Two groups for gay conservatives gave faint praise Wednesday to President Barack Obama for saying that he backs same-sex marriage, but slammed the announcement as political and ill-timed.
Both groups, Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud, also made specific mention of former Vice President Dick Cheney, downplaying Obama's statement because the Republican embraced same-sex marriage first.
"That the president has chosen today, when LGBT Americans are mourning the passage of Amendment One, to finally speak up for marriage equality is offensive and callous,” said R. Clarke Cooper, Executive Director of the Log Cabin Republicans. "Log Cabin Republicans appreciate that President Obama has finally come in line with leaders like Vice President Dick Cheney on this issue, but LGBT Americans are right to be angry that this calculated announcement comes too late to be of any use to the people of North Carolina, or any of the other states that have addressed this issue on his watch."
He continued to bash the administration, saying it "has manipulated LGBT families for political gain as much as anybody, and after his campaign’s ridiculous contortions to deny support for marriage equality this week he does not deserve praise for an announcement that comes a day late and a dollar short."
GOProud, which positions itself as more conservative than the Log Cabin Republicans, was no kinder.
"It is good to see that after intense political pressure that President Obama has finally come around to the Dick Cheney position on marriage equality," said co-founder Christopher R. Barron in a statement. "I am sure, however, the President’s newly discovered support for marriage is cold comfort to the gay couples in North Carolina. The President waited until after North Carolina passed a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage."
He called it "hardly a profile in courage," but added, "the real kudos here goes to LGBT activists and their allies who finally forced the President into yielding on this issue."
Cheney in 2009, after leaving office, said he backed same-sex marriage but it should be left to the states to decide. He had made similar federalist arguments before the 2004 election, saying that he didn't support a federal marriage amendment -- a break with President George W. Bush. The former vice president has an openly gay daughter, Mary, who has two children with her partner, Heather Poe.
Obama, in his comments Wednesday, said that he personally thinks gay couples should be allowed to legally wed, but added that he supports the idea of states deciding the issue.