One day after Joe Biden’s seeming endorsement, publicly, of gay marriage and marriage equality, another member of President Obama’s cabinet broke rank today and expressed his support.
This time it was Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who gave a simple, explicit endorsement on “Morning Joe” today, according to Think Progress.
Mark Halperin asked Duncan the question of whether he believed “same sex men and women should be able to legally get married in the United States.”
“Yes, I do,” Duncan said, later adding that he believed it was the first time he had been asked publicly about the issue.
Duncan becomes the second member of Obama’s cabinet to publicly endorse gay marriage. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said he “absolutely” supports it during a November 2011 interview with Metro Weekly.
And then there’s Biden. Thus far, the Obama camp has not taken any steps to spin Duncan’s endorsement like it did Biden’s yesterday. Biden offered a powerful statement on why he supported gay marriage.
The good news is that as more and more Americans come to understand what this is all about is a simple proposition: Who do you love? Who do you love, and will you be loyal to the person you love? And that’s what people are finding out — what all marriages at their root are about. Whether they are marriages of lesbians or gay men or heterosexuals.
Biden added that he does not set policy, and he does not know if Obama would make gay marriage a federal priority in a second term. Obama has said that his views are “evolving” on the topic. He has never publicly endorsed any state bills to permit gay couples to wed, but he has come out against some potential bans.
This is now becoming a bit of an issue on the campaign trail. Will it pressure Obama to come out and express support? Is it the so-called “trial balloon,” where Obama lets top aides endorse and see how the public responds?
On a conference call this morning with reporters, Obama senior campaign strategist David Axelrod said Biden’s remarks Sunday were “entirely consistent with the President’s position.” He did not delve into Duncan’s comments.
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