There’s good reason for Republicans to welcome the fight: It’s one in a series of culture war issues that have surged to the forefront of the political debate and knocked the economy off the front page. For social conservatives, it dovetails perfectly with this weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference, Rick Santorum’s resurgence in last Tuesday’s caucuses and reaction to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision striking down California’s Proposition 8, which would have reversed a law allowing same-sex couples to marry…

Among Democrats who approve of the policy, some privately question why Obama would take on this issue now instead of after the November election, exposing them to an election-year uproar over dearly held religious beliefs…

Former Rep. Artur Davis (D-Ala.), who was a big Obama supporter during the 2008 Democratic presidential primary, said the White House is wrong on the policy and the politics in a post in POLITICO’s Arena.

“As unwise as the administration’s policy is, it is even worse politics,” Davis wrote. “In one swoop, they have handed Republicans grounds to galvanize evangelicals and more conservative Catholics, and they have badly discomfited Catholic [Democratic] candidates like Tim Kaine and Bob Casey.”