On NBC’s Meet the Press, Vice President Joe Biden endorses marriage equality by stating “I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men marrying women are entitled to the same exact rights.” Joe Biden’s current position on marriage equality is in contrast to his opposition to it in the 2008 elections but reflects on Obama’s own “evolving” stance on the issue of same-sex marriage.
David Gregory questioned whether or not marriage equality would see support in a second Obama administration, which Biden quickly responded with “I can’t speak to that…I don’t know the answer to that,” before going on to list some of the president’s accomplishments on gay rights.
Biden went on to state that the social culture is changing, and he referenced a popular television show in his statement: “Will & Grace probably did more to educate the American public than almost anything anybody’s ever done so far.”
Biden also discusses a moment he experienced in Los Angeles when he was speaking with gay leaders. Biden stated, “I wish every American could see the look of love those kids had in their eyes for you guys and they wouldn’t have any doubt about what this is about” in reference to a gay couple’s two adopted children.
Biden’s own position on marriage equality could hint at a possible “evolution” on the president’s part as an aspect of the administration’s reelection campaign. Obama has already stated that he opposes North Carolina’s Amendment 1, which he labeled as “divisive and discriminatory.” He has also stated his opposition to Minnesota’s own anti-gay constitutional amendment. The issue of same-sex marriage did not play a major role in 2008, but could possibly play a larger role in this year’s election.
Marriage equality did not become a reality for the majority of states that have legalized it until after the 2008 election. Prior to the election, only Massachusetts and California had provided same-sex couples the right to marry. Currently, only Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. provide same-sex couples the right to marry.
Washington will begin performing same-sex marriages on June 7, 2012. Maryland’s same-sex marriage law will go into effect on January 1, 2013. Both states may see their laws subject to a ballot vote to repeal marriage equality.
Although Joe Biden endorses marriage equality now, the president has not revealed whether or not he has finished “evolving” on the issue.