Unless you’ve been living under a severely large rock for the past 24 hours, you’ve seen the news cycle – both network and online – dominated by one story. On Wednesday, President Obama officially came out in support of gay marriage.
Of course, the political ramifications of this expression are yet to be seen. Will it energize his base? Will it prompt certain groups to work harder to rally support for his reelection? Will it hurt him with more conservative swing voters? All of these questions will be answered over the course of the next few months.
Regardless of your personal views on gay marriage, there’s one thing about Obama’s affirmation that you cannot deny: Its historic significance. Yesterday, President Obama became the first sitting president to ever publicly announce support for gay marriage, or marriage equality to its supporters.
“I’ve been going through an evolution on this issue. I’ve always been adamant that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally,” said Obama. “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.”
You can check out the interview below:
The declaration has been met with praise as well as derision (unsurprisingly). It has been a huge topic of chatter on various social media outlets for the past 24 hours. One particular metric shows that Obama’s support for gay marriage is quite popular, at least among his social media fans.
On Wednesday, this image was posted to Obama’s official Facebook page, where the President himself has over 26.4 million “likes.”
That upload has currently garnered a resounding 201,000+ likes and 57,000+ shares. It has also generated quite a bit of discussion, with over 27,000 comments. I decided to go back and look at the Obama team’s last several dozen Facebook posts to compare. The closest post to come close to this gay marriage support post in terms of likes was one about student loan debt. It had 66,000 likes. The point is, Obama’s base (at least on Facebook), is incredibly excited about this latest move.
If you look at the Twitter side of things, his tweet that simply read “Same-sex couples should be able to get married.”—President Obama has now received nearly 58,000 retweets.
“Same-sex couples should be able to get married.”—President Obama
Of course, a retweet doesn’t imply agreement or support in the same way a Facebook “like” does, but this definitely shows the massive reach of this statement.
Of course, this is a rather unscientific way to determine whether Obama’s big announcement has had the rally the base effect that his supporters hope it will. It’s way to early to know what will come of it (good or bad). But according to the Washington Post, his gay marriage announcement was followed by a massive influx of donations.
I’ve learned that a debate on gay marriage itself is less than counterproductive on the interwebs, so let’s talk politics. How do you think this gesture will affect the campaign? Let us know in the comments.
[Lead Image via Facebook]