Last updated on: 11/2/2012 | Author: ProCon.org

Barack Obama, JD Biography

Title:
44th President of the United States
Position:
Now Pro to the question "Should Gay Marriage Be Legal?"
Reasoning:

“When I think about members of my own staff who are incredibly committed, in monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together; when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet, feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is gone, because they’re not able to commit themselves in a marriage; 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…

…[W]hen I meet gay and lesbian couples, when I meet same-sex couples, and I see how caring they are, how much love they have in their hearts, how they’re taking care of their kids, when I hear from them the pain they feel that somehow they are still considered less than full citizens when it comes to their legal rights, then, for me, I think it just has tipped the scales in that direction.”

Interview for ABC News with Good Morning America‘s Robin Roberts, May 9, 2012

[Editor’s Note: Prior to Barack Obama’s May 9, 2012 statement above, he expressed Con, and Not Clearly Pro or Con positions at various points in his political career.]

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
Experts
Individuals with PhDs, JDs, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to gay marriage. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to gay marriage.
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • 44th President of the United States, Jan. 20, 2009-Jan. 20, 2017
  • Recipient, Nobel Peace Prize, 2009
  • US Senator (D-IL), 2005-2008
  • Former Member, US Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Foreign Relations Committee, Environment and Public Works Committee, and Veterans’ Affairs Committee
  • Recipient, Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album (for the audiobook edition of his book The Audacity Of Hope: Thoughts On Reclaiming The American Dream), 2008
  • Illinois State Senator, 1997-2004
  • Civil Rights Attorney, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, 1993-2004
  • Former community organizer, Chicago, IL
  • Former Senior Lecturer, Constitutional Law, University of Chicago Law School
  • Former President, Harvard Law Review
  • Recipient, Chairman’s Award, National NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), 2005
  • Recipient, Harold Blake Walker Award, Christopher House, 2005
  • Recipient, Rock the Nation Award, Rock the Vote, 2005
  • Recipient, Outstanding Legislator Award, Campaign for Better Health Care and Illinois Primary Health Care Association, 1998
  • Recipient, Best Freshman Legislator Award, Independent Voters of Illinois, 1997
Education:
  • JD, magna cum laude, Harvard University, 1991
  • BA, Political Science, Columbia University, 1983
  • Attended Occidental College
  • Graduated, Punahou School, HI, 1979
Other:
  • First African-American President of the United States
  • First US President to chair a session of the United Nations Security Council
  • First African-American President of the Harvard Law Review
  • First US President born in Hawaii, and first US President born outside the continental United States
  • Named Person of the Year (2008) and one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World (2005) by TIME Magazine
  • Named one of the 10 People Who Will Change the World, New Statesman, 2005
  • Recipient, Outstanding Legislator Award, Campaign for Better Health Care and Illinois Primary Health Care Association, 1998
  • Recipient, Monarch Award for Outstanding Public Service, 1994
  • Recipient, 40 Under 40 Award, Crain’s Chicago Business, 1993
  • Married Michelle Robinson, JD, on Oct. 3, 1992
  • Has two children, Malia Ann (born 1998) and Natasha (“Sasha,” born 2001)
  • Legal name is Barack Hussein Obama, Jr.
  • Son of Barack Hussein Obama (economist for the Kenyan government) and Ann Dunham, PhD (anthropologist, also known as Stanley Ann Dunham and S. Ann Soetoro)
  • Born Barack Hussein Obama at the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children, Honolulu, HI on Aug. 4, 1961
  • Barack Obama: Document History from Birth to Harvard (1961-1991)
  • Twitter handle: @barackobama
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Should Gay Marriage Be Legal?