Obama Sends Letter to Gay Couple Congratulating Them on Marriage


President Obama sent Matt Katz and his husband a letter after they were married, congratulating him.

Buzzfeed writes:

They have no idea why they received the card.

Matt says, "I'm not sure why the letter got sent to us. Aaron and I were married on July 24th at Borough Hall. However, we had our wedding ceremony on July 23rd at my dad's house the day before. Maybe word got out that we were outlaws for a day?"


  1. HoHo says

    Clever Obama – he wants to gather support from gays without actually supporting gay marriage. And btw, who’s Matt Katz? If he isn’t a public figure, you shouldn’t address him as just “Matt Katz”, as if we’re all supposed to know who that is.

  2. Dale says

    Whatever you do in your life, make damn sure you seal that letter in am airtight frame and save it. It will be worth $millions$ in later years.

  3. Max says

    Mike, Obama can’t support marriage equality because it would piss off the social conservatives who won’t vote for him anyway.

    The smart move would be to make it a central issue because it would:

    (1) galvanize LGBT campaign contributions;
    (2) make the GOP froth at the mouth and look like bigoted lunatics; and
    (3) distract from Obama’s dismal economic failures.

    But hey, a letter is a nice consolation prize from a “fierce advocate.”

  4. Mary says

    I assume that this letter is Obama’s way of showing support for gay marriage without having to support it politically, which is risky and jeopardizes his already difficult attempt at re-election. The gay community should cut him some slack here – he’s doing the best he can with a difficult situation. I know that a “be patient, things are changing” message is frustrating to hear all the time, but in this situation the wait won’t be very long. Assuming that he gets re-elected, it’s less than 11 full months before Obama can afford to become vocally and aggressively pro-gay in his statements and policies.

    At any rate, congrats to the happy couple.

  5. kelehe says

    Congratulations on their marriage? Not really…”special occasion”, “union” and “lifelong partnership” are all clear avoidance of “marriage”.

  6. Anon says

    I believe the White House has an office known as The Greetings Office or something similar. I think it is staffed by volunteers.

    A citizen can request that the President send a greeting to anyone for a significant life event. For example if your cousin was being installed as the president of a college, or your grandmother was turning one hundred years old, or your brother was being ordained as a priest, you could request some type of good wishes, congratulatory greeting.

    Back in the day, you could just phone and ask for the office, speak with the volunteer, and that was about it.

    I understand that because of the number of requests they have tightened the criteria for such greetings, and I believe they now require the request in writing or in the form of an e-mail (not oral).

    This type of thing has been done for decades and is a public relations, goodwill function of the presidency.

    I’m confident that what I have written was accurate for the past, but I cannot vouch for the current requirements.

  7. Anon says

    Someone must have sent a wedding announcement to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. That’s the standard form response. Send them graduation announcements and you’ll get a similar boilerplate response.

  8. jack says

    This alone says why this navy veteran will vote to reelect Mr Obama. Which of the neanderthal republicans would recognize the humanity of these gay men?

  9. John says

    The White House sends out “Greetings Cards” for life events of all kinds. All you have to do is call the White House or your Member of Congress and ask for one in advance.

    That includes same-sex marriages, civil unions, same-sex anniversaries, and adoptions by same-sex couples.

    Obviously a family member asked for one for this couple but didn’t tell them beforehand. No story.

  10. Robert in NYC says

    Even with all his faults, if Gingrich or Romney take the White House, no such letter would be forthcoming to any gay couple and no legislation favoring gay people either. If Obama had supported marriage equality at the beginning of his campaign, I’m not so sure he would have been elected and we’d have been stuck with John McCain and Sarah Palin.

  11. Robert in NYC says

    If Obama declares support for marriage equality in 2012, you’ll see the GOP running scared. Gingrich’s serial adultery and third marriage won’t help matters either. It will put a nail in the coffin of the same-sex marriage haters who won’t be able to to spew their nonsense about how SSM harms marriage. Gingrich is doing a damn good job about that already and the catholic cult will he exposed as an even more bigoted cult than ever before for allowing him to convert.

  12. Chitown Kev says


    That was the first thing I noticed about the letter.

    This is a nice letter and all but with all due respect, Mr. President, was the word “marriage” impossible to place in this correspondence?

  13. Thomasina says

    @H: I don’t believe in Christmas, yet I have wished probably 50 different people who do a “Merry Christmas” over the past month. Obama was just being a decent human here.

  14. Mike says

    He sends lots of those letters. In states where marriage is legal, the letters say congratulations on your “marriage.” In states where’s it not, they say “union.”

  15. Gregoire says

    Obama is going to show his support for marriage equality next year. This was the plan all along. Some of you are so very unsavvy.

  16. bayhuntr says

    This is a form letter and Obama had nothing to do with it. I bet if you sent a request in to have a letter sent to the marriage of Rover and Fluffy, there would be a good chance your pets would receive the same letter.
    Making something of nothing.

  17. Mary says

    Robert, I see your point about Gingrich’s inability to articulate his position on marriage due to his serial adultery. But then in fairness to Gingrich, he didn’t leave either of his wives for a gay lover. I’m not sure the public will view him as hypocritical for opposing SSM. It’s really the high divorce rate (among straights) that he can’t take up as an issue.

    But the fact is that it would be taking an unnecessary risk for Obama to come out in favor of SSM before election day. Democrats have a hard enough time getting elected and reelected to the presidency when they try to neutralize social issues. We have no example of a Democrat going hard left on gay issues and winning the presidency. If anything the swing voters, knowing that Obama has the gay vote anyway, are likely to see this as a desperation move to take attention away from the lagging economy.

    I understand your feelings about people like Bachmann and Santorum. But the truth is that most of what they could do as president would have little effect on gays. There would still be gay newspapers, TV shows, organiations, etc.. Society’s increasing acceptance of gays is too far advanced to be reversed by a president. And the people have shown no interest in turning back the clock even if they’re ambivalent about what future policy should be.

  18. jomicur says

    My, my, it IS election season, isn’t it? When Obama does something to support gay marriage before the fact instead of six months later, let us know, will ya?

  19. Craig says

    @Mike, not so. This letter was to a New York couple, where marriage is legal. The determining factor of whether you get a letter congratulating the couple on their “wedding” or their “union” appears to be the sexual orientation of the couple, not the status of marriage equality at their location. I’ll also note the letter sent to opposite sex couples is autopenned by both the President and First Lady while the one sent to same sex couples (after digging up two more online) is only autopenned with just the President’s signature.

  20. Mike says

    @Craig. Hmm, I see. Well, I have some lesbian friends who were married in Massachussetts last year, and they were congratulated by the Obamas on their “marriage.”

  21. Craig says

    @Mike, can you post the text, please? In doing searches online for the text of congratulations notes for marriages, I’ve turned up only two versions. The one that is sent to opposite sex couples uses the term “wedding” and doesn’t mention “marriage.” The ones that have been received by same sex couples (four I’ve found so far, the one above included, that have posted them online) have all been the same exact text (but with different line breaks in some of them) and use the word “union.” As I note above, they also differ in not having the First Lady’s signature.

  22. U Street NW says

    This is not news. Anyone can ask for this. Also, ours says congratulations on your “wedding day.” A friend requested a greeting on our behalf. I submitted a White House greeting for my grandparents on their 50th anniversary, and my grandparents also incorrectly thought it just fell from the sky.