May 6, 2012
By Scottie Thomaston
With two days to go before the May 8 North Carolina gives voters the opportunity to vote for or against enshrining discrimination in the constitution once more through Amendment 1, the White House and the president’s re-election campaign are mostly silent. A campaign office for the president in North Carolina did release a statement a few months ago in opposition to the amendment, and to the credit of the White House the statement referred to gays and lesbians specifically this time. Former president Bill Clinton has come out in opposition and has recorded robocalls against Amendment 1, news that was revealed yesterday.
Activists have been pressuring the White House to announce their support for marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples, and to endorse the possibility of a marriage equality plank in the Democratic Party platform. Today, Vice President Biden appeared to be on-board with marriage equality:
During a Sunday morning appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, Vice President Joe Biden said he’s “comfortable” with full marriage equality and supports equal rights for same-sex couples — an unequivocal evolution for the Obama administration’s No. 2.
When asked by host David Gregory about his views on the issue, Biden responded, “I am vice president of the United States of America. The president sets the policy. I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. And quite frankly, I don’t see much of a distinction beyond that.”
Biden went on to say that he couldn’t speak to whether or not the president would endorse marriage equality in a second term.
It seemed to be a sign: a day after the president’s official campaign kick-off, the Vice President makes a comment in support of something LGBT activists have wanted for quite awhile. However, within the hour, advisers at the White House were walking it back:
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) May 6, 2012
A reading of the transcript tells a different story, I think, but there you go.