Democrats' Domino Effect on Gay Marriage Issue?

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a moderate Democrat from upstate New York who is likely to have a Democratic primary battle on her hands in New York next year, made sure her position on same-sex marriage was known -- she supports it -- as soon as Gov. David Paterson appointed her to replace Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Senate.

The action in the states does not seem poised to slow down anytime soon. The New York State Assembly just passed a same-sex marriage bill this week, though the bill's fate is uncertain in the state Senate. And in New Hampshire last week, a bill passed out of the legislature and is now on its way to Democratic Gov. John Lynch's desk.

Lynch has been opposed to same-sex marriage in the past and has not yet made his position on the current legislation known.

President Obama remains opposed to same-sex marriage. ABC News' Jake Tapper has pressed White House press secretary Robert Gibbs twice in the last two weeks on the subject to see if the president is perhaps reconsidering his position in light of the swift movement on the issue both legislatively in the states and in national public opinion.

Gibbs continued to express the president's support for civil unions, but indicated his opposition to gay marriage is unchanged.

"I think the president's position on same-sex marriage is -- has been talked about and discussed," Gibbs said in response to a question seeking reaction to Baldacci's action last week in Maine.

It is unclear if the political winds and his thinking on the issue will have changed significantly enough to cause Obama to drop his opposition to same-sex marriage by the time his 2012 re-election campaign rolls around, but some political observers don't rule it out.

"I think it's possible in 2012, but certainly in 2016, that the Democratic nominee for president will be for gay marriage," said Elmendorf, the Democratic strategist. "There is an old expression in Washington: 'Flip-flopping is OK as long as you end up on the right side with the voters.'"

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