Identify the Speaker

The press is quite pleased with President Obama’s proclamations on gay marriage. The evolutionary process appears to have finally come to a conclusion. Yet, it might be useful to place the President’s epiphany in historical context. To assist in the process, I have placed several quotes from past and present elected officials on the issue of gay rights, civil unions and marriage. Lets see how many readers can correctly identify the speaker (answers below…no cheating)

Quote Number 1

The big thing is to make this country, along with every other country in the world with a few exceptions, quit discriminating against people just because they’re gay. You don’t have to agree with it, but they have a constitutional right to be gay. And that’s what brings me into it.

Quote Number 2

Well, I think that freedom means freedom for everyone. … I think people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish. Any kind of arrangement they wish. The question of whether or not there ought to be a federal statute that governs this, I don’t support. I do believe that historically the way marriage has been regulated is at the state level. It has always been a state issue, and I think that’s the way it ought to be handled today, that is on a state-by-state basis. Different states will make different decisions. But I don’t have any problem with that. I think people ought to get a shot at that.

Quote Number 3

 I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian — for me — for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix…. . I am not somebody who promotes same-sex marriage, but I do believe in civil unions. I do believe that we should not — that for gay partners to want to visit each other in the hospital for the state to say, you know what, that’s all right, I don’t think in any way inhibits my core beliefs about what marriage are. I think my faith is strong enough and my marriage is strong enough that I can afford those civil rights to others, even if I have a different perspective or different view.

Quote Number 4

I don’t think we should deny people rights to a civil union, a legal arrangement, if that’s when a state chooses to do so. … I view the definition of marriage different from legal arrangements that enable people to have rights. And I strongly believe that marriage ought to be defined as between, a union between a man and a woman.

Quote Number 5.

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. Now– I have to tell you that part of my hesitation on this has also been I didn’t want to nationalize the issue. … I continue to believe that this is an issue that is gonna be worked out at the local level, because historically, this has not been a federal issue, what’s recognized as a marriage.


1. Barry Goldwater, July 1994 (source)

2. Dick Cheney, July 2009 (source)

3. Barack Obama, August 2008 (source)

4. George W. Bush, October 2004 (source)

5. Barack Obama, May 2012 (source)

3 thoughts on “Identify the Speaker

  1. Romney and the Republicans would be foolish to take the bait and reengage on the culture war front (even if it plays well in this instance in particular states). Every time a reporter asks about gay marriage, Repub pols running for federal offices should answer by asking why there is so much focus on what has traditionally been a state level issue while the economy sputters and our debts threaten our future and that of our children. The pols should then batter the Dems on that front and turn the spotlight away from something that is only going to hurt their electoral chances in purple districts.

    1. Indeed, Grover. This reminds me of the birth control issue a few months ago that led so many of the Republicans down a bunch of rat holes rather than keeping on message. At that time, I wondered if it was a strategic move on the part of the administration (everyone I talked to thought that it was far too clever).

      One can only wonder if this was another attempt to mobilize the culture warriors and drive moderates away from the GOP.

      As I heard one commentator say this morning, every day that the GOP focuses on something other than the economy, it is a win for the incumbent.

    2. Most definitely a good idea to stay away, can’t win and the positives and negatives (political) cancel each other. Romney can very effectively hide behind the notion that this is an issue for states to decide and that the federal government has no role to play, though I’m not sure he would say that because I don’t know that he believes it. Then pivot to real issues of jobs, spending, debt, & taxes, now those are top of mind, winning issues with the folks that are targets for possible Romney votes.

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