Capehart: Obama begins shift on gay marriage

By Jonathan Capehart
Thursday, October 28, 2010; 3:29 PM

The one issue that puts President Obama to the right of Laura Bush, the Cheney family and Meghan and Cindy McCain is his opposition to same-sex marriage. But a meeting with progressive bloggers Wednesday gives hope that he's inching closer to joining those Republicans -- and most of America -- in supporting marriage equality for lesbians and gay men.

When asked his position on same-sex marriage, Obama reiterated his support of civil unions. A quaint convention, it seems, now that five states and the District of Columbia allow gay couples to legally wed. But the president went further, allowing a glimpse into a nascent and welcome evolution in his position.

But I also think you're right that attitudes evolve, including mine. And I think that it is an issue that I wrestle with and think about because I have a whole host of friends who are in gay partnerships. I have staff members who are in committed, monogamous relationships, who are raising children, who are wonderful parents.

And I care about them deeply. And so while I'm not prepared to reverse myself here, sitting in the Roosevelt Room at 3:30 in the afternoon, I think it's fair to say that it's something that I think a lot about. That's probably the best you'll do out of me today.

The process of embracing marriage equality is similar to that of coming out. It's a personal journey that has no set path or duration. It requires self-reflection and honesty. And once comfort and clarity are achieved you make your declaration. Obama is clearly well on his way to supporting marriage equality. When he makes it known, he'll get the same response most gay people get when they finally come out of the closet: what took you so long?

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