The Washington Post

Obama should repeat after Arne Duncan: ‘Yes, I do’ on gay marriage

Education Secretary Arne Duncan became the third member of the Obama administration to come out in favor of same-sex marriage. “Yes, I do,” he said when asked if he thought same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. That was all he said. No song-and-dance. No equivocation. Just a straightforward answer. How refreshing.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Duncan’s declaration comes a day after Vice President Biden said he was “absolutely comfortable” with gay couples marrying. And it comes almost six months after Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan became the first sitting cabinet member to say he “absolutely” supports same-sex marriage. Meanwhile, last December, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton proclaimed, “[G]ay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights,” at an event marking International Human Rights Day.

And where is President Obama? “Evolving.” Still. It’s as if he’s playing a big game of charades.

In my last post I discussed the mismatch between Obama’s words (or lack thereof) and deeds (of which there are many). He has stopped defending the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) against court challenge. He has been a vocal opponent of efforts in various states, including tomorrow’s vote in North Carolina, to take away rights or deny them to same-sex couples. What I forgot to mention is that Obama supports a bill from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to repeal DOMA. “This legislation would uphold the principle that the federal government should not deny gay and lesbian couples the same rights and legal protections as straight couples,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said in announcing the president’s position on the bill.

Put it all together and it sounds like and looks like — and IS — support for same-sex marriage.

Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
In search of the Delmarva fox squirrel
Why seasonal allergies make you miserable
Miss Manners: The technology's changed, but the rules are the same
Play Videos
Farming outside the barn in suburban Maryland
How to make bacalao al pil pil
The most interesting woman you've never heard of
Play Videos
Bao: The signature dish of San Francisco
Chicago's tacos, four ways
This man's job is binge-watching for Netflix
Play Videos
How a hacker group came to Washington
5 ways to raise girls to be leaders
Pandas, from birth to milk to mom