Obama’s support of gay marriage gets strong reaction from both sides

US president's historic stance is praised and criticised

Obama’s support of gay marriage gets strong reaction from both sides
09 May 2012

Reaction was quick to flood in Wednesday (9 May) after Barack Obama became the first sitting US president in history to publicly support gay marriage.

‘This is a huge turning point in the history of American Civil rights,’ said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. ‘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.’

Bloomberg added: ‘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.’

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said 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.’

Rep. Barney Frank, the first openly gay member of the US House of Representatives, said he understands why a president facing a national election this fall took some time in making this decision.

‘This does not mean that the President’s decision today was entirely without some political risk,’ Frank said. ‘But I believe it will be clear in the days ahead that this will cost him no votes, since those opposed to legal equality for LGBT people were already inclined to oppose him, and that it will make it easier for us to mobilize the people in this country who oppose discrimination to help reelect him.’

Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), who co-sponsored legislation that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), called Obama’s support ‘an important moment for civil rights in America.’

‘We simply can not treat same sex couples as second-class citizens in our country,’ Lautenberg said. ‘Marriage equality is one of the most significant civil rights battles of our time and is critical to guaranteeing the equal protection under the law promised to every American in the Constitution. The president’s support for marriage equality should inspire Congress, Governors and state legislatures to advance civil rights for all Americans.’

Praise also came from the leading LGBT activism groups including the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the Human Rights Campaign, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Lambda Legal and Freedom to Marry, among others.

‘The arc of history today bent a little closer to equality for every American,’ said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick who called it ‘a true watershed moment.’

‘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.’ Graddick said.

But not everyone was filled with praise.

Log Cabin Republicans, which is comprised of gay and lesbian members of the GOP, said Obama’s announcement ‘comes a day late and a dollar short.’

‘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,’ said Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper. ‘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.’

Christopher Barron, co-founder and chief strategist of GOProud, echoed those sentiments: ‘… 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.’



No thumbnail available

Another gay man attacked in New York City

New York City gay activist allegedly punched in the jaw as a group of men yell anti-gay slur
No thumbnail available

Can gays find London on a map?

GSN finds out if gays are better at geography than Jessie J
No thumbnail available

PM remains committed to full gay marriage rights

British government will push ahead with same-sex marriage bill despite religious and right-wingers
No thumbnail available

Lesbian teen assault prompts call for Malta law change

Maltese gay rights activists ask government to extend hate crime legislation to include violence against LGBT people
No thumbnail available

Kate Middleton hoax call radio station becomes 2-Gay FM

Radio station is turning over a rainbow-colored leaf for the day by speaking out in favor of marriage equality
No thumbnail available

Romney endorses anti-gay right-wing extremist for Congress

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has endorsed Steve King, who believes all gays should be closeted
No thumbnail available

Study finds lower teen alcohol abuse in Gay-Straight Alliance schools

Kids in schools with Gay-Straight Alliance groups are less likely to abuse alcohol underage than other schools, new research show, pointing to wider benefits
No thumbnail available

Sleeping around Australia’s Queensland

After diving into the Great Barrier Reef or partying all night in the capital of Brisbane, lay your body to rest in Queensland’s most unique hotels
No thumbnail available

Adventure Time’s Marceline and Princess Bubblegum once dated, show’s creator said

Voice actress Olivia Olson has revealed that Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward told her that her character Marceline the vampire used to date Princess Bubblegum in her back story, but that plot twist will not be appearing on the show
No thumbnail available

One Direction’s Harry on Westboro Baptist Church protest: ‘God loves gay people’

British boy band member spoke out about the 'God Hates Fags' church who had protested outside their concert in Kansas City