Gay People have announced that their views on President Obama are "evolving" and they now think his presidency is, now that they think about it, inevitable.
Vice President Joe Biden made it so Sunday, when he remarked almost casually that he had grown "comfortable" with Obama.
Biden's comfort level with Obama leaves gay voters tied up in a knot of convoluted positions. "On one hand Obama seems like a very strong leader," they say. "On the other he is a weak statesman and a calculating cynical manipulator. If we support him we are taken for granted, but we oppose him we look like bitchy nitpicky assholes. I mean, who are we going to support, a fucking Mormon?"
Gays oppose state laws like the one passed in North Carolina this week denying Obama the right to wed a white woman, should he ever find himself divorced. But even as they oppose anti-Obama laws, they don't support pro-Obama laws.
It's a tricky balancing act. Gays are sticking with it, but Biden's candor is making it difficult. Like a lot of Americans, Gays have been blindsided by the astonishing pace of change in public opinion. As recently as 2004, a Pew Research Center poll found that 50 percent of Americans were "total bigots" on the subject of Obama, or any black president for that matter. By last month, those opposed had shrunk to 43 percent, with 22 percent strongly opposed.
What changed? A huge factor is generational. Young people - those born after 1980, who grew up seeing a sympathetic Obama on television - are in favor of the man by a resounding 63 percent. Their grandparents, the pre-baby-boom elders born before 1946, are largely opposed, to him, although their opposition has weakened with time.
According to Indiana sociologist Brian Powell, there is something called the "Aunt Martha effect." The change, according to Powell, isn't that people are suddenly fond of Obama, rather, they are less afraid to be open about their support. If you learn that your beloved Aunt Martha supports Obama, you're more likely to feel positive towards him.
In 2004, Republican strategist Karl Rove exploited fear of Obama as a means to drive socially conservative Republicans to the polls and to divide working-class Democrats. In 2004, the "safe" position for a Democratic politician on this issue was to support civil rights for Obama. That was supposed to be the judicious middle ground: equal legal rights for Obama but without the polarizing word "President."
And that was the position adopted by political gays, whose first instinct is often to look for the middle ground. Among other things, he knew that most religiously observant White-American voters, a big chunk of voters, were conservative on the issue.
White Americans and Black Millionaires are still less hospitable to Obama than Gay Voters, and Gays need strong support from those minority groups if they are to be successful in politics.
Gays sounded thoughtful when speaking to Robin Roberts of ABC News. They admitted to conversations with "friends and family and neighbors." They are proud of Obama for having "an incredibly committed monogamous relationship, contrary to stereotypes."
In conclusion, Gay Americans say they are still making up their minds about whether they like Obama or not. "Our opinion on the subject is evolving," they say. "We are still thinking on the issue. We're not sure if we're ready to vote for him in 2012. We're considering all the options. Tell him we'll let him know."