COMMENTARY | Reuters reports that on May 6, vice president Joe Biden went on “Meet the Press” and talked about his support of gay marriage. During the interview, Biden said he was comfortable with the notion of two gay people getting married, and that his initial perception changed after meeting with several gay couples throughout the years. President Barack Obama has not openly endorsed gay marriage, only saying he supported civil unions, so Biden might have just put Obama in the hot seat over this controversial social issue. As a supporter of gay marriage and Republican voter, here is how gay marriage might impact the election after these curious comments.
Biden’s comments might not go over so well with independent voters and voters on the fence, because gay marriage is such a controversial social topic. There are a lot of people that see gay marriage as a sin for religious reasons, so Obama might have to do damage control to win back the votes of the Christians or Evangelicals during the general election. Although Obama has endorsed civil unions, there is a reason why he has never directly said he supported gay marriage, and that is because he knows he will be alienating an entire base of supporters. During an election year, it was a mistake for Biden to say that he was open to legalizing gay marriage if Obama was re-elected. Voters who have more socially conservative values might decide to vote for Mitt Romney, since Romney is openly against gay marriage, and this is more in line with Christian values. Obama needs to have an honest conversation about where he personally stands on gay marriage, so that voters are not confused.
I support gay marriage 100 percent as a Republican voter, but realize that gay marriage is an area where a lot of people are always going to be in opposition no matter what. It is a good thing that gay marriage is being talked about, because everyone deserves the opportunity to get married to whoever they love, regardless of gender. If Obama is planning on legalizing gay marriage in his second term, it is going to cause a lot of controversy in the court system, and there will be states suing the federal government. Just like with the healthcare reform, the legalization of gay marriage would surely end up in the Supreme Court, and it is going to be a very drawn out legal battle. Gay marriage should not be legalized on a federal level, because it should be up to each state to decide whether or not gay marriage is legal or not. What needs to happen is make it so that those involved in a civil union get the same federal benefits as a straight married couple, which would essentially be a compromise. All couples should be afforded the same rights under the law, but there should never be special incentives for couples to get married, such as income tax breaks.