Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What they said: Barack Obama vs Gary Johnson on gay marriage

Here's President Obama today, the day after North Carolina voters enacted a constitutional amendment prohibiting both same-sex marriage and gay civil unions:

“I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama told Robin Roberts, in an ABC News interview.
Obama went on to explain that he had “hesitated” on marriage because he thought same-sex unions would be “sufficient” in order to guarantee rights for couples such as hospital visitations. And he said he wanted to be “sensitive” to the fact that for many Americans, the word “marriage” evokes “very powerful positions, religious beliefs and so forth.”

Here's Gary Johnson six weeks ago, in a letter to the Libertarian Party of North Carolina about the upcoming vote on Amendment One:
Gary Johnson:  the only candidate for
President who has not equivocated on
the issue of marriage equality.

"Your home state is set to play an important role in the presidential election this year not just because it will host the Democratic convention or because it represents a crucial swing state, but because you are at the epicenter of an important battle for individual liberty. 
"The battle over the Amendment 1 ballot initiative will be a signal to the country and the world as to whether we are ready to stand up for civil liberties, civil rights and freedom. 
"The fight against Amendment 1 is a fight to protect the freedoms of not just the LGBT community but for everyone. That is because this isn’t just about marriage equality. It is bigger than that. 
"The freedom to marry is inextricably tied to the freedom of speech, the freedom to bear arms, the freedom to earn a living and many other liberties. 
"Freedom cannot be parceled into economic liberties or personal liberties. They are essential parts of the whole. You either embrace it fully or you don’t. I certainly have and that is why I have not been afraid to speak out on controversial issues even when they may have hurt my chances at higher office. I have openly supported marriage equality, been a vocal opponent both of our failed war on drugs and our failed attempts at nation-building."
See the difference?

President Obama "hesitated" out of "sensitivity" to religious beliefs, and carefully labeled this as a "personal" belief, not one he was committing his administration to do anything about.

Governor Johnson characterized the fight for marriage equality in the continuum of personal freedom.

President Obama waited to go on record until after his delivered opinion could have had an effect in North Carolina, and then only did so in response to a virtual firestorm of criticizing for wavering in politically expedient fashion to endorse a position held by such diverse individuals as Laura Bush, Joe Biden, Dick Cheney, and Arne Duncan.

Governor Johnson stated his support for marriage equality throughout the GOP primaries, which became one reason why he had go to the Libertarian Party to run for President.

No wonder The Economist said of Johnson last year,

I once heard Mr Johnson speak at a small event, and I found that his no-bullshit demeanour and impressive record of executive success has a way of sneaking up on you; about a week later you realise you were pretty impressed.

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