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What a H8ter: In 2004, Obama Based His Gay Marriage Views on His Religious Faith (Updated)

Andrew Kaczynski digs up a clip from a 2004 Senate debate between then state Sen. Barack Obama and Republican Alan Keyes. The subject turns to gay marriage, and Barack gets religious.

OBAMA: What I believe is, that, marriage is between a man and a woman. But what I also believe is that we have an obligation to make sure that gays and lesbians have the rights of citizenship that afford them visitations to hospitals, that allow them to be, to transfer property between partners, to make certain that they're not discriminated on the job. I think that bundle of rights...

MODERATOR: But as far as why, what in your religious faith calls you to be against gay marriage?

OBAMA: What I believe, in my faith, is that, a man and a woman, when they get married, are performing something before God. And it's not simply the two persons who are meeting. But that doesn't mean that that necessarily translates into a position on public policy, or with respect to civil unions.

Obama articulates a very traditional view of marriage that aligned with the position of then President Bush, but no one blasted Obama as a hater for it. Put Obama's exact words in the mouth of any Republican and the loving, tolerant left will aim to wipe that person off the political map.

More: Obama's current take on gay marriage is vague, that he is "evolving" on the issue. He seems to have evolved on it more than once. Going back to 1996, when he was running for the state Senate in Illinois, he filled out a questionnaire indicating full and unequivocal support for gay marriage.

President-elect Obama's answer to a 1996 Outlines newspaper question on marriage was: "I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages." There was no use of the phrase "civil unions". [Outlines purchased Windy City Times in 2000 and merged companies.]

The president's staff would evolve to claim that someone else filled that questionnaire out, so it did not reflect Obama's views. Staffs for state Senate candidates tend to be small, in the fewer than half dozen range, especially for a rookie candidate as Obama was at the time. But that ghost questionnaire filler outer was never tracked down.