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Obama Supports Marriage Equality-Video, Reaction From Romney, Others

Obama Supports Marriage Equality-Video, Reaction From Romney, Others

by Karen Ocamb on May 9, 2012

 Reaction from presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney via Huffington Post:

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney said he is opposed to civil unions and gay marriage on the same day that President Barack Obama became the first president to support same-sex marriage.

“Well, when these issues were raised in my state of Massachusetts, I indicated my view, which is I do not favor marriage between people of the same gender, and I do not favor civil unions if they are identical to marriage other than by name,” the former Massachusetts governor told Denver Fox affiliate KDVR-TV. “My view is the domestic partnership benefits, hospital visitation rights, and the like are appropriate but that the others are not.”…..

Romney supports a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman, according to the National Organization for Marriage pledge he signed. (Though, as president, he wouldn’t play any formal role in a constitutional amendment.)

He also pledged to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court, in contrast to the Obama administration, which has stopped defending DOMA because it thinks the 1996 law banning federal recognition of gay marriage is unconstitutional.

But Romney told the Log Cabin Republicans in 1994, while running against Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.): “As a result of our discussions and other interactions with gay and lesbian voters across the state, I am more convinced than ever before that as we seek to establish full equality for America’s gay and lesbian citizens, I will provide more effective leadership than my opponent.”

After the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that gays had the right to marry in 2003, Romney initially said he would follow the ruling while seeking a constitutional amendment to overturn it, but he ultimately used a variety of tactics to try to block the ruling.

UPDATE: REACTION FROM LA MAYOR ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA, AMONG OTHERS, BELOW.

MORE REACTION:

From Freedom to Marry:

WASHINGTON – Below is a statement from Evan Wolfson, Founder and President of Freedom to Marry, the campaign to win marriage nationwide, hailing President Obama’s statement of support for the freedom to marry.

“Today, President Obama added his voice to the growing chorus of Americans who believe that all loving and committed couples should share equally in the freedom to marry. Like so many others who have made this journey – from Bill Clinton to Laura Bush, most recently Vice President Biden, and a majority of the American people – President Obama has come to know loving and committed gay couples.  Through thought and conversation about these families and their dreams and challenges, President Obama has reflected on his own values of fairness and respect for others, and completed his journey to support for the freedom to marry.  He now becomes the first sitting President to join the majority of Americans whose hearts have opened and minds have changed in favor of the freedom to marry.

“The President’s support marks a historic turning point for the freedom to marry movement. Yet there is much left to be done.  Forty-four states continue to exclude same-sex couples from marriage and because of the federal so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the civil marriages of thousands of same-sex couples are not respected by the federal government, thus depriving families of a crucial safety-net of federal protections and responsibilities.  It is time to repeal discriminatory laws that hurt families and help no one and speed passage of freedom to marry laws throughout the country.

“Government has no business putting obstacles in the path of loving and committed couples and their families who simply seek to care for one another and for whom marriage matters.  We call on the President, members of Congress, and state legislators from both sides of the aisle, to act together to bring an end to marriage discrimination and put government at every level on the side of families, fairness, and freedom. ”

 From the Human Rights Campaign:

Just moments ago, President Obama made history by boldly stating that gay and lesbian Americans deserve full marriage equality.

In saying so, he reinforced what most Americans believe – LGBT people should be fully and equally part of the fabric of our society. Our families deserve nothing less than the equal respect and recognition that comes through marriage.

President Obama’s time in office has shown that our nation can move beyond its shameful history of discrimination and injustice.

I hope you’ll join me in sending President Obama a heartfelt thank-you note right now.

Thanks to President Obama’s leadership, millions of young Americans have seen that their futures will not be limited by what makes them different.

And now, in supporting marriage equality, he’s extended a message of hope to a generation of young LGBT Americans, helping them understand that they too can be who they are and flourish as part of the American community.

His words also remind gay and lesbian families everywhere that they are not alone or unheard as they struggle – like their neighbors – to afford healthcare and college for their kids, pay their taxes, and plan for retirement.

The burden of discrimination will one day be no more, in part thanks to the President’s leadership at this very moment.

Send a thank-you note to President Obama now.

President Obama has been a crucial ally to our cause. But it’s ordinary people like you, standing up for what’s right, who will continue to drive our movement forward. I thank you for your commitment, and I hope you’ll continue to work for the day when all are equal.

From the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Discrimination (GLAAD):

New York, NY, May 9, 2012 – GLAAD, the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, today responded to President Barack Obama’s historic announcement in support of marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples.

“The arc of history today bent a little closer to equality for every American,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. “After hearing the stories of countless couples and families, President Obama has drawn the same conclusion shared across party lines and by a majority of Americans today: everyone deserves the opportunity to marry the person they love. As our nation draws closer to a more perfect union in which every person is created equal, we are left deeply encouraged by this truly watershed moment.”

In an interview with Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts today, President Obama stated:

“I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that 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.”

President Obama’s landmark announcement comes just days after Vice President Joe Biden told NBC’s Meet the Press that he was ‘absolutely comfortable’ with equal marriage protections for gay and lesbian couples, and just hours after voters in North Carolina approved a constitutional amendment – known as Amendment One – that will change the state’s constitution to recognize only married straight couples; bans civil unions; and eliminates health care, prescription drug coverage and other benefits for public employees and children receiving domestic partner benefits. In a written statement on Tuesday, the president said he was “disappointed” in the passage of the amendment.

A new Gallup poll released Tuesday finds that for the second time in the organization’s history, half of Americans support marriage equality. That poll is available here: http://www.gallup.com/poll/154529/Half-Americans-Support-Legal-Gay-Marriage

Other recent polls that reflect growing support of marriage equality include:

•       A Quinnipiac University poll found that 59% of respondents oppose federal legislation that denies eligibility for federal benefits to gay and lesbian spouses.
•       A Public Religion Research Institute poll that found 51% support legal marriage for lesbian and gay couples.
•       An ABC News and Washington Post poll that found 51% of respondents said they thought marriage equality should be legal, a 17 percentage-point increase from the 2006 polling results.
•       A CNN and the Opinion Research Corporation poll that showed 51% of respondents were in favor of legal recognition for marriages for gay and lesbian couples.

From Ted Olson and Chad Griffin from the American Foundation for Equal Rights: 

Los Angeles, CA – Today, in an interview with Robin Roberts of ABC News, President Barack Obama announced his support for marriage equality.

“Today is a proud day for all Americans,” said AFER lead co-counsel Theodore B. Olson.  “The bedrock American principles of freedom and human dignity are central to the political and legal convictions of Republicans, Democrats, liberals, and conservatives alike.  President Obama’s words remind us that marriage and equality are universal values that unite us all.  They remind us that we are all—as a People and a Nation—striving to form a more perfect Union.”

“President Obama’s words today will be celebrated by generations to come,” said AFER Board President Chad Griffin.  “For the millions of young gay and lesbian Americans across this nation, their President’s words provide genuine hope that they will be the first generation to grow up with the freedom to fully pursue the American dream.  Marriage—the promise of love, companionship, and family—is basic to the pursuit of that dream.  Our Constitution’s promise, the promise of liberty, is one that every generation must realize.  As President Obama recognized today, the fight to secure marriage equality is the defining element of our generation’s search for greater freedom.”

From Los Angeles Councilmember Eric Garcetti: 

Councilmember Eric Garcetti today issued the following statement regarding President Obama’s announcement that he supports marriage equality. Garcetti was state Co-Chair of Obama’s campaign and performed Los Angeles’ first “official” same-sex marriage when they were briefly legal here in California — for two women who met while working in his office.

“Today, our President moved us closer to fulfilling the promise of equality and fairness upon which our nation was founded. When you put the politics aside, it’s simple: when two people love each other and want to get married, it’s nobody’s business but their own.”

 From the Center for American Progress:

Washington, D.C. — Today President Barack Obama stated his support for marriage rights for gay couples in an interview with ABC News’s Robin Roberts and, in response, the Center for American Progress released the following statements:

  • Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden said, “We applaud the president’s decision as it is another large step toward realizing this country’s promise of equality. Indeed, President Obama today helped bend the arc of history toward justice. And his stance will be remembered as such.”
  • Winnie Stachelberg, CAP’s Executive Vice President for External Affairs, added, “President Obama made history today when he came out in full support of marriage rights for gay couples. Many Americans have thought about this issue and, like the president, have reconsidered their feelings about it. His journey is our journey.”

From Catholic Advocates:

WASHINGTON, May 9, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ — Catholic Advocate President Matt Smith issued the following statement in response to President Obama “affirming” he believes same-sex marriage should be legal during an interview with ABC News today:

“Once again, the President is spending time advancing an anti-Catholic agenda. Marriage was created long before any government came into existence. It is a settled issue in the eyes of the Catholic Church and should not be redefined.

“First, the Obama administration takes away grant money helping victims of sex-trafficking over the Church refusing to refer the victims for abortions. Then the Obama administration violates our religious liberties by forcing Catholic institutions to pay for contraception, abortifacients, and sterilization as the President’s health care law is being implemented. And now, should his advocacy for same-sex marriage succeed, Catholic institutions could be forced once again to violate our beliefs.

“Many faithful Catholics were fooled by clever political rhetoric in 2008. This year, the anti-Catholic record of the Obama administration should inform their vote.”

From Labor:

(Washington, D.C.) AFSCME President Gerald W. McEntee and Secretary-Treasurer Lee Saunders issued the following statement regarding President Obama’s remarks today on marriage:

“President Obama’s announcement today recognizes a fundamental American right – that every citizen is entitled to respect and dignity, and the equal protection of our laws.  For too long, lesbian and gay Americans have been denied the right to marry the person they love, raise a family and live as equal citizens in our country. They are denied access to pension benefits, Social Security survivor benefits, family health and bereavement leave and family immigration rights.  That discrimination harms all of us, not just LGBT Americans.  We have an obligation to work to overturn unjust laws and amendments to state constitutions that codify prejudice and promote discrimination against fellow citizens.  The President deserves praise for recognizing that this issue is about equality under the law and the right of all Americans to live their lives free from discrimination.”

FROM MassEquality Applauds PresidentObama For Support Of Marriage Equality

BOSTON, May 9, 2012—Today, during an interview with ABC News, President Barack Obama expressed his support for marriage equality for all Americans. His statement of support comes after three of his cabinet officials, including Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan have all expressed support for marriage equality recently.

MassEquality Executive Director Kara Suffredini, Esq. issued the following statement in response to the president’s remarks:

“As the first state to secure marriage equality for generations to come, we in Massachusetts are thrilled by the President’s announcement. It’s hard to imagine anything more significant to the marriage equality movement than the most powerful leader in the world declaring his support for the right to marry for all Americans. It’s a powerful affirmation before the country and world of the basic human dignity of same-sex couples and their families.

“The President’s evolution on marriage equality is not unlike the experience of the majority of Americans who have come to understand why marriage is so important to loving same-sex couples and their children. Listening, learning, growing, and changing is the American way, but it takes courage and leadership. We applaud President Obama for showing both today.

“We can’t help but note the irony of the President’s statement coming just one day after voters in North Carolina approved an amendment to the North Carolina state constitution that denies any form of relationship recognition for same-sex couples. Despite this setback, today marks another step forward in the unmistakable trend toward public acceptance and embrace of marriage equality. At least seven national polls have found majority support among Americans for marriage equality. These polls, and major advances on marriage equality this year in Washington and Maryland, show that the day is fast approaching when we will finally put the politics of discrimination around marriage equality behind us.

“Here in Massachusetts we have been privileged to celebrate the right to marry for just a week shy of eight years. What we’ve learned is that our communities are safer, happier, and healthier when all families are respected, supported and celebrated. As time goes on and even larger majorities of Americans come to support marriage equality, we look forward to the day when all Americans can enjoy the freedom to marry.”

From National Stonewall Democrats:

In an interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts, President Obama expressed his clear support for the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. National Stonewall Democrats Executive Director, Jerame Davis, issued the following statement:

“We applaud the President for completing his ‘evolution’ in support of the freedom to marry and becoming the first sitting president ever to endorse marriage equality for same-sex couples. The President joins a long and growing list of Democrats who support the freedom to marry. On days like today, I am proud to be a Democrat.

“The President’s endorsement of the freedom to marry stands in stark contrast to the position of Mitt Romney. Romney, who signed the National Organization for Marriage’s hateful anti-LGBT pledge, opposes marriage equality and supports a federal constitutional amendment banning marriage between same-sex couples. No longer can GOP homophobes like Romney hide behind the pretense that they share President Obama’s position on the freedom to marry.

“Though many have been waiting for this day to arrive, our fight is not complete. Election day is 180 days from today and we have to redouble our efforts and prove that the President’s support of marriage will not cost him at the ballot box. National Stonewall Democrats stands will be fighting every day from now until November to ensure it doesn’t.”

From Lambda Legal:

(New York, May 9, 2012) Lambda Legal Executive Director, Kevin Cathcart issued the following statement:

“We welcome the news that President Obama understands the importance of equality for all people in this country and we are excited that he joins the majority of Americans in supporting the freedom to marry.

“There is no bully pulpit bigger than the President’s, and loving, committed same-sex couples across the country – and all of us – thank him for using it to speak up for justice and fairness. The momentum for marriage equality is building across the country. When people have a chance to think deeply about marriage equality, they come to the right answer – that discrimination against our families is wrong.

“There’s so much more work to be done. Right now, Lambda Legal is fighting in the courts for marriage equality in New Jersey and Nevada. There will be more fights at the ballot in November.

“In my thirty years working in the LGBT movement, it has become easier to recognize watershed moments – and this is one. And we know we’re winning because these watershed moments are beginning to happen closer together.”

From Get Equal:

This afternoon — for the first time in history — a sitting President of the United States endorsed marriage equality.

For the past two years, we’ve given President Obama a lot of grief for not having the courage to stand up for our equality under the law. Today, he took a big step toward that vision for full federal equality, and we want to thank him:

Sign the thank you card here!

Our work doesn’t stop, the pressure doesn’t end, and our dream for full LGBT equality under the law remains on the horizon, out of our grasp. But today is a historic day. Today we celebrate, and tomorrow the work continues.

Thank you, President Obama. And thanks to all of you for keeping the pressure on and insisting — without caveat or compromise — that we have the right to be fully equal under the law.

The GetEQUAL Team — Robin, Heather, and Felipe

From Stonewall Democratic Club:

LOS ANGELES- Today President Barack Obama announced his support for marriage equality in light of the passage of North Carolina’s One Amendment banning same-sex marriage and civil unions.  Same-sex marriage was already illegal in the state of North Carolina. The measure, however, added the ban to the North Carolina state constitution.

According to ABC News, Governor Romney told a local reporter in Colorado today that domestic partnership benefits — including hospital visitation rights– are “appropriate, but that the others are not.”

“What makes America great are equal rights for all – not rights for gay people, women, African-Americans, or Latinos but all people,” said Nii-Quartelai Quartey, Obama California Spokesperson. “Romney believes in some rights for some people and this is why Americans will reject his worldview in November.”

“Now is the time for the Democratic Party to cement its stance for fairness for all Americans by making marriage equality a part of its national platform, “ said Stephen Simon, President of Stonewall Democratic Club.  “The LGBT community and all our allies intend to pressure incumbent Democratic candidates and delegates from sea to shining sea until we succeed.”

“We are encouraged by Marcus Brandon being re-elected as the only openly LGBT legislator in North Carolina, however the passage of Amendment One reminds us that LGBT Americans are still not equal under the law,” said Nii-Quartelai Quartey, Obama Campaign California Spokesperson. “Keeping Rep. Brandon’s voice in the state legislature is more important than ever.  Now is the time to make marriage equality a part of our national Democratic platform.”

From Log Cabin Republicans:

Washington, DC) — Log Cabin Republicans respond to President Barack Obama’s latest evolution on the freedom to marry.

            “That the president has chosen today, when LGBT Americans are mourning the passage of Amendment One, to finally speak up for marriage equality is offensive and callous,” said R. Clarke Cooper, Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director. “Log Cabin Republicans appreciate that President Obama has finally come in line with leaders like Vice President Dick Cheney on this issue, but LGBT Americans are right to be angry that this calculated announcement comes too late to be of any use to the people of North Carolina, or any of the other states that have addressed this issue on his watch. This administration has manipulated LGBT families for political gain as much as anybody, and after his campaign’s ridiculous contortions to deny support for marriage equality this week he does not deserve praise for an announcement that comes a day late and a dollar short.”


 From Equality California: 

(San Francisco) President Barack Obama today became the first sitting President in the nation’s history to publicly endorse the freedom of same-sex couple to legally marry. Equality California Board President Clarissa Filgioun and Equality California Institute Board President Cary Davidson issued the following joint statement:

“Today’s announcement by President Obama represents an unmistakable and historic turning point in our movement to achieve full and lasting equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

When the highest authority in the land says that all committed couples should be able to enjoy the unique happiness, security and recognition that marriage brings, it sends a powerful message of fairness, acceptance and belonging to all of same-sex couples and their families who have been hurt by the exclusion from marriage as well as a message of hope to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people across this country.

Today, the President has chosen conviction and conscience over political calculation. We applaud his courage and leadership today and throughout his presidency in advancing freedom and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.”

UPDATED REACTION:

From LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa:  

LOS ANGELES – Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa issued the following statement today in response to President Obama’s support for same-sex marriage:

“Only a day after the disheartening passage of Amendment 1 in North Carolina, the supporters of marriage equality now have a reason to celebrate. With his inspired declaration of support for same-sex marriage, President Obama has significantly advanced the cause of human rights and equality in the United States. We look forward to the day when all Americans – gay and straight – are free to follow their hearts and marry the person they love. If we truly believe in family values, we should value all families.”

From New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg:

“This is a major turning point in the history of American civil rights. No American president has ever supported a major expansion of civil rights that has not ultimately been adopted by the American people – and I have no doubt that this will be no exception. The march of freedom that has sustained our country since the Revolution of 1776 continues, and no matter what setbacks may occur in a given state, freedom will triumph over fear and equality will prevail over exclusion. Today’s announcement is a testament to the President’s convictions, and it builds on the courageous stands that so many Americans have taken over the years on behalf of equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans, stretching back to the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village.”

From Openly gay California State Sen. Mark Leno:

SACRAMENTO – Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) released the following statement today following President Barack Obama’s announcement that he supports marriage for same-sex couples.

“I am proud and elated that the President of the United States today announced his support for same-sex couples across our nation who wish to recognize and validate their relationships through marriage,” said Senator Leno. “This is an historic moment for our country, and I applaud President Obama for standing up for freedom, justice and equality for all people in a time when other elected officials are reluctant to do so. Denying committed same-sex couples the choice to marry has no benefit to our society and only divides communities and hurts loving couples and their families. I am confident the President’s support will help build momentum for the international movement to achieve full equality for same-sex couples everywhere.”

From Assemblymember Rich Gordon for the California LGBT Caucus:

Sacramento, California – Assemblymember Rich Gordon, Chair of the California Legislative Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Caucus, issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s support for marriage equality.

 “I thank and applaud President Obama for taking the courageous and bold step in affirming marriage as a fundamental right for all couples, regardless of sexual orientation.  All families deserve equal protection of the law.  We have a long way to go in ensuring full equality for LGBT people and the President’s support for marriage equality brings us closer towards that goal.”

From California Rep. Adam Schiff:

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) released the following statement after President Barack Obama endorsed gay marriage:

“Today, President Obama announced that he would support marriage equality for all Americans. The President’s strong statement is something that I am proud to support, and an issue of great significance to the country. Marriage equality extends one of our most basic rights of citizenship to all Americans – that is, the right to marry the person you love.

“It’s my sincere hope that marriage equality will soon become the law of the land, and as the President indicated, we can learn a lot from the changing views of the younger generation.”

“Members of the LGBT community serve in our armed forces, and contribute to the strength of our nation and community in every field of endeavor. They should have the right to marry, and enjoy all the benefits and responsibilities of citizenship without discrimination.”

Schiff was an original co-sponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act, which would require recognition of any marriage performed in any state under federal law, including that of LGBT Americans. He supports full equality for all LGBT Americans to enjoy all the rights and privileges of our nation.

 From openly gay Republican presidential candidate Fred Karger:

“I applaud President Obama for his strong statement and support for gay marriage today. We welcome him to the fight. He will be a great advocate as we do battle in four states this November.

His timing is particularly helpful in light of the loss we suffered yesterday in North Carolina.

It’s nice to have another presidential candidate on board for full equality.”

From the LA Gay & Lesbian Center:

LOS ANGELES, May 9, 2012–In response to President Barack Obama’s announcement of support for the freedom for same-sex couples to marry, L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center Chief Executive Officer Lorri L. Jean issued this open letter to the President:

Dear Mr. President:

It seems odd to write a letter thanking someone for his willingness to support the simple American ideal of equality for all. But your statement today was historic and thanks are definitely in order. It was not very long ago that the last President of the United States actively promoted amending the U.S. Constitution to permanently brand LGBT people as 2nd-class citizens. Your leadership today is a watershed moment on behalf of freedom, justice and equality for all Americans. I have been waiting for this moment since you first began running for President. Now I can support you not only with my intellect, but with my whole heart.

Mr. President, your support of marriage equality caps a presidential record on LGBT rights that is unparalleled in the history of our nation and I sincerely hope more candidates will follow your example. Whatever support our friends may communicate to us privately about the freedom for same-sex couples to marry, we need—and expect—them to stand with us (and the majority of Americans) publicly. Silence in the face of discrimination never has been, and never will be, acceptable.

Most important, Mr. President, we need your help in ending discrimination against same-sex couples at the federal level by overturning the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. DOMA is literally destroying lives and families, forcing the separation of multi-national couples and impoverishing the lives of LGBT widows and widowers who are denied the same Social Security benefits other married couples receive.

People like 76-year-old Alice Herman, a client of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, are counting on you. For more than 43 years, Alice built a happy life with her wife, Sylvia. When marriage was finally legal in California, they exchanged vows in the ICU of the hospital just weeks before Sylvia died. Not only was Alice devastated by the loss of her wife, she faced a tremendous financial hardship because she could not collect Sylvia’s Social Security benefits. So during her time of greatest grief, Alice faced homelessness because she couldn’t afford to stay in the apartment she and Sylvia shared.

There are too many “Alices” in our country, Mr. President, and not all of them have much time. Please help us right this horrible wrong.

Sincerely,

Lorri L. Jean
Chief Executive Officer
L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center

From Trevor Project:

May 9, 2012 (West Hollywood, CA) – Today, President Barack Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to speak out in support of marriage equality. Abbe Land, Executive Director and CEO of The Trevor Project, the nation’s leading provider of crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning teens and young adults issued the following statement:

“Today, President Barack Obama set himself apart as a role model for all Americans to support the freedom to marry, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Validating that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are fully and equally deserving of love and the commitment of marriage sends a message to vulnerable youth that they have value and can dream for the future.

“At The Trevor Project, we know that family, community and religious acceptance all play a very strong role in the safety and well-being of LGBTQ young people. Thank you, Mr. President for speaking out as an accepting ally.”

From Democracy for America:

Today, President Barack Obama came out in support of full marriage equality for all couples — gay or straight.

This is a huge moment for DFA members who’ve been working towards full marriage equality across the country — in California, in New York, in North Carolina, in Vermont, in Washington and everywhere in between.

Our work’s not done yet, but this is a huge victory in that fight.

Please join me in thanking President Obama by Tweeting a message to him now.

As always, thank you for everything you do.

-Jim

Jim Dean, Chair
Democracy for America

From Cyndi Lauper at True Colors Foundation:

President Obama continues to be a true leader for equality and I have never been prouder to call him my president than I am today. The president’s support of marriage equality gives hope and encouragement to the millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people who feel ostracized and alone.  The words of the president have reinforced that they are worthy of dignity, respect, and love – just like everyone else. As a supporter of the president and a longtime advocate for young gay and lesbian Americans, I am thrilled about today’s news and I’m looking forward to my visit to Capitol Hill, where I will tomorrow appeal to members of Congress to fund programs supporting our homeless LGBT youth.

 From Gay, Lesbian and Allies Senate Staff (GLASS) Caucus:

WASHINGTON, DC – The Steering Committee of the Gay, Lesbian and Allies
Senate Staff (GLASS) Caucus released the following statement on
President Obama’s statement on marriage equality:

“As an organization created to promote the welfare and dignity of LGBT
employees in the U.S. Senate, the Gay, Lesbian and Allies Senate Staff
(GLASS) Caucus joins in the chorus of our community to celebrate
President Obama’s statement on marriage equality.

“While we do not take specific policy positions, as we witness a
sitting president evolve on this issue, we are reminded of how far
we’ve come since GLASS was founded in 2004, and how proud we are to be
working openly in the Senate today. As a bipartisan organization, we
believe that full equality for the LGBT community should supersede
politics. We look forward to sharing this message in our individual
and professional capacities as we live and work among our Senate
colleagues, and we thank the President for his leadership.”

From PFLAG:

WASHINGTON, DC—PFLAG National (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays)—the nation’s original ally organization, and the largest grassroots-based non-profit for families, friends and allies of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people—issued the following statement regarding President Obama’s support of full marriage equality:

“Today, history was made. President Barack Obama took an historic step as the first American president in office to recognize the importance of the freedom to marry for ALL couples. He joins a majority of Americans who believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to create a loving, lasting and legal partnership—marriage—with the person they love, regardless of sexual orientation.

The President now understands what PFLAG has said for 40 years: that there is power in sharing personal stories and that, when we do, hearts and minds can truly change as we realize our shared values of love and commitment. The president has sent an important message to LGBT people, their parents, families, friends, and allies: that they are accepted for all that they are, that their enduring, loving relationships are the same as all others.

For all of us at PFLAG who believe in the power of love and acceptance, the message the president sends to our LGBT children is loud and clear: You are loved. You are accepted. You are equal.

 We thank President Obama and welcome him to the PFLAG family.”

 

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