The story of Obama’s evolution, starting with a blogger named Joe

I have to give Peter Wallsten and Scott Wilson credit at the Washington Post for crediting our own Joe Sudbay with being the person who got President Obama to say he’s evolving on gay marriage.  A lot of reporters fail to mention who hit was who got the ball rolling on this issue.

Liberal bloggers were seated around a big table in the Roosevelt Room, peppering President Obama with policy questions. Suddenly, one of them turned to Obama and, struggling to overcome his emotions, made a very personal appeal.

“You can’t be equal in this country if the very core of who you are as a person and the love — the person you love is not — if that relationship isn’t the same as everybody else’s,” said Joe Sudbay, a gay writer for Americablog who said his community was “desperate” to know more about Obama’s stance on marriage rights.

“While I’m not prepared to reverse myself here, sitting in the Roosevelt Room at 3:30 in the afternoon,” Obama said, according to a transcript Sudbay posted on his blog after the October 2010 encounter, “I think it’s fair to say that it’s something that I think a lot about. That’s probably the best you’ll do out of me today.”

It took a year and a half, but Obama gave Sudbay the answer he was looking for, affirming his support for full marriage rights in a Wednesday television interview. The president’s appearance had been arranged after Vice President Biden said on Sunday that he supported same-sex marriage, setting off a frenzy of speculation about Obama’s views.

Greg Sargent at the Washington Post adds:

And kudos to the blogger who helped spark Obama’s evolution on gay marriage: I’ve been meaning to note this for a couple days, but Americablog’s Joe Sudbay has earned himself a place in the history of this debate. He was the blogger who asked Obama about gay marriage in October of 2010, prompting this now-infamous quote: “attitudes evolve, including mine.”

In the spirt of mutual admiration, Greg has himself been relentless on this issue over the past year. It’s nice to see in any blogger/reporter, but I have to admit it’s especially nice to see in a straight blogger who doesn’t necessarily have as personal a stake in the issue as we do. Thanks, Greg :)

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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