White House Comm Dir: Obama Didn't Fill Out 1996 Marriage Survey Answer [w/ UPDATE]

Posted by Chris Geidner
June 17, 2011 3:40 PM |

The news of the day from Netroots Nation, taking place in Minneapolis, came when White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer stated that then-state senate candidate Barack Obama had not filled out the 1996 questionnaire stating that he supported same-sex marriage -- a survey that has been reported countless times over the past couple years.

He was asked about the 1996 Outlines survey response -- in which Obama stated, "I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages" -- at a session this morning.

Screen shot 2011-06-17 at 3.29.47 PM.pngPfeiffer told the moderator today, "If you actually go back and look, the -- that questionnaire was actually filled out by someone else, not the president."

Which prompted the response from moderator Joy Gray of Daily Kos, "So, it was a fake questionnaire?"

Pfeiffer never answered that question, but instead went on to reiterate Obama's comments made over the past several months that his views on marriage equality are "evolving."

In a statement provided to Rex Wockner by Windy City Times editor Tracy Baim, the paper stood by the survey:

Despite a statement by President Obama's White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer June 17 that a 1996 survey response was not written by the then-candidate for Illinois state Senate, Windy City Times newspaper stands by the reporting on Obama's early support of gay marriage in at least two gay surveys.

The surveys were from a 1996 response to Outlines newspaper (which now owns Windy City Times) and IMPACT, a now-defunct gay political action committee. ... This is the first time a claim has been made that Obama did not complete the surveys himself, even though his signature is on the typed one sent to Outlines, and the IMPACT survey appears to be completed in his own writing.

Windy City Times has made the Outlines survey, as well as the IMPACT survey, available on its website.

[UPDATE @ 6:55 PM: This evening, the White House is distancing itself from Pfeiffer's comments, with spokesman Shin Inouye telling Metro Weekly, "Dan was not familiar with the history of the questionnaire that was brought up today, but the President's views are clear. He has long supported equal rights and benefits for gay and lesbian couples and since taking office he has signed into law the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell,  signed into law the Hate Crimes bill, made the decision not to defend  section three of DOMA and expanded Federal benefits for same sex partners of Federal employees."

Inouye did not respond to a follow-up question asking whether the White House acknowledges that Obama did, in fact, sign the 1996 Outlines survey.]


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