Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., an outspoken gay-rights supporter and a gay man himself, on Sunday lauded President Obama’s decision to support same-sex marriage and defended his belief that states should have jurisdiction over the issue.
“In America, marriage has always been a state-by-state issue. Now, the Republicans have tried to change that,” Frank said on ABC’s This Week.
Obama said on Tuesday that gay couples should be able to get married, but affirmed that he thinks states should be able to decide the issue on their own. That position has taken some fire from gay-rights activists, who say he should push to have same-sex marriages supported nationwide.
Frank defended Obama’s position, however, as “reality” in America. He also said he doesn't believe Obama’s position will affect his reelection chances.
“If you were going to cast your vote based on a candidate's position regarding same-sex marriage, you were already going to vote for Obama,” he said. “I literally don't think anybody's vote was changed by this one way or the other.”
Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., took the Republican line in response and attempted to pivot the conversation back to the economy – a strategy that Romney’s campaign has consistently used over the past few weeks, as issues like gay marriage threatened to shift the debate.
“I think that what you're going to see Mitt Romney do is put the focus on jobs and the economy,” she said, when asked whether Romney could use Obama’s position against him politically. She did note, however, Republicans were waiting to see whether Democrats would make this a part of their platform.
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