The Washington Post

Elizabeth Warren to Obama: Evolve already

In an interesting move, Elizabeth Warren comes out and calls on the leader of the Democratic Party to complete his evolution on marriage equality:

Elizabeth Warren, who is running to unseat U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, pledged to support a series of pro-LGBT initiatives and called on President Obama to endorse marriage equality in an exclusive interview with the Washington Blade on Tuesday....

Asked whether she wants Obama to finish evolving and support same-sex marriage, Warren chuckled and responded that was indeed her view.

“I want to see the president evolve because I believe that is right; marriage equality is morally right,” Warren said.

Warren expressed similar sentiments about the Democratic Party platform, saying it would build support for ending the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act.

“I’d be glad to see it included in the Democratic platform,” she said. “It helps raise awareness of the impact of DOMA and it helps build support to repeal it.”

Warren has voiced support for marriage equality before. But this is the first time she has publicly called on Obama to complete his evolution on the issue and for Democrats to include it in their national platform, which will draw much more attention to her position.

It’s worth noting that even though Warren is running for Senate in Massachusetts, this is not necessarily a politically easy thing for Warren to do. Scott Brown oppses marriage equality, and Warren is under heavy attack right now over cultural issues. Brown and national Republicans are attacking her regularly over her support for Obama’s contraception coverage mandate, which they are falsely portraying as anti-Catholic.

Meanwhile, Republicans are regularly painting her as an elitist, describing her as “Professor Elizabeth Warren” whenever possible, as part of a broader effort to portray her as out of touch with the values of ordinary folks. Coming out for marriage equality could obviously provide her opponents with more fodder to drag the race back on to old culture war turf. So this is anything but a political slam dunk for her.

But as she says above, “marriage equality is morally right.” So in pure political terms, at least, she has to hope that Massachusetts voters — to the degree that they oppose gay marriage — see this as an indication that she takes positions on the basis of her values, and not out of political expediency, and that they see this contrasting sharply with Scott Brown.

Greg Sargent writes The Plum Line blog, a reported opinion blog with a liberal slant -- what you might call “opinionated reporting” from the left.


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