President Barack Obama has taken a number of hits for his so-called "evolving" position on marriage equality. But the President has the "right" to make up his mind in his "own time", writes Massachusetts Democratic Sen. John Kerry in an op-ed at the Boston Globe.
Pundits ask whether President Obama can afford to “change’’ his position on gay marriage. It’s a phony debate about a real issue. Marriage is deeply personal - our positions are based on unique combinations of reason, belief, and experience, not polling and politics. Everyone is entitled to his own view, in his own time, including the president.
Last March, when the Boston Globe asked if I supported marriage equality I answered yes. But in light of the increased discussion after passage of New York’s law, more is required than a simple “yes.’’ We cannot afford to be imprisoned by politics that say your views are not allowed to grow as you gain knowledge and experience. There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging you’ve changed your mind when your views have evolved. Don’t we pride ourselves on learning by living? Muhammad Ali, said it best: “The man who views the world at 50 the same way he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.’’
Massachusetts became the first state to mandate marriage equality in a May 2004 court order. Kerry was running for the Democratic presidential nomination at the time—he ultimately won the nomination—and did not support same sex marriage until years later.
Kerry is correct in that politicians are "entitled"—poor word choice, btw—to "make up their own minds in their own time." But it's insulting to suggest "polling and politics" have nothing to do with the decision.