Are you ready to take a little test? I'm going to ask a series of short, informational questions followed by one philosophical question, so the test is in two parts.
Part One: Informational
Who said this and when did he or she say it?
Quote: "I remain opposed to same-sex marriage. I believe marriage is an institution for the union of a man and a woman. This has been my long-standing position, and it is not being reviewed or reconsidered."
Answer: That was former President Bill Clinton in an interview with the flagship gay publication The Advocate in 1996.
Quote: "I think that the vast majority of Americans find [same-sex marriage] to be something they can't agree with. But I think most Americans are fair. And if they believe that people in committed relationships want to share their lives and, not only that, have the same rights that I do in my marriage, to decide who I want to inherit my property or visit me in a hospital, I think that most Americans would think that that's fair and that should be done."
Answer: That was former Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a CBS News interview in 2003.
Quote: (Responding to the question, "Do you support gay marriage?") "No. Barack Obama nor I support redefining from a civil side what constitutes marriage. We do not support that. That is basically the decision to be able to be left to faiths and people who practice their faiths the determination what you call it."
Answer: That was Vice President (then Senator) Joe Biden, responding to a question in a 2008 presidential debate.
Quote: "I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage."
Answer: That was President (then Senator) Barack Obama in a 2008 interview with MTV.
In 2004 he said, "My religious faith dictates marriage is between a man and a woman; gay marriage is not a civil right." In 2008, in an interchange hosted by Rick Warren, he said, "I believe marriage is the union between a man and a woman. As a Christian, it's also a sacred union." (For the question of his earlier position from 1996, see here.)
Part Two: Philosophical
Note the dates of these positions quoted (all of them are from within the last 18 years); note some of the venues, which include gay publications (The Advocate) and gay-friendly venues (MTV); and then note how clearly these opinions were expressed in opposition to redefining marriage, especially by the three men cited.
Here's the question: What caused these politicians to change their views so radically in such a short period of time that today they strongly oppose and even vilify those who hold to the positions they themselves claimed to embrace just a few short years ago?
I'll let you answer that question.
Michael Brown is author of Can You Be Gay and Christian? Responding With Love and Truth to Questions About Homosexuality and host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show The Line of Fire on the Salem Radio Network. He is also president of FIRE School of Ministry and director of the Coalition of Conscience. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or at @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.
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