Now Reading
Obama says his daughters helped change his views on marriage equality

Obama says his daughters helped change his views on marriage equality

President Barack Obama says that his children are one of those who had greatly helped him understand the world of difference between ‘civil union’ and ‘marriage’ for same-sex couples.

In a town hall meeting with 500 young leaders in London on Saturday, Obama got a question by an activist on which social activist campaigns have led him to change his mind on certain issues.

Obama then pointed to the subject of marriage equality and confessed that his teenage daughters, 17-year-old Malia, and 14-year-old Sasha, had made an impact on him.

‘I have to confess my children generally had an impact on me,’ he said

Obama revealed that he was initially more in favor of civil unions, and felt that it is unnecessary to ‘label’ a same-sex union as marriage since people were getting the same rights anyway:

‘My notion was initially that labeling those partnerships as marriage wasn’t necessary as long as people were getting the same rights and it would disentangle them from some of the religious connotations that marriage had in the minds of a lot of Americans.’

However with the help of Malia and Sasha, as well as marriage equality activists and gay couples, he was able to see that the issue isn’t just about ‘rights,’ but also the ‘stigma’ faced by every same-sex couple in society.

‘People I loved who were in monogamous same-sex relationships explained to me what I should have understood earlier,’ the president said, ‘Which is it was not simply about legal rights but about a sense of stigma.’

He added, ‘If you’re calling it something different it means that somehow it means less in the eyes of society.’

Describing the marriage equality movement as probably ‘the fastest set of changes in terms of the social movement’ he has ever seen, Obama said that he is impressed by how the political landscape and hearts and minds have changed and eventually led to actual changes in the country’s laws.

He praised the LGBT community for reaching out to their conservative opponents, and anchoring the conversation on how marriage equality really is something rooted in ‘family values’ and ‘everything that families provide – stability and commitment and partnership.’

‘I thought there was a lot of smarts in reaching out and building and framing the issue in a way that could bring in people who initially didn’t agree with them,’ Obama remarked.

On Friday, Obama was at a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron where he spoke up aboutnewly signed anti-LGBTI bills in North Carolina and Mississippi.

He commented that the laws are ‘wrong’ and ‘should be overturned.’