Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is latest Obama administration official to support marriage equality
May 7, 2012
By Scottie Thomaston
For a short time yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden was the first sitting vice president to offer support for marriage rights for gays and lesbians. Today, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan becomes the latest to offer support:
A day after Vice President Joe Biden said he was “absolutely comfortable” with gay marriage, signalling the Obama administration’s evolving views on same-sex marriage, Sec. of Education Arne Duncan said on “Morning Joe” that he believes it should be legal.
“Yes, I do,” Duncan said when asked by MSNBC’s Mark Halperin if same-sex marriage should be legal in the United States.
Duncan said he’s never said that publicly because, “I don’t know if I’ve ever been asked.”
The interview happened earlier this morning, and as of this writing, this is still Secretary Duncan’s position on the issue.
It’s an interesting idea to hear on record comments from Obama administration cabinet officials. It’s hard to imagine many of them are opposed to marriage equality – Democrats and independents support it by wide margins nationally and in many swing states, and 54% of Americans are in favor. Marriage equality is not out of the mainstream, and it’s growing increasingly popular. This is especially evident as we see Republicans going almost completely silent on the issue. The voices speaking out on this on the national stage tend to be known hate groups like the Family Research Council or infamous race-baiters National Organization for Marriage.
The president’s position seems increasingly untenable. As we head into the 2012 election and several ballot initiatives on marriage equality – some affirmative ones, and some designed to ban it in state constitutions – it would be great to have the administration speaking with one voice on this.