Main | Wednesday, May 09, 2012

LGBT & Progressive Groups React

Lambda Legal
We welcome the news that President Obama understands the importance of equality for all people in this country and we are excited that he joins the majority of Americans in supportin gthe freedom to marry. There is no bully pulpit bigger than the President's, and loving, committed same-sex couples across the country - and all of us - thank him for using it to speak up for justice and fairness. The momentum for marriage equality is building across th ecountry. When people have a chance to think deeply about marriage equality,they come to the right answer - that discrimination against our families us wrong.
Stonewall Democrats
We applaud the President for completing his 'evolution' in support of the freedom to marry and becoming the first sitting president ever to endorse marriage equality for same-sex couples. The President joins a long and growing list of Democrats who support the freedom to marry. On days like today, I am proud to be a Democrat. The President's endorsement of the freedom to marry stands in stark contrast to the position of Mitt Romney. Romney, who signed the National Organization for Marriage's hateful anti-LGBT pledge, opposes marriage equality and supports a federal constitutional amendment banning marriage between same-sex couples. No longer can GOP homophobes like Romney hide behind the pretense that they share President Obama's position on the freedom to marry.
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 (DOMA), 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.
National Gay & Lesbian Task Force
President Obama’s ‘evolution’ is now complete. Congratulations, Mr. President, for making history today by becoming the first sitting president to explicitly support marriage for same-sex couples. Who benefits? Millions of families who now know that their country’s leader believes in fairness for all. This is a great day for America. We celebrate this moment and also remember that the right of loving, committed couples to get married is just one of many issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. It is heartening to know the president stands with our families in the pursuit of full equality, economic security and justice.
People For The American Way
Today’s announcement marks a proud day for our country and for the President. For those of us who have been working towards marriage equality for many years, the impact of having the support of the President of the United States is incredibly powerful. As President Obama made clear in his comments today, marriage equality for all people is an idea whose time has come. Despite setbacks like the results from North Carolina last night, it’s more obvious than ever that the momentum is on our side. Today the President did the right thing.For thousands of supporters who donated, canvassed and phone banked to help elect Barack Obama in 2008, this is a powerful reminder of why we felt so passionately about this President in the first place.
Human Rights Campaign
Thanks to President Obama's leadership, millions of young Americans have seen that their futures will not be limited by what makes them different. And now, in supporting marriage equality, he's extended a message of hope to a generation of young LGBT Americans, helping them understand that they too can be who they are and flourish as part of the American community. His words also remind gay and lesbian families everywhere that they are not alone or unheard as they struggle – like their neighbors – to afford healthcare and college for their kids, pay their taxes, and plan for retirement. The burden of discrimination will one day be no more, in part thanks to the President's leadership at this very moment.
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.
National Center For Lesbian Rights
President Obama has once again proven himself to be the strongest and most principled supporter of full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people ever to occupy the Oval Office. As he has done on so many other issues facing our community, the President showed his great depth of compassion and respect for the struggles faced by same-sex couples and their families and his commitment to genuine equality and justice for all people. This is an unforgettable day in our nation's history, and one that will bring enormous comfort and hope to millions of Americans.
"The arc of history today bent a little closer to equality for every American," said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. "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."
It is good to see that after intense political pressure that President Obama has finally come around to the Dick Cheney position on marriage equality. 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.

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