Democrats: Marriage issue won’t hurt Obama

President Obama’s embrace of same-sex marriage won’t cost him in November, Democratic lawmakers said Sunday.

“I don’t think he’s going to lose votes that he otherwise hadn’t lost. I’m not sure the evangelicals were going to lean toward President Obama anyway,” Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

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Obama energized his base — and opened up a flood of campaign donations — by saying he had “evolved” to believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. 

But also last week, voters in North Carolina overwhelmingly passed a ban on gay marriage, raising questions about whether Obama’s position would be a liability in swing states.

Democrats though said that’s not likely to happen.


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On ABC’s “This Week,” Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), the first openly gay member of Congress, said Obama had already established a record on gay rights. 

Repealing the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy and abandoning a legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act would have already alienated anyone whose vote might be swayed on the issue of gay marriage, Frank said.

“I can’t think there are many people who said ‘OK, I’m going to vote for Obama even though he’s said the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional and he’s said that gay people can serve in the military. But if he says marriage, that goes too far,’” Frank said. “I literally don’t think anybody’s vote was changed.”