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In November 2008, while a candidate for president, Barack Obama was unequivocal in his rejection of gay marriage.

At the time, Obama told even the gay-friendly MTV audience that he believed marriage to be exclusively “between a man and a woman” and that he was “not in favor of gay marriage.”

Just a few months later, in response to a question, Miss California Carrie Prejean said the very same thing: “I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, no offense to anybody out there.”

For her honesty, she was denied a shot at the Miss USA title and savaged throughout the media by a gay lobby empowered by Obama’s victory.

Obama got the message. In February of this year, assuming the role usually reserved for the Supreme Court, he and his pals decided that the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act – passed by large majorities in both houses and signed by President Clinton – was unconstitutional, and they would no longer enforce it.

Now, we are told that his position on gay marriage is “evolving.” In defense of Obama’s impending shift, Rep. Barney Frank excused him of hypocrisy: “If you live in a democratic society, it is a mix of what you think the voters want and what you think is doable.”

If ever an example were needed of the left’s utter lack of principles, this is it. An “evolving” position on, say, offshore drilling is one thing. An “evolving” position on marriage is pure hucksterism.

The evolution has been going on for some time. In 1969, at the time of the now historic Stonewall riots in New York, the media, the left media especially, thought gay issues a frivolous distraction.

The New York Daily News headlined the incident, “Homo Nest Raided, Queen Bees Are Stinging Mad.” Even the usually insurrection-friendly Village Voice dismissed Stonewall as the “Great Faggot Rebellion.”

Nearly a decade later, Democratic Vice President Walter Mondale gave a speech in San Francisco on “human rights” without a passing nod to “gay” anything.

Dismayed by the speech’s drift, a gay onlooker shouted, “When are you going to speak out on gay rights?” Mondale would have none of it. He walked off the stage in a snit, and the state Democratic chairman scolded the gay guy.

Just five years later, candidate Mondale was championing gay rights before a thousand homosexual men and lesbians at the newly organized “Human Rights Campaign Fund” dinner.

“Tonight I pledge to you to continue the fight against all forms of irrational discrimination,” Mondale thundered with a convert’s zeal. He was hardly alone. In that five-year period, all the leading Democrats had managed to put their irrational fears behind them.

Pundits attribute this mass conversion experience to the effect of AIDS on the national conscience, but in truth, the top dogs had softened their bark even before they knew or cared about AIDS.

Mondale would not even mention the disease when he ran for president in 1984. Nor would the media ask him to. Besides, if the media mentioned it, Reagan might, and then they would have no one on whom to blame AIDS. As gay reporter Randy Shilts shrewdly observed, “For Democrats AIDS was a Republican epidemic.”

The virus did not move Democratic politicians. Votes did. What boosted the cause immensely was the widespread belief that every tenth guy was gay.

That number derived from Alfred Kinsey’s fanciful 1948 study, “Sexual Behavior in the Human Male.” Drawing far too many samples from prisons, gay bars and frat houses, Kinsey proved – to his own satisfaction at least – that 10 percent of white males are “more or less exclusively homosexual” for at least three adult years.

As should have been obvious even at the time, Kinsey skewed his stats to normalize his own masochism and homosexuality. His numbers proved to be three to six times higher than those gathered in any serious study, but the 10 percent number stuck. Suddenly gays had a voting bloc very nearly as large and together as blacks.

With an estimated 58,000 gay men, San Francisco made those numbers appear real. This was a powerful, largely Democratic and highly active voting bloc in the nation’s most populous state. No ambitious Democratic pol could afford to ignore a chorus this vocal.

Meanwhile, AIDS had pushed this bloc to the left. Nearly one out of four gay men in San Francisco is HIV positive. It costs more than $20,000 a year of other people’s money to keep a victim in drugs. This revenue drain turned gays from net producers of tax dollars to net consumers.

At the same time, at least until the media and the schools succeeded in propagandizing the young, no ambitious pol could endorse the most radical of the gays’ demands – namely, gay marriage.

This evoked the great Democratic finesse, and no one handled it better than Barack Obama.

Knowing that the inclusion of a gay marriage amendment on the Ohio ballot in 2004 may have cost John Kerry the election, Obama had to go slow. Accordingly, during his 2004 Senate race and the 2008 presidential race, for that matter, the crafty Obama opposed same-sex marriage.

In the 2006 book “Audacity of Hope,” he tells the story of how one of his lesbian supporters phoned him to express her dismay at his position.

The call reminded him that he had to remain “open to the possibility that my unwillingness to support gay marriage is misguided,” that perhaps he “had been infected with society’s prejudices and predilections and attributed them to God.”

Translation: Obama was prepared to change positions as soon as God and/or the polls gave him the sign. In that God is not likely to rewrite the Bible to accommodate Obama’s ambitions, Obama is now relying fully on the polls.

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