Vice President Joe Biden

  • May 9, 2012

    by Jeremy Leaming

    Although it may make little difference in states bent on barring same-sex marriage, President Obama made a historic announcement today on marriage equality, becoming as TPM notes the “first sitting president to come out in support of legal same-sex marriage.”

    President Obama told ABC News, “At a certain point, I’ve just concluded that for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” (Picture is linked to video excerpt of the president’s interview.)

    The president’s comments come on the heels of the North Carolina vote in favor of a constitutional ban on marriage equality, and Vice President Joe Biden’s recent statement that he is “absolutely comfortable” with same-sex marriage.

    The president defended his record of advancing equality, noting, “I’ve always been adamant that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally. And that’s why in addition to everything we’ve done in this administration, rolling back ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ so that outstanding Americans can serve our country, whether it’s no longer defending the Defense Against Marriage Act, which tried to federalize what historically has been state law, I’ve stood on the broader side of equality for the LGBT community.”

    But Obama said he “hesitated on gay marriage in part because I thought that civil unions would be sufficient,” by giving gay couples the many rights that legally married couples enjoy. The president added that he was “sensitive to the fact that for a lot of people the word ‘marriage’ was something that invoked very powerful traditions, religious beliefs, and so forth.”

  • March 26, 2010

    A draft proposal of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has been leaked, and critics are sharpening their attacks on the controversial anti-pirating agreement.

    ACTA has long been a subject of criticism. Being negotiated behind closed doors, the multi-national agreement is intended to standardize intellectual property enforcement among participating countries. Critics argue, however, that the secret negotiations shaping ACTA should be made transparent. Leaked reports on the substance of negotiations have also drawn fire.

    Today's Washington Post bears an op-ed by Harvard Law professors Lawrence Lessig and Jack Goldsmith who reiterate prior criticisms of both the process producing ACTA and the agreement's substance. Their op-ed also introduces constitutional concerns for how the United States might join the agreement, noting that the administration has suggested enactment without congressional involvement.