In the aftermath of the clearest yet revelation of Obama's exquisite non-position on marriage equality, the RNC is claiming that Romney's position on marriage is the same as Obama's. Weigel counters:
Romney's committed to a federal marriage amendment. Has Obama ever spoken about such an amendment? Yes. He was against it.
Does Romney support North Carolina's amendment, stripping gay couples of all rights, even in second-class domestic parnerships? Yep. David Link focuses on the candidates' actions:
Jim Burroway aptly notes that whatever rhetorical symmetries Obama and Romney may share on same-sex marriage, it’s clear that the President won’t pander to the lingering brackishness of prejudice, while Romney not only will, he will do so with vigor.
That's too weak in my view. Romney has also donated to groups that advocate "psychological cures" of gay people, and his church is arguably the most effective and well-financed religious organization dedicated to keeping gay citizens out of civil marriage, with an eliminationist organization called Evergreen which tries to cure you. That's way worse than even the Catholic hierarchy. According to this survivor of the therapy, a third of the enrollees commit suicide:
Obama’s real pitch to the gay community: He’s not Mitt Romney.
But, given how little power the president has on marriage, that's enough for me. Romney is virulently anti-gay, and could not stand up to even the most rancid of homophobes in Bryan Fischer. His church, moreover, is brutal in its hostility. I have some personal experience of this. I dated an ex-Mormon several years ago. He went to BYU and as he ventured out to gay bars, the university sent out spies to track his movements. They intimidated and bullied him. When he tested positive for HIV, they disowned him. I went to his funeral. Even his family wouldn't show up. There are many Mormons fighting this, and I've been honored to speak with and to them over the years. But they are fighting against an institution which enshrines eternal male-female marriage in ways other faiths don't.
I'm disappointed in Obama, but his leading from behind is not exactly a surprise at this point. And after the end of DADT and withdrawing from a legal defense of DOMA, he's done a huge amount. But the idea that there is some kind of equivalence between his cynical waffling and Romney's rank hostility to gay people's equality is preposterous.