In the wake of the historic ruling in the Prop 8 case, the President has decided on a very strange locution to describe his views on the matter. He says, through aides, that he personally opposes gay marriage but supports “equality”. David Axelrod made a go at this pretzel logic today:

Senior adviser David Axelrod said the president supports “equality” for gay and lesbian couples, but did not address directly Obama’s position on Wednesday’s court ruling, which struck down as unconstitutional California’s Proposition 8, a 2008 ballot initiative banning same-sex marriage in the state.

“The president does oppose same-sex marriage but he supports equality for gay and lesbian couples,” Axelrod said on MSNBC [...]

“The president opposed Proposition 8 at the time — he felt it was divisive and mean spirited,” he said, adding that Obama believes that governing marriage is “an issue for the states.”

It’s true that the President opposed Prop 8 – but his tortured logic on the subject allowed supporters of Prop 8 to use his likeness and his words in their advertising. The idea of personal opposition but support of vagaries like “equality” is typical of how Democrats think they can thread the needle on these kinds of issues. It makes them look terribly weak.

And the LGBT community has had it. John Aravosis has posted an open letter calling on the President to support full marriage equality.

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing to ask you to come out in support of full marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples.

In 1996, you were in favor of legalizing same–sex marriage. By 2008, your public position had changed.

“Separate but equal” is wrong. It’s time for you to do the right thing, and come out again for full equality for LGBT Americans.

We are on the march towards full equality. Please join us.

Opposing Prop 8 and opposing marriage equality is a contradiction in terms. And it will always be used by opponents of equality to divide people. It leaves a very troubled legacy for the President on an issue of civil rights. He’s obviously too cautious to step out on such a controversial issue. He should get over it and do what’s right.