A chorus of voices chime in on same-sex marriage

Claudine Zap
Claudine Zap
The Upshot

President Obama's endorsement of gay marriage added to a flood of opinions on the issue.

The president came out in support of same-sex marriage, saying for the first time on Wednesday, "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."

Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, later praised the president on "The Rachel Maddow Show." "To have Barack Obama, the President of the United States, to say once and for all, I believe in equality of all citizens, I think it has a symbolic effect…it is a historic thing."

Fox News host Shep Smith, whose show aired at the time President Obama gave his support, delivered what many considered a shocking response from the conservative network: "The president of the United States, now in the 21st century."

Vice President Joe Biden got the ball rolling last Sunday, when, in response to a question about same-sex marriage, he said on NBC's "Meet the Press," "I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men marrying women are entitled to the same exact rights. All the civil rights, all the civil liberties. And quite frankly I don't see much of a distinction beyond that."

But the kicker that had everybody in Hollywood chatting: The Veep's endorsement of the TV show "Will and Grace." Biden added, "I think 'Will and Grace' probably did more to educate the American public than almost anybody's ever done so far. People fear that which is different. Now they're beginning to understand."

The popular sitcom's stars, Debra Messing and Eric McCormack, both tweeted their shout-outs. Posted Messing, "I'm thrilled Biden has come out in support of gay marriage and am beyond proud." McCormack added: "Three cheers for VP Joe Biden!"

The creator of "Will and Grace," Max Mutchnick, had another take. He claimed on CBS "This Morning," that he had heard Biden testing his "Will and Grace" message two weeks before his "Meet the Press" interview, and suggested Biden's statement was "choreographed."

Bristol Palin, the daughter of former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, thought Obama's viewpoint was too heavily influenced not by a sitcom, but by his daughters. In her blog, Bristol wrote, "It would've been nice if the President would've been an actual leader and helped shape their thoughts instead of merely reflecting what many teenagers think after one too many episodes of 'Glee.'"

For his part, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has doubled down on his belief that "marriage itself is between a man and a woman," as he told ABC News.

Polls show the country remains evenly divided on the issue.