By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com May 09 2012 6:42 PM ET
Not surprisingly, right-wing activists have been quick to denounce President Obama for announcing his support for equal marriage rights for gay couples.
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, is using Obama's announcement to raise funds for his political action committee, Huck PAC, which supports conservative candidates, The Hill reports. He posted this pitch on his Huck PAC website:
"Barack Obama just announced he supports same-sex marriage. Nancy Pelosi immediately jumped on the announcement and emailed Democrat activists nationwide promising to continue their fight. This is going to be a defining issue this election. Obama, Pelosi and the Democrats have been a complete failure on economic issues so now they are going to focus on issues that will rile up their base.
"Well, Mr. President it's going to rile up our folks also. Men and women who support traditional marriage.
"Now I know you support traditional marriage, but what I really need to know today, is will you fight for it this election? If so, please send a donation of $10 or more to Huck PAC immediately. We only support candidates who support traditional marriage and who are pro-life. We'll make sure Congress and our state legislatures are stacked with conservatives who don't want our President and the federal government defining marriage for us."
Some others who weighed in:
Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage: "President Obama has now made the definition of marriage a defining issue in the presidential contest, especially in swing states like Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida and Nevada."
Maggie Gallagher, NOM cofounder: "On the one hand, morally this is good because lying to the American people is always wrong. President Obama has come clean that he is for gay marriage. Politically, we welcome this. We think it's a huge mistake. President Obama is choosing the money over the voters the day after 61% of North Carolinians in a key swing state demonstrated they oppose gay marriage. We now have clear choice between Romney and Obama, and we look forward to demonstrating in November that it's a bad idea for a national candidate to support gay marriage. Marriage is a winning issue for the GOP."
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council: "The president's announcement today that he supports legalizing same-sex marriage finally brings his words in sync with his actions. From opposing state marriage amendments to refusing to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DoMA) to giving taxpayer funded marriage benefits to same-sex couples, the President has undermined the spirit if not the letter of the law.
"As demonstrated by yesterday's overwhelming vote in North Carolina, redefining marriage remains outside the mainstream of American politics, especially in the critical battleground states and among minority voters. In North Carolina, the amendment received more than 60% of the vote in majority-black counties.
"Considering that 10 of the 16 battleground states have marriage amendments that could be overturned by the president's new policy position on marriage, today's announcement almost ensures that marriage will again be a major issue in the presidential election.
"The president has provided a clear contrast between him and his challenger Mitt Romney. Romney, who has signed a pledge to support a marriage protection amendment to the U.S. Constitution, may have been handed the key to social conservative support by President Obama."
Mat Staver, Chairman of Liberty Counsel Action: "America is headed in the wrong direction: we are on the edge of a moral, financial, spiritual, and national security abyss. President Obama’s 2012 campaign slogan is ‘Forward.’ The Titanic was moving forward but headed to disaster. We need to change course.”
Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum: "The announcement today by President Obama should come as no surprise to the American public. President Obama has consistently fought against protecting the institution of marriage from radical social engineering at both the state and federal level."
Minnesota congresswoman and former GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann: "The president's announcement today shows how out of touch he is the values of American families. The president continues to practice the politics of division and diversion. He's tried to divide the country over gender, education, class, and now he's attempting to divide families all as a diversion to his failed economic policies that have affected all Americans. Americans know better and support traditional marriage."