Obama’s announcement: why now?
May 9th, 2012
07:15 PM ET

Obama’s announcement: why now?

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(CNN) – Was the president planning on publicly expressing support for same-sex marriage before the election? It depends who you ask.

One senior administration official tells CNN President Obama’s advisors were deeply divided over whether it was prudent to make a public statement on the matter before voters weigh in next November.

That administration official added the president’s advisors did not feel he needed to make public remarks on the issue until Vice President Joe Biden expressed support of same-sex marriage over the weekend, touching off a renewed focus on the president’s continued hedging on the matter. Before today, the president has long maintained he believes in equal rights for same-sex couples but was continuing to ‘evolve’ on whether full marriage rights should be extended to them.

But other senior administration officials contend the president came to support same-sex marriage a few months ago and was planning to speak out in support of it before the Democratic National Convention in late summer and it was just a matter of when the right time would be. These officials say Biden’s comments simply expedited that timeline.

A top Democratic source told CNN one factor that tipped the decision in favor of speaking out: there was going to be a fight over whether same-sex marriage should be adopted among the party’s planks at the convention and Biden’s remarks added early fuel to the fire.

Senior administration officials also tell CNN same-sex marriage will by no means be a cornerstone of his campaign in part because he is not pushing any legislation. In his comments with ABC Wednesday, the president said that he continues to believe the issue of same-sex marriage should be dealt with at the state level. He emphasized that he was sharing his personal views.

A senior administration official tells CNN First Lady Michelle Obama was deeply influential in this decision. The official said the president discussed his decision with Mrs. Obama who shared the view he should speak out in support of same sex marriage. FULL POST

May 9th, 2012
06:48 PM ET

Obama's LGBT campaign contributors

The gay and lesbian community has been a big contributor to President Obama's 2012 campaign.
The non-partisan, non-profit research group The Center for Responsive Politics found that a dozen gay rights activists had "bundled" at least $2.7 million in contributions for the Obama campaign by late 2011. Bundlers are mega fundraisers who solicit donations from friends, colleagues and like-minded supporters to raise even more money than the bundlers themselves could legally donate to one candidate.
Wednesday, after Mr. Obama's announcement that he now supports same sex marriage, the Center found updated numbers showing another half million dollars donated to the Obama campaign in 2012 from two prominent Denver Colorado LGBT activists.

Below is a list of prominent LGBT bundlers who contributed to the Obama campaign:

• Tim Gill, a former tech executive and LGBT activist, and his husband, Scott Miller, of Denver, Colo., who bundled at least $500,000
• Charles Myers, of Evercore Partners, who has bundled at least $500,000
• Eugene Sepulveda, of Austin, Texas, who bundled at least $500,000
• Andrew Tobias, a writer and treasurer of the DNC, who bundled at least $500,000
• Dana Perlman and Barry Karas, of Los Angeles, who bundled at least $500,000
• Wally Brewster and Bob Satawake, of Chicago, who bundled at least $100,000
• Terry Bean, of Portland, Ore., who bundled at least $200,000
• Kathy Levinson, former president and CEO of E-trade, who bundled at least $200,000
• Laura Ricketts, of Ecotravel LLC in Chicago, who bundled at least $100,000
• Jeff Soref, of New York, who bundled at least $100,000
• Fred Eychaner, of Chicago, who bundled at least $50,000
• Paul Horning, of Atlanta, who bundled at least $50,000
• Kevin Jennings, the former Department of Education official, who bundled at least 50,000

Source: The Center for Responsive Politics


Topics: 2012 Election • Campaign • Gay Marriage
May 9th, 2012
04:25 PM ET

Obama says he supports same-sex marriage

(CNN) - President Barack Obama, who previously said his views on the issue were "evolving," said Wednesday that he supports same-sex marriage.

The announcement puts Obama squarely at odds with presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who opposes same-sex marriage.

"At a certain point 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 said in an interview with ABC News.
The president once opposed same-sex marriage.

Full story


Topics: President Obama
Wednesday at the White House
May 9th, 2012
08:32 AM ET

Wednesday at the White House

The only public event on President Obama’s schedule on Wednesday comes in the evening at an event honoring songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David in the East Room.

Earlier in the day, Obama will hold several meetings in the Oval Office, including an afternoon meeting with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and a meeting with Vice President Biden and the NATO secretary-general. The White House says the three “will discuss final preparations for the NATO Summit the President will host in Chicago on May 20-21.”

Full schedule after the jump

FULL POST


Topics: Daily Schedule