By Bonnie K. Goodman
Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University. Ms. Goodman has also contributed the overviews, and chronologies in History of American Presidential Elections, 1789-2008, 4th edition, edited by Gil Troy, Fred L. Israel, and Arthur Meier Schlesinger published by Facts on File, Inc. in 2011.
CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012
President Barack Obama’s declaration this past week that he supports the legality of gay marriage now gives Conservative Evangelical Christians a unifying force which will rally them around presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who is firmly against gay marriage.
Throughout the primaries Evangelical Christian conservatives looked for an alternative nominee to Romney who they felt would be more in keeping with their social views, and threw their support to former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, and they have been slow in warming up to Romney now that he is the presumptive nominee.
Saturday, Romney gave the commencement address at the Christian Liberty University; his speech focused on religious tolerance, spirituality and family values. Reiterating his position on same-sex marriage he stated “As fundamental as these principles are, they may become topics of democratic debate. So it is today with the enduring institution of marriage. Marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman.”
Sunday appearing on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Tony Perkins, the president of Family Research Council, a conservative Christian organization, said this social issue helps Romney’s campaign with Evangelical Christians; “I think that Barack Obama has helped fit that missing piece of intensity that Mitt Romney is going to need.”
Same-sex marriage was thrown into the campaign spotlight last Sunday when Vice-President Joe Biden speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press” claimed, “I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties.”
President Obama however, had yet to commit on gay marriage, instead whenever asked repeatedly said his position was “evolving.” However, Biden’s statement forced the President’s hand, and in an ABC News interview with Robin Roberts which aired Wednesday on “Good Morning America” Obama committed to a definitive position on the issue; “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.”
On Monday, Romney speaking on the campaign trail in reaction to Biden’s comments stated “My view is that marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman. That’s the position I’ve had for some time, and I don’t intend to make any adjustments at this point. … Or ever, by the way.” Romney remained relatively quiet on the same-sex marriage issue in the aftermath of Obama’s interview, but Romney’s declaration on his stance at Liberty University has heightened importance, because the venue was key to garnering the Conservative base’s support for his campaign.