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JEFF JACOBY

Benefit of doubt on ‘evolution’

It was hard to suppress the cynicism after President Obama announced the outcome of his much-hyped “evolution” on same-sex marriage last week. He had “just concluded,” he told ABC’s Robin Roberts, that “same-sex couples should be able to get married.”

Just? That was the position he’d held in 1996, when he was running for the Illinois Legislature from one of Chicago’s most liberal neighborhoods. Once he became a candidate for national office — the US Senate in 2004 and the White House four years later — Obama reversed course, insisting that “marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman.” Now, with polls showing that support for gay marriage nationally has reached 50 percent, and with pressure from liberal Democratic donors growing more insistent, Obama has revolved — I mean, evolved — into endorsing same-sex marriage again.

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