the views of the First Lady and his two daughters.
But whether it is Obama or his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, the marriage of convenience has more to do with their stand on the issue, as the presidential election is round the corner. After all Obama’s comment on ABC came only a day after North Carolina became the 29th state, which approved ban on same-sex marriage.
Both the Republicans and Democrats are weighing the issue politically. Though Democrats would like to revive the ghost of Osama Bin Laden and global terrorism, gay marriages and abortions are likely to play an important role in this election once again. The Republicans would certainly like to make them election issues.
Obama has taken a calculated risk as the Democrats strongly feel that the number of those supporting gay marriages in the United States are swelling even though there is a risk that a large number of independent voters may turn away from Democrats. Evangelists, Catholics and other religious groups––both Christians and non-Christians––are bound to react sharply over the issue. However, there are Churches who support gay and lesbian marriages.
There are still half a dozen states in the United States, such as New York and the District of Columbia, which allow gay and lesbian marriages.
According to estimates, nearly two-thirds of Democrats support same-sex marriage, along with more than half of independents, while fewer than one-quarter of Republicans believe it should be allowed. Interestingly, Republican gay rights activists have praised Obama’s remarks, but were more muted.
Mitt Romney has made it clear that he opposes gay marriage. Campaigning in Oklahoma City, he said he believes “marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman.” However, he supports hospital visitation rights and other domestic partnership benefits for gay and lesbian couples.
On the other hand during the ABC interview, Obama described his views as personal and said he still believed that individual US states should be able to decide on the issue for themselves.
Same-sex marriages are legal in several European countries, including Spain and the Netherlands.
However, in Britain Prime Minister David Cameron is facing a backlash from the Anglican Church over his efforts to legalize same-sex marriage. A recent online survey by Catholic Voices, a group that opposes same-sex marriage, said that 70 percent of Britons believed that marriage should continue to be defined as a lifelong union between a man and a woman.