President Obama on Thursday officially endorsed all three state ballot measures with the potential to affirm marriage equality this November. In three separate yet similar statements, press secretaries for the commander in chief indicated the president's support for Washington's Referendum 74, Maine's Question 1, and Maryland's Question 6.
According to Paul Bell, press secretary for Obama's reeelection efforts in the Washington State, "While the president does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the president believes in treating everyone fairly and equally, with dignity and respect. Washington's same-sex marriage law would treat all Washington couples equally, and that is why the President supports a vote to approve Referendum 74."
An almost identical statement released by Michael Czin, Obama's northeast press secretary, confirmed the president's support for Maine's Question 1, which would restore marriage equality to the state after a 2009 referendum blocked the law passed by the legislature. Czin's statement on behalf of the president opened with the same first two sentences, then concluded by saying, "The president believes same-sex couples should be treated equally and supports Question 1."
In Maryland voters are deciding whether to let stand the marriage equality law passed by legislators and signed by Gov. Martin O'Malley earlier this year. At a campaign event in June, Obama personally endorsed marriage equality in the northeastern state.
"We're moving forward to a country where we treat everybody fairly and everybody equally, with dignity and respect," the president said in his speech, according to The Baltimore Sun. "And here in Maryland, thanks to the leadership of committed citizens and Governor O'Malley, you have a chance to reaffirm that principle in the voting booth in November. It's the right thing to do."
Back in April, Obama released a statement opposing the Minnesota marriage amendment, which would change the state's constitution to bar same-sex couples from legally marrying. Minnesota already has a state law banning same-sex marriage, but the proposed amendment would enshrine that discrimination in the state's constitution, making it more difficult to challenge in court.