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Obama: Ballot Initiatives Are "Divisive and Discriminatory"

Obama: Ballot Initiatives Are "Divisive and Discriminatory"

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lucasgrindley
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Issuing nearly identical statements, President Obama is now officially opposed to antigay ballot initiatives in Minnesota and North Carolina, labeling them both as "divisive and discriminatory."

In March the president issued a statement on North Carolina's effort to ban same-sex marriage via an amendment to its constitution that will be voted on in May. This week he swapped out the state and sent the exact same statement via another spokesperson to condemn a similar ballot measure in Minnesota.

"While the President does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the record is clear that the President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same-sex couples," the statement read, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "That's what the Minnesota ballot initiative would do -- it would single out and discriminate against committed gay and lesbian couples."

For some time now, reports from the likes of TheWashington Post and others have claimed the White House is considering whether to back marriage equality before the election in November. But no decision has been made on whether Obama will "evolve" his views, to use the president's term about his thought process on the matter.

Meanwhile, he also faces pressure to take a position on whether marriage equality should be added to the Democratic Party's platform when it's voted on during the September convention in Charlotte, N.C.

Activists in North Carolina cheered Obama's stance on the issue in their state and pointed to it as proof that the ballot measure does unwarranted harm. Minnesotans United for All Families, the coalition of groups fighting the ballot initiative in that state, immediately shared the president's statement on its Facebook and Twitter accounts.

And it became another chance for the organizations to argue that same-sex marriage is about "love and commitment," two values important to Minnesotans.

"We're happy that President Obama and Minnesotans from all walks of life see this amendment for what it is," the groups said in a statement, "a government exclusion to a group of people simply because of who they are."

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Obama: Ballot Initiatives Are "Divisive and Discriminatory"

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Lucas Grindley

Lucas Grindley is VP and Editorial Director for Here Media, which is parent company to The Advocate. His Twitter account is filled with politics, Philip Glass appreciation, and adorable photos of his twin toddler daughters.
Lucas Grindley is VP and Editorial Director for Here Media, which is parent company to The Advocate. His Twitter account is filled with politics, Philip Glass appreciation, and adorable photos of his twin toddler daughters.