After the Supreme Court issued its ruling on gay marriage Friday, President Obama gave a speech in which he said Americans need to change their religious views to be accepting of gay marriage, the Daily Caller reported. To that end, he encouraged gay marriage supporters to "help” people overcome their deeply-held religious views.
“I know that Americans of goodwill continue to hold a wide range of views on this issue,” he said. Initially, he exhibited a bit of respect for those who oppose same-sex marriage.
"Opposition in some cases has been based on sincere and deeply held beliefs,” he said. “All of us who welcome today’s news should be mindful of that fact. Recognize different viewpoints. Revere our deep commitment to religious freedom.”
"But today should also give us hope that on the many issues with which we grapple often painfully real change is possible,” he added. The implication was clear: Those who disagree with the idea of gay marriage based, for example, on their religious views, must change to be more like progressives who accept gay marriage.
“Shifts in hearts and minds is possible,” he added. “And those who have come so far on their journey to equality have a responsibility to reach back and help others join them. Because for all our differences, we are one people — stronger together than we could ever be alone.”
"That’s always been our story," he continued. "We are big and vast, and diverse. A nation of people with different backgrounds and beliefs, with different experiences and stories, but bound by our shared ideal that no matter who you are, or what you look like, how you started off, or how and who you love — America’s a place where you can write your own destiny.”
A post at the conservative blog Chicks on the Right posted it's translation of Obama's comments. "All you crazy religious people who believe in traditional marriage need to change your beliefs!" the blog said. "They're holding you back from joining up with the rest of us super-smart people who aren't burdened by those pesky moral standards given to you by a Higher Power. We know soooooo much better than you and we certainly know soooooo much better than God! Drop the religion crap already and come join us in supporting something you find morally repugnant! Give it time - you'll get over it soon enough!"
The blog also saw something of a threat in Obama's comments. "This is our chance to choose to jump up and party with all the same-sex marriage celebrators before you come down and force us to do it?" the blog asked. "What are you going to do if we're still not on board with it? If we still cling to God and religion? 'Cause I'm pretty secure in the knowledge that God will have something to say about that in a future day."
Obama, as we reported in 2012, has spent some time shifting and evolving on the issue of gay marriage. In February 1996, he wrote on a candidate questionnaire: “I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.” In 2011, however, then-White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer claimed the statement was written by someone else.
"What I believe is that marriage is between a man and a woman … What I believe, in my faith, is that a man and a woman, when they get married, are performing something before God, and it’s not simply the two persons who are meeting,” he said during his 2004 U.S. Senate campaign. In 2008, he supported civil unions, but not gay marriage.
In 2012, he came on board with gay marriage, apparently reverting back to his 1996 position. But as we reported at the time, there was one caveat. He still supported the states' right to decide the matter for themselves.
Celebrating the Supreme Court decision, the White House was lit up in the colors of the gay rainbow flag Friday. The Interior Department marked it with a picture of two men kissing on the edge of Colorado's Black Canyon, drawing praise from many and criticism from others.