Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), the first openly gay member of Congress, would welcome support from President Barack Obama on the issue of same sex marriage, even if it was purely a electoral calculation.
“Look, he is moving in the right direction on this issue,” she told the New York Times. “He’s been crucial in equality efforts like the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and signing the Matthew Shepard hate crimes prevention act.”
“I have no idea what goes on in another person’s mind,” Baldwin continued. “As a legislator, I need to be good at persuading people, counting votes and getting to 50 percent plus one. I don’t go back and say, ‘Why did this person get to the right position?’ It’s only ‘Are you yes or are you no?'”
Obama has said he personally thinks marriage is solely between a man and a women, but that his position on the issue was “evolving.”
On Friday, the White House said it opposed a ballot measure in North Carolina that would define marriage as solely between one man and one woman in the state’s constitution.
“While the president does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the record is clear that the President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same sex couples,” campaign spokesman Cameron French said.
Last year, Obama directed the Department of Justice to no longer defend Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act. Section 3 of the law defined marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman, and prohibited legally married same sex couples from receiving federal benefits.