Many more politicians and LGBT rights activists are making statements in support of President Obama's endorsement of marriage equality.
Colorado representative Jared Polis, one of four openly gay members of Congress: “President Obama's announcement in support of marriage equality is welcome news for American families. I thank the president for his support for equality and look forward to working with him to strengthen the institution of marriage by securing the right of all Americans to marry the person they love.”
Jack Reed, U.S. senator from Rhode Island, via Twitter: “I support same-sex marriage and will cosponsor the Respect for Marriage Act.”
Elizabeth Warren, candidate for U.S. senator from Massachusetts, via Twitter: “Proud to stand with our president in support of marriage equality. Thank you.” In contrast, an aide to Scott Brown, who she is seeking to unseat, emailed this equivocal statement to The Boston Globe: “Regardless of how states choose to define marriage, Senator Brown believes all people should be treated with dignity and respect. Right now, Americans of all backgrounds desperately need jobs, and that is what Senator Brown is focused on.”
John Conyers, congressman from Michigan: “I commend President Obama for his support of marriage equality. The right to choose whom to marry is not just a civil right, but a fundamental human right. That is why I opposed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 and support its repeal today. And it is why I strongly support President Obama taking a stand on this important moral issue. President Obama and Vice President Biden have taken courageous, sound, and appropriate positions supporting equal rights for all Americans.”
Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York City: “This is a major turning point in the history of American civil rights. No American president has ever supported a major expansion of civil rights that has not ultimately been adopted by the American people -- and I have no doubt that this will be no exception. The march of freedom that has sustained our country since the Revolution of 1776 continues, and no matter what setbacks may occur in a given state, freedom will triumph over fear and equality will prevail over exclusion. Today's announcement is a testament to the President's convictions, and it builds on the courageous stands that so many Americans have taken over the years on behalf of equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans, stretching back to the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village.”
Antonio Villaraigosa, mayor of Los Angeles, via Twitter: “We stand w/Pres. Obama -- love doesn't have a color, love doesn't care if you're gay or straight. Love doesn't discriminate #MarriageEquality.”
Herndon Graddick, president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation: “The arc of history today bent a little closer to equality for every American. After hearing the stories of countless couples and families, President Obama has drawn the same conclusion shared across party lines and by a majority of Americans today: everyone deserves the opportunity to marry the person they love. As our nation draws closer to a more perfect union in which every person is created equal, we are left deeply encouraged by this truly watershed moment.”
Hector Vargas, executive director of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association: “GLMA applauds the President for stating his support for marriage equality. For many years, GLMA has advocated for the freedom to marry citing the large body of scientific research indicating that the denial of marriage rights to gay men and lesbians can negatively impact their health and well-being and that of their children. Professional health organizations such as the American Medical Association, American Psychological Association and American Psychiatric Association have issued policy statements noting that the denial from marriage is discriminatory.
“GLMA stands ready to support advocacy initiatives nationwide for marriage equality by using the expertise of our health professional membership. We are hopeful the President’s support will help advance efforts to ensure everyone throughout the United States will have the freedom to marry.”
Sharon Lettman-Hicks, Executive Director and CEO of the National Black Justice Coalition: “It is an honor to witness our President take such a strong stand in support of gay and lesbian couples across the country, This affirmation reinforces the Administration’s ongoing commitment to LGBT Americans and our families.
“As my (s)hero, Barbara Jordan, once said, ‘one thing is clear to me: we, as human beings, must be willing to accept people who are different from ourselves.’ Here is President Obama, the nation’s first Black president, taking a position that no sitting president in history has had the fortitude to ever take. If anyone in America has ever wondered what courageous leadership looks like, here it is.”
Steering Committee of the Gay, Lesbian and Allies Senate Staff Caucus: As an organization created to promote the welfare and dignity of LGBT employees in the U.S. Senate, the Gay, Lesbian, Allies and Senate Staff Caucus joins in the chorus of our community to celebrate President Obama’s statement on marriage equality.
“While we do not take specific policy positions, as we witness a sitting president evolve on this issue, we are reminded of how far we’ve come since GLASS was founded in 2004, and how proud we are to be working openly in the Senate today. As a bipartisan organization, we believe that full equality for the LGBT community should supersede politics. We look forward to sharing this message in our individual and professional capacities as we live and work among our Senate colleagues, and we thank the president for his leadership.”