EXCLUSIVE: List of Cabinet Secretaries Supporting Marriage Equality Grows
BY Lucas Grindley
June 06 2012 11:15 PM ET
With June being Pride Month, the list of cabinet secretaries openly supporting marriage equality is growing fast.
The Advocate has confirmed that secretaries Hilda Solis at Labor, Kathleen Sebelius at Health and Human Services, John Bryson at Commerce, and Timothy Geithner at Treasury all support same-sex marriage.
Add their names to that of Shaun Donovan at Housing and Urban Development plus Arne Duncan at Education. Both came out for marriage equality even before President Obama's announcement on ABC News in May that "It is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married."
Solis has actually been in favor of marriage equality since becoming a founding member of the LGBT Caucus in Congress, a spokesman noted, but her support hadn't been part of roundups in the media following the announcement by the president and from Vice President Joe Biden, who set things in motion with his comments on Meet the Press.
“We are proud of our president’s history-making support for the right to marry regardless of sexual orientation," Solis said in a statement about Pride Month, "just as we are proud that he refuses to use taxpayer dollars to defend the Defense of Marriage Act.”
Attorney General Eric Holder gave a speech commemorating Pride Month on Wednesday but did not mention whether he supports marriage equality.
Sebelius issued a statement on Pride Month that also didn't specifically address marriage equality but a spokesman later confirmed that she is in favor.
"At the heart of this administration is a core belief in equality," Sebelius said in her Pride statement. "This belief means ensuring that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans have the same protections and opportunities as their family members, neighbors, friends, and colleagues."
For her part, first lady Michelle Obama also recently explained why she supports marriage equality, saying in a video posted on the White House website, “For Barack and me, it really comes down to the values of fairness and equality that we want to pass down to our girls. I mean, these are basic values that kids learn at a very young age and that we encourage them to apply in all areas of their lives. And in a country where we teach our children that everyone is equal under the law, discriminating against same-sex couples just isn’t right. So it’s as simple as that."