Gay Marriage Reaction: From Joy to Cynical Eye Rolls Andrew Sullivan: President 'let go of fear' By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted May 9, 2012 4:53 PM CDT 87 comments Comments In this May 8 photo, President Obama speaks in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File) (Newser) – Early reaction to President Obama's backing of gay marriage ranges from joyous raves to complaints about a political ploy. Samples: Andrew Sullivan, Daily Beast: "I think of all the gay kids out there who now know they have their president on their side," he writes. Obama today "let go of fear. He is clearly prepared to let the political chips fall as they may. That's why we elected him. That's the change we believed in." Steve Clemons, Atlantic: He "shattered any doubt about the administration's commitment to achieving fully equal civil rights" for the gay community, and that's a "brave" move. "To the cynics on the political right who think that Obama loses in a head-on culture war, he is saying, 'Bring it On'—not only because he thinks that supporting gay marriage is the right thing to do, but because it may now be very smart politics." Dan Savage, the Stranger: It's "welcome" news for gay rights, but ... Obama is personally in favor but still thinks it's OK for states to make their own rules? "Once the dust settles ... everyone is going to be upset, supporters of marriage equality and opponents alike." John Cook, Gawker: Ditto on Savage's point on the states: "This is like saying that black children and white children ought to attend the same schools, but if the people of Alabama reject that notion—what are you gonna do?" Allahpundit, Hot Air: Obama "decides it's safe" to reclaim his stated position of 1996. "His base will swoon over this, needless to say—expect the mother of all leg tingles on Hardball tonight—but even as someone who agrees with him, I can’t get past the pure opportunism of it."