Over at ThinkProgress, Igor Volsky has video of California Senate candidate Carly Fiorina in last night's debate, offering her take on same-sex marriage. Here's the salient part:
FIORINA: I do believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, but also have been consistent and clear that I support civil unions for gay and lesbian couples. The Defense of Marriage Act had broad bipartisan support. And actually, the position I've consistently espoused is consistent with that of our President and a vast majority of senators in the U.S. Senate.
Fiorina pretty explicity comes out in favor of civil unions. Same-sex marriage? Not so much. But why should this be a bother, when her opinion on the matter dovetails completely with that of President Barack Obama?
At first blush, this may seem like Fiorina's at odds with the phenomenon that Sam Stein's been reporting this week -- GOP elites starting to form behind same-sex marriage rights as a "conservative cause". But this is really part of the same story: as I've stated before, the Democrats have long treated the LGBT community as a captive constituency, and their strategy has been to do as little as possible for as long as they can, figuring that if the Republican party never changes its position, they can string along the LGBT community, until such time as support for their rights are absolutely, positively, 100% guaranteed to not put a single seat at risk.
Of course, there's evidence that the GOP is moderating its position. But even if someone like Fiorina doesn't want to, it's no big deal, because Barack Obama is doing her the favor of extending her the needed political cover. Now, as you can see in the video, Boxer -- in a painfully roundabout way -- comes out for straight up marriage equality (it might be better for Boxer if she started pretending that her support stems from principles and not from a reading of studies). But beyond the specifics of the California race, this episode demonstrates that the position of the White House and the Democrats on same-sex marriage is just untenable. Republicans who support same-sex marriage will keep pushing to outflank the Democrats on the issue. Meanwhile, look for more GOP candidates to seek safety in Obama's position.