By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com May 09 2012 2:22 PM ET
Reaction is rolling in to President Obama's statement today in support of marriage equality.
From Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry and a longtime marriage equality activist: “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, 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 Christopher Barron, cofounder and chief strategist of GOProud: “It is good to see that after intense political pressure that President Obama has finally come around to the Dick Cheney position on marriageequality. I am sure, however, the president’s newly discovered support for marriage is cold comfort to the gay couples in North Carolina. The president waited until after North Carolina passed a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
“This is hardly a profile in courage by President Obama. For years now, President Obama has tried his hardest to have it both ways on this issue. The real kudos here goes to LGBT activists and their allies who finally forced the president into yielding on this issue.”
R. Clarke Cooper, executive director, Log Cabin Republicans: “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. 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.”