David Axelrod, President Obama’s former political strategist, wrote a book in 2015 that featured a part about his boss' political struggle with coming out in favor of gay marriage.
Obama, during the 2008 campaign, famously opposed marriage between same-sex couples. He said, “I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage.”
Politifact reported that “Obama was in favor of same-sex marriage before he was against it—and before he was for it again.” When running for Illinois State Senate in 1996, he told a gay magazine in the city in a questionnaire that he favors “legalizing same-sex marriage, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.”
Axelrod, in his book, “Believer: My Forty Years in Politics,” wrote that he knew Obama was in favor of same-sex marriage but, according to Time magazine, wrote that,“Opposition to gay marriage was particularly strong in the black church, and as he ran for higher office, he grudgingly accepted the counsel of more pragmatic folks like me, and modified his position to support civil unions rather than marriage, which he would term a ‘sacred union,’"
Obama supporters look at the decision as pragmatic. In order to enact change, you need to first be elected. Many in the gay community look at Obama as a strong supporter of the movement. But what we’re seeing play out in today's society is that political calculations that overlook what is determined to be a social wrong warrants condemnation. Will it ever come to pass that the left shifts its opinion about Obama and sees his 2008 decision as political cowardice?
“What president is safe from their cancelation efforts?” Buck Sexton, the host of “The Buck Sexton Show” asked on Monday. “But give it time. Even Barack Obama, in time, will come under stronger criticism of the left.”
Obama announced that he was in favor of gay marriage in May 2012 and was the first sitting president in history to come out in support. He was running against Mitt Romney at the time, who said that he believed marriage was between a man and a woman.
"I had hesitated on gay marriage, in part, because I thought civil unions would be sufficient," Obama said, in an interview with ABC News. "I was sensitive to the fact that -- for a lot of people -- that the word marriage is something that provokes very powerful traditions and religious beliefs."