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.
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.