Reports Biden Floated Trial Balloon on Same Sex Marriage Policy Disputed
May 10th, 2012
04:11 PM ET

Reports Biden Floated Trial Balloon on Same Sex Marriage Policy Disputed

Washington (CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden gave no indication the White House was planning to change its position on same sex marriage when he was asked about just weeks ago at an LGBT fundraiser in Los Angeles April 19, two attendees tells CNN. Because it was an off the record event these participants did not want to be named, but tell CNN when Biden was asked about gay marriage he talked about his comfort with gay and lesbian couples raising families but added that the president sets the policy and offered no indication that there would be a shift in policy.

On the “CBS This Morning”, the co-creator of the television series “Will and Grace,” who also attended that fundraiser, said that he believed the vice president’s remarks were “choreographed” because his remarks at the fund-raiser were recorded by the White House and were so similar to his comments on NBC’s “Meet the Press” this past Sunday. White House officials confirm to CNN that it’s standard to record every event the president and vice president attend as a record, whether they’re public or private events.

That fund-raiser has taken on unexpected significance –in part because that’s where the vice president met the two young children he referenced in his comments to David Gregory on NBC Sunday. In explaining his change of heart in support of gay marriage, he said it was partly seeing the happy children, ages 7 and 5, of the gay couple who hosted that fundraiser. Sources say Biden met with the hosts and their children privately before the larger fund-raiser began – it was an impromptu meeting. And the vice president told Gregory the kids gave him flowers and he told THEIR fathers: "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."

One source tells CNN the Vice President gave a nearly five minute answer and never explicitly states his support for gay marriage but left the clear impression he supported it. Another confirms the vice president did say “Will and Grace” helped him come to a greater acceptance of gay and lesbian same-sex partners. But the majority of his remarks focused on the president’s work overturning the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy and extending some federal benefits to same sex couples as well as repeatedly drawing a contrast with Mitt Romney on gay and lesbian rights.

An attendee tells CNN it was Chad Griffin, the incoming head of the Human Rights Campaign, who asked Biden the question that prompted it all. Griffin, a leading same sex marriage advocate, is also a major Obama donor. Griffin is said to have asked the Vice President, “you were greeted by our hosts….who are the married parents of those two beautiful children you met. Can you tell all of us in the room you own views about marriage equality?”

In conversations with multiple Democrats, senior administration officials and top aides to President Obama, not one indicated to CNN this was a choreographed strategy. Instead they have indicated the vice president got ahead of the president’s policy and rollout.

The vice president originally voted to support the Defense of Marriage Act when he was a senator in the 1990s but multiple Democratic sources say his position on the issue also evolved in recent years.

Los Angeles Democrats are organizing a major LGBT fundraiser for the President in Los Angeles on June 6th.

soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. madmaninthemiddle

    Some years back Dr. James Kaufmann wrote an open letter to Dr. Laura Schlesinger, in which he sarcastically thanked her for her stand on gay marriage and then asked for her advice on how to follow many of the other edicts from Leviticus (where homosexuality is refered to as an abomination). I've seen numerous posts where people state the Christ said homosexuality was a sin, but I know of know such statement in any of the Gospels (and I'm Catholic, so I have a few more than just 4 to choose from!). Can anyone enlighten me on the subject. And for your general amusement and edification, here is a portion of Dr. Kaufman's "inquiry."

    1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and
    female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A
    friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not
    Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

    2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in
    Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair
    price for her?

    3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in
    her period of Menstrual uncleanliness – Lev.15: 19-24. The problem
    is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

    4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it
    creates a pleasing odor for the Lord – Lev.1:9. The problem is my
    neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I
    smite them?

    5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus
    35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally
    obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

    6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an
    abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than
    homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there
    'degrees' of abomination?

    7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I
    have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading
    glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some
    wiggle-room here?

    8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the
    hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden
    by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

    9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig
    makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

    10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two
    different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing
    garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester
    blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really
    necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town
    together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to
    death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep
    with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

    May 10, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Steveo

      You should know this as a Christian. We are NOT Old Testament people but New! Who inspired Paul's writings to NEW TESTAMENT church? The correct answer would be THE Holy Spirit! Using that baseline let's take a look at what Paul (empowered by the Holy Spirit) You can start at verse 24, although I recommend reading the entire chapter for context! Feel free to discuss.

      What is interesting to me is: as a proclaimed Christian you are using the very SAME argument as an atheist!

      If I am not mistaken, Christ freed us from the Law (OT) and ushered us into grace (NT). Since you are a Christian and I am as well, let's discuss!

      May 11, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
      • Steveo

        I left out some info. That would be the book of Romans chapter1

        May 11, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
      • jean2009

        @Steveo So you only believe one half of the Bible? Have you read Matthew 5:17? And you you give any credence to the following?

        May 13, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
      • Steveo

        Never said I believe half the Bible. I believe all of it! What I said was we don't live the OT. The Christian church did not exist under the law (OT). It was founded under grace (NT). So.... no animal sacifices no banishment of women on their cycles, no stoning of unruly children, no prohibition of the eating of shellfish, no prohibition of the wear mixed fabric garments, no prohibtion of working on the sabbath, no prohibtion of the eating of "unclean" animals, such as pigs! Why? Because of the very verse you gave me..Matthew 5:17. The Law has been fulfilled by Jesus. If you have an obliigation has been fulfilled, you don't keep trying to keep pay it off! Jesus paid the obligation of the the Old Testament, by the cross it has been has been fulfilled! We now live under grace and not the law.

        If you ever read any of the letters of Paul to the church, you wil see he often chastised te church for turning away from grace back to the law (OT).

        Look, we don't agree on much either politics or things of religion but I do appreciate the conversation!

        May 14, 2012 at 11:44 am |
  2. al in memphis

    Qualifying statement- God has given every person the right to choose, even if that means not choosing that which is right. These choices have an impact on ourselves and society. There is a reason nature conducts itself in an orderly fashion. And before you call this old fashion thinking, the push for same sex acceptance and acknowledgement has been going on for thousands of years and has been apart of every generational society.
    What's different now is that it is impossible to have a conversation about this topic without having people run for the "hate bashing" topics. I will agree that there are extremes on both ends that do not know how to have a discussion and exchange ideas. However, the plan is not to have a discussion, because that might open the door to our conscience- and no law, political or religious figure, or public opinion can get us away from our own conscience. Man can only hope to drown out that right/wrong internal signal with the silence and acceptance from others.

    May 10, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Steveo

      I am in agreement with you!

      May 11, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  3. Bill in STL

    The only question is, which mouth did he fill it up wih??

    May 10, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
  4. jerry

    just so happens the washington post comes up with a romney hack job...he assaulted a gay kid in high lame can obama get?

    May 10, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • jean2009

      So why did Romney apologize for a high school prank "that went too far"....when he also claimed he couldn't remember it?

      May 13, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
      • Steveo

        We are pounding Romney for an 30-35 year old event? The president documented in his own book, his use of "blow"! Where's the outrage for that?

        May 14, 2012 at 11:47 am |
  5. Steveo

    trial balloon or lead zeppelin?

    May 10, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
  6. Dan J

    As gaffe-prone as Biden is, let's be honest here, this was a series of calculated moves, and everyone from Biden to Duncan to MSNBC were involved.

    May 10, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • Bob

      Frankly, I am very tired of the Republican rhetoric prtegaaopd by the McCain/Palin duo about how Obama's economic plan is a socialist plan that supposedly will negatively impact the Joe the Plumbers of our country, the $250K and more group (the wealthy). First, let's check out the real facts (see According to the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy as of 2006, there were an estimated 26.8 million small business owners, and that accounted for about 20 million "nonemployer" businesses (have no employees). So, only about 6 million actually had a payroll, a far cry from the 23 million the McCain/Palin duo keeps talking about. Also, on, that small group may not be impacted and actually not pay any taxes because under Obama's economic plan according to his economic policy director Jason Furman, Obama's plan would return the top two federal income-tax rates to what they were eight years ago, before Bush lowered them and would adjust the income-tax brackets to ensure that no married couple making under $250,000 or single filer making under $200,000 would pay the top rates. Further, the average income for small business owners is $233,600, so sounds like the Obama/Biden team is really looking out for Joe the Plumber and definitely for you and me.Secondly, this leads me to ask the question, then who are the McCain/Palin duo really considering, those whose earnings are over $250k and more (the wealthy) and why is that duo not considering Joe/Josephine the Consumer too? In case they don't know who they are or care about them, they're the average Joe Blows the Obama/Biden team are fighting for, those who make less than $250K. The McCain/Palin duo wants to paint the picture that wealthy people or the Joe the Plumbers are going to be taxed higher and Obama/Biden want to spread the wealth. Well, let's look at that. How do the wealthy become wealthy? Let's see, they start a business and I guess they just become wealthy by doing just that saying they have a business and register the business name and VOILA!, their wealthy. But, we all know that's not quite how it goes. Business owners or small businesses come up with an idea to market or sell their goods and services to you and me, Joe/Josephine the Consumer. We buy Joe the Plumbers computers, food, furniture, clothes, toys, oil and gas, autos, alarm systems, banking and financial services, homes, apartments, refrigerators, other household goods, cable, cell phones, exercise equipment, medical, etc., shop at their retail stores, buy their brand name (their name) eat at their restaurants and fast food chains, and are fans of their movies, TV shows, sports, and other entertainment media and buy televisions, stereo systems, home theater systems, big screen televisions and now HDTVs to watch them on making those business owners wealthy, wealthier, and wealthier-r-r. Now, I'm not knocking any of these entrepreneurs because we all need each other, but I think we need to realize that Joe/Josephine the Consumer (you and me) are the driving force for our economy and the team who is looking out for you and me, Joe/Josephine the Consumer is the Obama/Biden team. The other thing too, won't those wealthy entrepreneurs get some of those taxes back if not all of it. When Joe/Josephine the Consumer gets that tax refund that Obama/Biden are pushing for, what do you think they are going to do with it. If I can borrow a phrase that Gov. Palin might say, betcha by golly, they will most likely turnaround and put that refund back into the economy (a stimulating boost) buying more goods and services keeping Joe the Plumber wealthy, wealthier, and wealthier-r-r. I think that's a win-win situation for everybody. As long as Joe/Josephine the Consumer buys, we keep Joe the Plumber's business doors open to keep us gainfully employed to buy more goods and services and Joe the Plumber makes more profits to invest bad or good (and hopefully Joe/Josephine the Consumer won't have to bail them out a second time). One final note, I dare to say that after Joe the Plumber's CPAs and accountants reduce his net profit before taxes down to $250K, surely, they will come up with a $1 loophole to make Joe the Plumbers taxable income no higher than $249,999 so he won't have to pay all those taxes after all, if any. So, thank you Obama/Biden for thinking about us, Joe/Josephine the Consumer, working class America, the middle and lower incomers, also known as the 95%.Sorry for the long rant.Have a beautiful day. Take advantage of this one.. It won't be long before winter is here.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:44 am |
  7. toadears

    What's it feel like, Joe Bob to go from being the spokesman and a hopeful for the highest office in the land in the 1960's and 70's to buffoon for Obama? The fall guy, ladies and gentlemen. Joe Biden. Take a bow. Ribbet.

    May 11, 2012 at 3:43 am |
  8. Howard

    Anyone with half a brain, knows that Biden played his part, according to Obama's plan. This whole thing was calculated, and choreographed ... including the phony Biden apology. Deception is the only thing that comes out of this corrupt White House.

    May 11, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
  9. pericardiumimage

    I think, that anything serious.

    P.S. What do you think about Windows 2012?

    September 10, 2012 at 12:49 pm |