President Obama Endorses Gay Marriage in ABC News Interview

President Obama today endorsed marriage equality in an ABC News interview with Robin Roberts after the White House experienced a tumultuous three days of questioning by the press spurred by Vice President Joe Biden's Meet the Press remarks on Sunday. Biden remarked that he was "absolutely comfortable" with gay people marrying, a statement that took him to the left of the President, who has said since he took office that he is "evolving" on the issue.

Obama Said Obama:

"I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married."


Added the President:

“It’s interesting, some of this is also generational. You know when I go to college campuses, sometimes I talk to college Republicans who think that I have terrible policies on the economy, on foreign policy, but are very clear that when it comes to same sex equality or, you know,  believe in equality. They are much more comfortable with it. You know, Malia and Sasha, they have friends whose parents are same-sex couples. There have been times where Michelle and I have been sitting around the dinner table and we’re talking about their friends and their parents and Malia and Sasha, it wouldn’t dawn on them that somehow their friends’ parents would be treated differently. It doesn’t make sense to them and frankly, that’s the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective.”

The President also cited his faith in the announcement and the influence of First Lady Michelle Obama:

“This is something that, you know, we’ve talked about over the years and she, you know, she feels the same way, she feels the same way that I do. And that is that, in the end the values that I care most deeply about and she cares most deeply about is how we treat other people and, you know, I, you know, we are both practicing Christians and obviously this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others but, you know, when we think about our faith, the thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it’s also the Golden Rule, you know, treat others the way you would want to be treated. And I think that’s what we try to impart to our kids and that’s what motivates me as president and I figure the most consistent I can be in being true to those precepts, the better I’ll be as a as a dad and a husband and hopefully the better I’ll be as president.”

More clips of the interview are scheduled to air this evening on ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer and ABC's Good Morning America Thursday.

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Obama's position on the issue up till this point has been seen as a purely political one, and has been dogged by a 1996 survey he filled out as a candidate for the Illinois state senate in 1996, which stated "I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages."

ABC News posted a timeline on Obama's marriage evolution.

Comments

  1. anonny6 says

    Do not let this backfire on Obama. If he comes out in support of marriage equality, we need to really work to get him a second term. Voting, time and/or money people, that’s what it will take. It will be a huge move if he does, politicians aren’t exactly known for being brave or risky. So lets all be brave and start believing in hope again.

  2. says

    Well now that he has said it , I hope everyone is delighted…..I am delighted at the endorsement……I believed in him without it.

    But it means that we must redouble our support for this great President…..we must not allow Rove and the rabid Right Evangelical Zombies to grab this issue to whip up hate and bigotry.

    Now we must get him elected and get his SCOTUS appointments locked in lest they seek to undo our whole struggle for equality.

    And Hillary must rest and get ready for the Big One in 2016. We will need her for eight years of total change.

  3. says

    excellent points, JACKTwist. excellent points. this will galvanize the country’s scumbigots, so everyone with a brain and a compassionate heart needs to make sure to vote.

    amen.

    p.s. to all the gay republicans, i’m sorry President Obama has done this. I’m sure it hurts.

  4. iawl says

    I really hope that all the angry Obama haters in the previous post from earlier today — who said they would support him if he only had the “backbone” to support marriage equality– I hope they now put up or shut up. I believe many of them are Koch supported internet trolls trying to divide the gay community and hurt Obama’s chances. Now it is “official”. Obama is in full support. Romney has ALREADY come out AGAINST both marrige equality and even CIVIL UNIONS! Not sure how in the world the GoProud and Log Cabin folks can remotely live with themselves and vote against their own interest by supporting Romney. But, unfortunately, they will. And there will be plenty of them posting on here any second now– the powerful Koch brothers put out the order and the trolls descend in three, two, one…

  5. Jwwow says

    The Yahoo article points this contention out: “The president stressed that this is a personal position, and that he still supports the concept of states deciding the issue on their own.” Really?

  6. say what says

    now the question is will the 4 million gays that supposedly vote repub…vote dem 2012 or vote romney who is against gay marriage and even civil unions (4 mill voters is a couple 5 points)

  7. MiddleoftheRoader says

    Well, Obama may just have doomed his re-election prospects.
    Oh sure, he’ll get more votes from progressive forces in Northeast and West Coast states; but he probably just sealed his fate in states like OH, FL, PA, NM and other states that he desperately needs to win if he is to get elected.
    So, I hope all of you are celebrating tonight — you forced his hand prematurely, and it’s likely to mean President Romney and a totally Republican Congress. Oh yeah, the Romney who is even against civil unions!

  8. Jollysocks says

    We can 100% stand behind the man now and his convictions. I am donating TODAY. Any of you gays who are worried can kiss my ass. I am now fighting to reelect this man even MORE than in 2008. We are going to shove this in Romney’s face every single day.

    OBAMA OBAMA OBAMA 2012!!!

  9. Brian says

    To those who think that this will cost him the election, rest assured that those who would not vote for him simply because now he personally supports same sex marriage never would have voted for him in the first place.

  10. AG says

    In a blow to gay progressives Obama endorses gay marriage! I remember very well how the progressives here urged Obama to stay in the closet on this issue.

  11. kjpnyc says

    I am finding myself surprisingly emotional about this. So proud of him. When I was teenager realizing who I was in the midst of the AIDS crisis, I never imagined in my wildest dreams that an American president would totally accept us in my lifetime. This is so huge for our community. No we owe it to him to dig deep and be generous with our time and money. America is at such a critical crossroads.

  12. NullNaught says

    I am very pleased by this. I understand how the circumstances evolved into this developement, but I wish it had happened several weeks ago when it may have had an impact on Amend. 1. However it is great to hear him say it.
    Even so, I wanted this for a long time and now that I’ve got it, I worry what impact this may have on the election.

  13. Rick says

    The first sitting president EVER in our history to endorse marriage equality. This is a good day.

    I’ll admit to some nerves about this, and what the political ramifications will be. The bottom line is that we have to double-down on our efforts to support him. We better step up and do our part, now that he’s heard our cries.

  14. jt says

    Ok…now that he…President Obama…has cleared yet another hurdle that the LGBT community has laid before him…and all the bitching and moaning in here and the disingenuous gripes about it….NOW will all u guys support him?…or will you find another reason to not vote for him that masks ur TRUE reason for not wanting to vote for him. If he loses this election…I wont be able to not hold our community responsible for not working to unprecedented levels to support him. Get to work LGBT folks….I know i will.

  15. Pedro says

    This is the day Obama lost any chance of getting reelected. The gay community has willingly and foolishly just helped elect the first Mormon president by forcing Obama to vocalize something, that we all knew he believed. He will lose Iowa, Florida and NC But hey he FINALLY said it, and all the gays are happy! Yippity dooda!

  16. GraphicJack says

    I’m very happy he said this, BUT too bad he waited until after NC voted against ANY type of recognition of same-sex relationships… why is he always doing great things, but AFTER the point when we needed him to act.

  17. says

    I’m having “the vapours” !
    Eight years of the worst President ever followed by four plus four of one of the Greatest Presidents…..!!!
    It’ almost Biblical…..seven years of famine now seven years of plenty.

    How ironic !

  18. Matt says

    After NC Amendment One passed the way it did, I’m glad he finally came out in support of it. I don’t think it will hurt him, I actually think this will galvanize his base more, which can exploit Romney’s weakness at being unable to galvanize the Republican base. Politics aside, I certainly have more faith in him now.

  19. Polyboy says

    Well, there go the independents and there goes the election.

    I hope everyone is happy now. Enjoy the new Inquisition the Romney administration will bring down.

  20. dms says

    I have to say, this brought tears to my eyes. I can’t believe the words I’m hearing.

    I have to say to all those who have scorned obama, I told you so.

    Now, however, I really see all sorts of political problems for him.

    This will motivate the Christian right like wildfire. And the left will be fired up, but a much smaller proportion.

    I’m proud of our president, but I’m worried.

  21. says

    Too little, too late! We need the kind of unifying speech that John Kennedy gave in June of 1963, a speech that links our citizenship rights with core American values. Does Obama have the integrity, the leadership and the guts to deliver one?

  22. Jonathan says

    Those of you claiming that he is kissing his presidency goodbye really have no idea how this works. This issue has been focus grouped to death. Biden and Arne were told to say what they did. And this was all planned. His lead among independents will grow. It’s amazing how idiotic some of you are.

  23. says

    Seriously…..
    Obama will restore the global respect and admiration for the United States that I grew up with;
    it has been absent all over Europe during the Bush years; now we see what an educated decent, progressive thinker can do with the greatest country in the world behind him.
    US citizens can be truly proud tonight.
    And as a foreigner, I have had my faith restored.
    He has shown up the small minded bigotry of the churches, the backward cleric ridden states and given a ringing endorsement to the younger generation.
    This could not be better…….now I’m having the vapours again !!!

  24. Chris says

    JWOW: The Yahoo article points this contention out: “The president stressed that this is a personal position, and that he still supports the concept of states deciding the issue on their own.” Really?

    ……
    As long as DOMA is repealed, which the President also supports doing, this is fine. Marriage has always been defined by states. That is why some states allow cousins to marry, or have different ages of consent for marriage.

    What DOMA does is prevent states from recognizes legal same-sex marriages performed in other states. It also prevents the federal government from recognizing those marriages.

    Without DOMA, the President’s “personal” support of marriage equality would put same-sex marriage on an equal footing with all other marriages.

  25. says

    Rather than saying “now we’re gonna lose!” this is the time for all of you to COME OUT to your families, your co-workers, your communities, your churches, etc.

    How about this, to the gay republicans on here: tell your families to vote Obama. Just this once vote Democrat. We’ll get term two, we’ll advance LGBT Equality, and once it’s attained y’all can go back to pretending that a Republican vote is financially-beneficial to the USA.

    but understand there will be no LGBT Equality under a Republican. So talk to your families. Let them know that one more term will help the LGBT Community, and after this is done they can get back to being Good Old Boys again.

    So, no. Don’t say “he’s just lost the election” – use this moment as the fire you’ve needed under your tuchas to finally not only Come Out to your family, extended family, and community, but to actually take a REAL stand for equality, and let them know what a crucially important moment in American history this is.

    it’s HUGE.

    Any gay adult that does not do this deserves every ounce of misery they’ll experience in life. Truly. Be an adult, be a responsible member of the community – press the issue.

    take my mum’s advice:

  26. MateoM says

    Stuffed:

    You complain that Obama won’t come out for marriage equality. And then when he does you say “too little too late.” you were never going to vote for Obama anyway. You were just looking for an excuse.

    You really are just a worthless person.

  27. Francis says

    Look at the gay cons here. You people are disgusting. This is one of the biggest moments in the history of our community in this country. You people have no conscious.

    With that being said, Go President Obama!!!! This is HUGE. 100% of gays HAVE to vote for Obama in November. This could hurt him, or it could greatly help him, and we have the control to see to it that he remains in office. The alternative is a man who will theoretically wipe us out of existence.

  28. says

    It is difficult for me to understand why it is okay to limit gay people’s right in the pursuit of happiness. We are all trying to find our way in this life and what is wrong with people, same sex or not, marrying because of love for each other. I’m glad Obama is supporting equality of marriage for all.

  29. sara says

    Log Cabin Republicans just issued a statement blasting Obama for not coming out sooner for North Carolina to benefit. They neglect to blame the actual Cons who put the amendment on the ballot. No somehow a state initiative passing is all Obama’s fault.

    In the meantime, they have no problem lauding Cheney with praise upon praise for coming in support of gay people AFTER HE LEFT OFFICE and did absolutely nothing for gay rights. There’s something wrong with the thinking of Log Cabin Republicans and other cons. Are they mentally unbalanced, slow thinkers, not very intelligent, fools what? Please explain.

  30. Zlick says

    I understand the concerns about this being used to gin up the idiots. I don’t agree it’s a losing strategy, though, and apparently the Obama campaign has decided likewise. The roll-out of this was pretty well orchestrated, and I’m sure they’ve been looking at the feedback and reaction since Biden’s announcement last weekend.

    It’s a risk, I admit. But a calculated one, and I think the Obama campaign knows what it’s doing on this.

    And it’s done. Heheh, any time before yesterday might have been nicer, but I will celebrate and be joyful.

  31. says

    expect anger from gay conservatives who can’t believe that a black liberal-minded Democrat just extended more gracious support to them than the very people whose @sses they’ve been pathetically kissing their whole lives.

    it’s amazing how President Obama’s gay friends and acquaintances have “moved him” to support Marriage Equality, while all the Republican candidates who have “gay friends and acquaintances” are still opposed to Equality to the degree that they want to BAN it.

    the only possible conclusion is that Gay Conservatives are such low-level scumbag cowardly pieces of s**t that they can’t even convince their own friends and allies that they deserve Equality.

    after all, you guys are the ones who are friends with the GOP leaders – you’re “the gays” they know and are *ahem* “friends” with.

    It speaks volumes that straight liberals who know gay people support Equality and straight conservatives who know gay people don’t. it’s because gay conservatives are obviously lousy people who don’t deserve respect.

  32. Oliver says

    I just wrote the biggest check I’ve ever written to any political cause (Obama!) and am drinking Champagne and feeling great about all of this!
    The next four years are going to ROCK!

  33. says

    @ AG :
    We always said we’d support him no matter whether he endorsed same sex marriage or not.
    We merely pointed out his genuine reasons for not endorsing it pre election.
    Now that he has stood proud for all of us we had better unite and get active.
    BTW, is your negativity congenital ?

  34. Francis says

    The Christian right was already motivated to vote out Obama. So there will be minimal loss in voters for Obama, in my view. There is a bigger chance of gain from pro-equality moderates and Republicans, including gay Republicans, plus gays/straight supporters who were planning on not voting. We need to use this to our advantage instead of believing and fearing the worst.

  35. proprop8 says

    Well, at least I won’t have to hold my nose when I pull the lever for Romney now.

    Congrats to President Obama for finally being honest with us.

  36. sparks says

    LOVE it. I hope this puts to rest some of the naysaying and division we’ve seen in our community over the past few years.

    You might not love Obama as much as some of us do, but you HAVE to admit that he’s far better for LGBT than Mitt Romney would EVER BE, period.

    Thank you Barry!

  37. Malaysian Ho says

    Dont worry, Obama will still have the African Americans vote. It is the very anti-mormon evangelicals who wouldnt have otherwise voted for Mitt we should be worried about.

  38. Caliban says

    This is going to be a really tough election, tougher than it was just yesterday.

    But maybe this country can FINALLY have a real, substantial conversation about gay people and gay rights without it only being about the shrieking Fundies and Evangelicals and their RELIGIOUS beliefs.

    If you’re closeted it’s time to gut-up and fight for your rights!

  39. Jedi says

    Here’s the deal: obviously there will be negative views by some in the LGBT community of Obama’s support of same-sex marriage. They’ll think he’s calculating or has some sort of other agenda.

    Ad to those who think The President of the United States doesn’t have good intentions, I offer you the alternative: Mitt Romney, who not only opposes same-sex marriage but, according to the New York Times, “favors an amendment to the United States Constitution to forbid it.”

    Happy voting.

  40. Payaso says

    “The president stressed that this is a personal position, and that he still supports the concept of states’ deciding the issue on their own.”

  41. Michaelandfred says

    As of this morning marriage equality had a higher approval rating than either Obama or Romney. In the 70’s with democrats and 57 with independents. This move could energize the college crowd that has been lackluster, the indipendents, maybe even some conservatives gay, gay family or friendly. This also makes it possible to add marriage equality to the democratic party platform.

    Now that he’s come out, he’ll be strong and vocal and so will the rest of the party. Thank you Mr. President. You’ll have my vote, and my donation.

  42. money talks says

    Once again Obama shows he has big ones. The only way Romney could counter this move would be if one of his sons gay-married. Probably being discussed right now. Another case of politics making strange bedfellows. “C’mon son, do it for your Dad, how about that close friend you had during missionary work?” “No, no, I’m not ready.” “I’ll double your trust fund.” “Double? OK”

  43. ratbastard says

    He said it at just right time actually. Still months away from the conventions and elections and all the oppositions ammo on this issue will be out in the open before the final, crucial period leading into the November election.

    That said, I think I can say most Americans don’t consider this a core issue and are far more concerned with economic issues. But gay marriage and ObamaCare will be used to mercilessly hammer him. I don’t like Barney Frank, but I agree with him that Obama’s priority should have been serious financial reform and prosecution of the big wigs who caused much of the greatest financial collapse since 1929. Not only didn’t he not do this, but white collar prosecutions are at a 20 year low. This p*sses a lot more people off than gay marriage.

  44. mary says

    Congratulations to everyone in the LGBT community! I know how long you’ve waited for this moment. It’s kind of ironic that this would come after yesterday’s defeat, but life is full of surprises, isn’t it? A page has been turned in history – a sitting president has endorsed the legalization of gay marriage. No Democratic presidential candidate after this will be able to be neutral on this topic.

    I have no idea whether this will help or hurt Obama’s chances in November. I normally would have said that it would hurt him – and I have no doubt that the people at NOM are throwing a party in celebration over this, thinking that Obama just guaranteed his defeat. But the culture is changing so rapidly on gay issues that it’s hard to know what the future holds. As evidence, I just finished renting and watching the gay-themed film “It’s in the water.”…. (truth!)

  45. says

    This is just nauseating. An African-American, who never would be where he is if not for equal opportunity reforms, drops some half-steppin’, day-late-dollar-short bullsh*t on a closeted Lesbian interviewer, and Gay people act like Heaven is raining manna down on them. So pathetic, it’s quaint! This, in a nutshell, is why the Gay Rights movement will never inspire the way the Civil Rights movement did. It’s all about dignity, pride and seriousness of purpose. Or rather, the lack of same among Gay Americans!

  46. mary says

    And no, TJ, I had no orgasms over yesterday’s results in North Carolina, even though they agreed with my views. I read Towleroad posts about it but didn’t comment because it wasn’t appropriate.

  47. IAN F says

    This is a good day in America. I’m feeling a little choked up.

    Now start giving your republican relatives a major guilt trip about voting against your equality and lay it on thick.

  48. Derrick from Philly says

    STUFFED ANIMAL,

    face it, darlin’, you want him. The very sight of the President causes you to lubricate. I know from where I speak. When I was a child I couldn’t figure out why I didn’t like Harry Belafonte. But then later I understood that his beauty made me uneasy because I was lubricatin’

    Yes, STUFFED ANIMAL, you want him….but that’s too bad because he belongs to Michelle (atleast for the next four years).

  49. Patrick says

    This is pretty amazing.

    I hope people realize that this could now turn into an ’04 election where the fundamentalist right comes out in droves to protect the ‘sanctity of marriage’ creating an upset in favor of Mitt.

    It’s terrific news for the gay community (society as whole) but I don’t think that the masses especially the ‘voting’ masses will see it that way. (gay marriage/opinion polls aside bc that is only a small representation of the total population).

    I always believed Obama would have come out in full support of marriage equality in his second term. I just hope that this announcement isn’t political suicide for him.

    All that aside Obama is truly a courageous leader. Obama 2012.

  50. RJ says

    Is this the same Stuffed Animal who is banned from Joe My God? No wonder.

    For those who think Obama should have made his statement before the NC vote on Amendment One, I think he deliberately timed it for just after the vote. Every poll had clearly shown that Amendment One was going to pass by a wide margin. A pro marriage equality message from Obama wasn’t going to change that. I’m sure his people advised him that his significant statement should not be linked to a losing vote.

  51. says

    Stuffed Animal who thinks all non-Christians go to hell. yes. he’s certifiably insane.

    what’s hilarious right now are all the freakouts from gay conservatives.

    a world of sad boys who’ve been sucking a poisoned teat for far too long.

    the best part about being a liberal is knowing you’re not shaming yourself to future generations.

  52. St. Theresa of Avila says

    I can’t believe people are saying they are choked up. I like Obama, but he’s a calculating politician. (And Romney is far more calculating) I made my one and probably only political donation in 2008 to stop Caribou Barbie from becoming president – the stress of the job would probably have caused old John to croak. Not because I was very passionate about Obama.

    Obama’s people are seeing this as a very risky maneuver, believe me. The chance of it converting “gay Republicans” is virtually nil, as 99% of them are completely brain washed into believing Romney is a moderate, when he will actually be one of the most reactionary presidents ever. The song and dance they trumpet here about Obama being a waffler was just that. They would never have supported him anyhow. I think all it might do is keep the reich wing (not childish hyperbole, btw, Rove practically admits he borrowed from Goebbels’ playbook) from claiming the administration is trying to have it both ways on gay rights issues. Which MIGHT sway some so-called independents.
    Agree that the tea nut base is headed for the polls anyhow. It could cost him some African-American voters, but not many. (watch for some dirty tricks in this area though. The Republican operatives think African-Americans are stupid, so I can imagine some kind of ads with so-called testimonials of people saying they are disappointed in Obama and not going to vote for him) Still, if he doesn’t manage to recreate or even enhance the buzz and groundswell his first campaign had with young voters he’s in trouble. Mitt isn’t seen as undesirable for the reasons McCain was, nor will he make such an idiotic choice of VP.
    Politics is a dirty game and this election might make 2008 look like a Westchester County game of bridge.

  53. StevyD says

    I think that anyone who was voting for The President this election already knew that he would come to this conclusion and not drop away because of his new evolved view.

    Those who weren’t voting for him now have another reason to increase their unreasonable hatred of him. So no change there.

    For those voters who are still undecided, I’m not sure this is more important to them than his handling of the economy which is probably going to be their deciding issue. It may, for many voters, add to his appeal based upon his high level of principals and ethics, especially after the N. Carolina tragedy.

    Mr Obama should be supported and celebrated for being the greatest President gay people will ever know, and he’s darn good for the rest of America too.

  54. noteasilyoffended says

    OK all you folks who were SOOOO upset that the President wouldn’t come out and, in plain language, support same-sex marriage…. IT HAS HAPPENED. SO, it’s time to stop lamenting being “let down” in the past and get to work to get this man re-elected. I hope every person who was “upset” by all the “evolution” of his thinking will finally trust that this man is one-if not THE- strongest ally we have had in the oval office. Get out there. Get strong. Get focused and GET THIS MAN RE-ELECTED. NO MORE BITCHING. GET TO WORK.

  55. Rich says

    It’s easy to think the worst of any President, but I’d rather think that the voters of North Carolina did for Obama’s conscience what Bull Conner did for Kennedy’s.

    Barring an extension of Loving to same-sex marriages, I say leave it to the states to decide which marriages they may perform but require that the full faith and credit clause apply to marriages as it does to divorce decrees.

  56. James E. Pietrangelo, II says

    People need to look at this “change of heart” objectively. While symbolically “historic,” it is in reality merely politic. As with all of Obama’s positions throughout the years on LGBT issues, it allows him to seem like he supports the LGBT community, but without ever having to actually do anything for the community. He’s all talk, and no action. Nothing has changed. He said what he said to get the LGBT vote. He won’t use his Presidential power or his bully pulpit to make LGBT equality a reality. You just need to look at the facts to see this is true. He didn’t make his “change of heart” announcement in a speech to the nation or in a speech at an important event/venue; instead, he made it via a hastily arranged interview with one news channel. Moreover, he qualified in that interview that his “change of heart” was merely his “personal” opinion, i.e., not his position as President. Importantly, he said that marriage was still a state issue, i.e., he wouldn’t use his Presidential powers or bully pulpit to achieve marriage equality. Also, he continues to refuse to provide an executive order against workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation. And, perhaps most indicative, he only made his announcement AFTER the marriage-equality loss in NC. He failed to do anything when he could have made a difference. Finally, his “change of heart” was anything but enthusiastic. He didn’t condemn discrimination against LGBT people. He merely said that his “daughters caused his change of heart.” In other words, it’s not a matter of equality for him; it’s a casual issue, i.e., if his daughters said they really liked strawberry ice cream, then Obama would have to like it too.

    And the fact that Romney openly opposes marriage equality does not let Obama off the hook. Saying you are for marriage equality but doing nothing to accomplish it is no different than saying you’re opposed to marriage equality. Obama’s “shift” is nothing more than a naked attempt to counter the negative fall-out from Biden’s comments and to shore Obama’s poll numbers in the LGBT community. This is no different than how DADT went down. DADT was repealed because activists within the LGBT community refused to drink the Obama Koolaid and actually demanded equality and put political pressure on Obama and Congress, and eventually Congress acted–Obama did not use his Presidential powers or bully pulpit to achieve repeal (other than signing the legislation, which required no effort). Of course, though, he took all the credit.

  57. StevyD says

    Mr Pietrangelo, didn’t your mom ever teach you to say thank-you. By-the-way, your last name translated into English is “Stone Angel”, that stone part is very descriptive.

  58. says

    Yes this is great. The President doesn’t think we are icky and less-than any more.. yay us! (waves rainbow flag while singing “I am what I am” and farting glitter…)

    My husband and will run down to the US Embassy here in London first thing tomorow to fill out his sponsorship paperwork and green card application!

    Oh wait…. we still can’t.

    Once the joyous cries of happy munchkins has died down, lets ask the next logical question… What does this mean? The answer.. not much. Great symbolism, historic even. But in practical terms of the lives of same sex couples? Nothing. States can still write bigotry into law and smile while they do it. (Howdy North Carolina!)

    Bi-national same sex couples like my husband and I are still living in DOMA exile, because of a complete lack of federal recognition of our relationship.

    I am glad to hear the President SAY he supports marriage equality, So yes let’s all take this as a clear WIN. If for no other reason it will cause the American Taliban to splutter with incoherant rage for the at least the next week.

    And symbolism and bizzare “States Rights” contradictions aside, The President of the United States as not made it clear he is on the right side of history…

    No small thing that…

  59. St. Theresa of Avila says

    “He’s all talk, and no action. Nothing has changed. He said what he said to get the LGBT vote.”

    James P, this is not true. He did what he thought was safe to do, which is still a LOT better than nothing. No way on Earth a Republican would have signed-off repealing DADT, even 10 years from now. And Romney will roll it back if he has the chance.
    I keep trying to get people here to see this in a historical context. The military integrates by executive order in 1948 and it isn’t until the 60s that the crisis over desegregation was resolved. (and btw, I’m not comparing the struggles of gays & lesbians to African Americans, but, just as they cannot choose to be white, I cannot choose to be straight) Just because everyone has internet access and a smartphone these days doesn’t mean social progress is magically going to happen much faster. Maybe a little faster…

  60. noteasilyoffended says

    @daveusEricuk- When (not if) gays and lesbians can marry, you and your husband will have all the rights as heterosexual couples and you will be able to get your papers you need. DOMA will be reversed because it is the right thing to happen. This was an amazing first step to getting you to your goal.

  61. Bill Perdue says

    This changes very little.

    When Obama came out partially in favor of the right to marriage, leaving it up to bigots in states and localities to decide, this is all that changes. We’ll no longer say that “Obama is a long time bigot, a racist warmonger, a Bill of Rights busting lap dog of the rich and an empire building union buster.” Instead we’ll say that “Obama is long time, and partially contrite bigot, a racist warmonger, a Bill of Rights busting lap dog of the rich and an empire building union buster.”

    Obama is a right wing candidate. He’s to the right of Nixon across the board on civil liberties, unions and union rights, Social Security and Medicare, the drug wars, environmental questions and wars of aggression.
    The way forward for working people, the only group capable of creating real change, lies in independence from our enemies in the Democrat and Republican parties and in supporting unions, the growing union left, the Occupiers and the struggle movements of people of color, women and the GLBT communities. That won’t change no matter which right wing candidate wins.

    On November 6th write in Brad Manning, sit it out or vote socialist as a protest and otherwise spend your time building the movement, not one of the two parties of bigots.

  62. Howard says

    This is GREAT news. I’m sure I’m not the only won who has been energized by this. For this first time in my life I am motivated to both donate money and also volunteer my time to re-elect President Obama!

    EVERYONE needs to do what they can to keep Obama in office.

  63. Cecilfirefox says

    And to those who ragged on the President endlessly, with little to know knowledge or concern of politics and how fast the government works on laws…

    Eat some crow you sons of bitches. <3

  64. James E. Pietrangelo, II says

    Dear NOTEASILYOFFENDED and STEVYD:

    First, what my Mom and Dad taught me was that all humans are equal and thus that no one–including LGBT people–has to “thank” anyone else for recognition under law of that equality. We warrant equality simply by being born. I no more owe my equality to Obama than MLK, Jr. owed his to Kennedy or Johnson. But if anyone else did deserve a “thank you” for any shred of legal equality that I have in America today, it damn sure would not be Obama, any more than it would be Romney, both of whom have done nothing for equality and who (in the case of Obama as President) actually enforced discrimination against me individually and the LGBT community collectively and continues to do so. Instead, I would thank, and have thanked, people like Dan Choi, Robin McGehee, and Paul Yandura, to name only a few, who, like MLK, Jr., risked all to demand equality.

    Second, I would be satisfied, and easily so, by President Obama, if he would simply actually champion equality, using the full powers and bully pulpit of his Presidency. That’s not asking too much.

    Finally, my last name translated in Italian means “Rock of Angels,” not “Stone Angel.” If you’re gonna be petty and attack me on the totally irrelevant basis of my last name, please get your facts right at least.

  65. andrew says

    I voted for Mr Obama in 2008 and even before today’s announcement I intended to vote for him. I do believe that the issue of same sex marriage will hurt Mr Obama and the democrats in november. Just look at what happened in every state in which voters were given a chance to vote on the issue. IT lost. I hope not, but this will help the republicans in there quest to win the presidency and it will help them in many senate and house races. Forcing the president to take this public stand may turn out to be a pyrrhic victory.

  66. James E. Pietrangelo, II says

    To All of You Who Are Celebrating and Cheering, I Say This:

    Instead of praising President Obama for his hollow words, do this:

    Tell Obama that while his words are important, you want actual full equality, and you want him to immediately use the full powers and bully pulpit of his Presidency to achieve that equality. Tell him you want him to, AS PRESIDENT, and not in his “personal” capacity, endorse marriage equality, and to demand that states stop discriminating in marriage on the basis of sexual orientation. Tell him you want immediate and full action him from on our equality goals.

    See what his response will be. Same as Romney’s. That’s because Obama knows that all he has to do is whisper–literally, remember that his “change of heart” came via a quickie interview–a few “sweet nothings” in your ears and you will fall head over heels in love with him again, and then he can throw you to the curb once he’s elected. I can just see you now–clapping like seals and saying, “Oh, Mr. President, we love you so . . . . we’re getting misty-eyed, will you sign my autograph book?” Meanwhile, people like Dave in the UK are still treated like second-class citizens . . . .

  67. M. Scott Hernandez says

    I not going to allowed to bring my personal things to the interment camp. E-bay or Craig’s List? The Holly Rollers now have a mission from God to come out and vote on this election. Thanks. Mr. President enjoy married life.

  68. says

    It honestly feels refreshing to have the President state his support for equal rights and marriage because of the impact it will have, but of course we all can’t help but wonder why today and not yesterday. Everything is planned with the President…conferences, interviews, press releases.

    He absolutely COULD’VE done this yesterday and ultimately swayed NC into voting against, as they should have, but I can’t help think it’s calculated considering Obama, being the Pres and all, could do anything he wanted at any given moment. Either way, it’s incredibly beneficial to society to do what he’s done.

  69. Iwontgrowup says

    Thls is a transparent and patronizing attempt to get our votes and if you believe otherwise you are being fooled.
    My opinion may differ from the majority of my gay brothers and sisters. But I am a realist and I fear we will not see marriage equality, we may see civil unions but that word marriage scares the s**t out of the far right and even members of the left.
    Before you jump ugly on me and my opinion, please realize, I am a gay man in my 60’s and have been with my partner for over 35 years. We would love to be married legally so our commitment to each other can be validated. Truthfully we don’t need a piece of paper to do that but it would be nice to have the same legal protections as others.
    But come on boys and girls lets get real, it will take more than legislation, we have to change the way 50% of America thinks. There will always be haters we have to what MLK did and do it peacefully. It will take a long time and will require more than a patonizing statement from a bunch of unqualified politicians who we all know will say anything to keep the power and the $$ that come with the office.
    Now, come on and attack me for having a different opinion than yours. I can take it.

  70. Nat says

    “He absolutely COULD’VE done this yesterday and ultimately swayed NC into voting against, as they should have, but I can’t help think it’s calculated considering Obama, being the Pres and all, could do anything he wanted at any given moment. Either way, it’s incredibly beneficial to society to do what he’s done.”

    No, he could not have. Given the present conditions, and the question presented to voters, there was nothing he could do that would have changed the outcome. Opinions on gay marriage are largely ingrained; they can change, but generally only with gradual whittling.

    “That’s because Obama knows that all he has to do is whisper–literally, remember that his “change of heart” came via a quickie interview–a few “sweet nothings” in your ears and you will fall head over heels in love with him again, and then he can throw you to the curb once he’s elected. I can just see you now–clapping like seals and saying, “Oh, Mr. President, we love you so . . . . we’re getting misty-eyed, will you sign my autograph book?” Meanwhile, people like Dave in the UK are still treated like second-class citizens . . . . ”

    I’m not sure why people continue to persist in the delusion that politicians can somehow not be politicians, especially when we hold to impossible and differing demands for what we want in our society.

  71. Nat says

    “My opinion may differ from the majority of my gay brothers and sisters. But I am a realist and I fear we will not see marriage equality, we may see civil unions but that word marriage scares the s**t out of the far right and even members of the left.”

    That’s not being a realist, that’s being a cynic. They are not the same thing.

    A realist would observe that people below a certain age support marriage equality by large majorities. The realist would also observe that the age group most opposed will continue to die off. The realist would also observe the substantive measures that have been made in the four years since Proposition 8, as well as the underlying societal shift. The realist would also observe that while the desired progress is not inevitable, there is a familiar pattern of progress and retrenchment that has been found in past civil rights movements.

    Finally, the realist would expect – and indeed would hope – a politician to be calculating. In politics, idealists tend to either get a lot of people killed, or accomplish little to nothing.

    Don’t call yourself a realist again if you don’t understand what the term means.

  72. Spider3tattoo says

    I’m absolutely floored that a sitting President finally had the balls to say the right thing in an election year (in recent decades anyway.) This is a civil liberties issue and it needs to be corrected! I’m a hetero female that supports you all in your fight for equality, and I will vote for Obama in November.

  73. andrew says

    Wow: look at how many people on this site have said they just wrote a check to the Obama campaign. This would be good news, if only it were true.

  74. josepe says

    this one of his great jokes, same as immigration! he endorses gay marriage but while he is a president he doesn’t pass a federal law to allow gay marriage? he has the power of doing it now, why would his point of view matters? if he is not doing anything about it, why talk about it? i’m not happy because is just a point of view!!! do not be fooled people, he is a better president when he does as he says

  75. millerbeach says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mr. President. Thank you for providing real support for our community. I have never been so proud to be an American! :) This means a lot to me, Mr. President. Everyone that knows and loves me will vote for you…I’ll make sure of that! I’ve never felt so happy as a gay man…I never thought I’d live long enough to see this day. So glad I am alive! Thank you again, Mr. President. I will never forget this day.

  76. UFFDA says

    This is a momentous day to be sure…for gay people who aren’t many. I feel it has threatened our President’s possibility of re-election yet know that he is rightly calculating and would not have done this without canny consideration, and I trust his judgement, Good for him, me and all fair-minded people.

    On the other hand, apart from the legion stupid, the evangelicals are now against him. These two, indistinguishable as they are, are a LOT of slope-browed hominids who will vote. I can’t watch…I’ll just look at some of what this site publishes.

    Now, he’d better get on to the economy fast, make it better big time, lower gas prices and f**k over the Muslims so successfully
    that we all make arm farts while laughing. Personally, I’ll do what it takes to feel good no matter what happens.

  77. midnightsnack says

    It is high time for the gay community to stop quibbling about the “evolution” of President Obama’s stance on marriage equality and any purported hurt caused by his belated awakening. Indeed, now that the President has done his part, it is our turn to get in line and help defeat Romney. One can only shudder at the potential nominees a Mormon president would forward to the US Supreme Court. Just remember we are still paying dearly for the legacy of Reagan and Bush 1&2 in the form of Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Alito.

  78. Steven says

    This message I sent to the WH this morning:

    Dear President Obama,
    While I appreciate your long over-due statement in support for gay marriage; it appears to be simply a very cynical ploy for money as you are not backing your words with actions. IF you REALLY supported the rights of all Americans to marry in a loving, caring relationship as the one you share with your wife, YOU would have spoken out for the end of DOMA, YOU would have vowed to help gay milit ary and veterans alike achieve fully equal rights for their spouses, and YOU would have pressed for a constitutional amendment requiring the full rights of all AMERICANS to FULL rights and priviledges including FULL marriage, inheritance, work, and liberty to be not be abridged not in respect to sex, sexual orientation, or sexual identification.

    However, YOU chose to do not one of these things, you took the milktoast, mealymouthed, most wimpy non-choice of well, it’s ok, but up to the states. THIS IS A NATIONAL ISSUE not a state issue; yes the states grant the marriage licenses but the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT REQUIRES FULL agreement between the states in accepting marriages in one state being valid in another; otherwise the issue of going to another state and losing benefits comes into play. THIS is much the same thinking, but diametrically opposite, to the emancipation of slaves by going to a free state. There were plenty of cases that slaves were returned to their masters due to overriding Federal law until the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th, 14th, and 15th amemdments basically wiped out that law. The 14th amendment gives me as a gay man all the rights as a citizen of US. YOU are effectively are still blocking me from my rights, much as the DRED SCOTT case blocked a human from the right of freedom from slavery.
    I expected much better of you, but now I see you are acting in just the cynical way of most politicians. Doing the simple things, “It gets better” doesn’t cut it from my view when you could ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING by standing up for what is right, rather than what is expedient.
    Sincerely yours,
    Steven M. Jaeger, MD

  79. andrew says

    @Josepe: Go back to school and study civics. In the USA the president doesn’t pass laws. Congress does. Once they are passed he can sign or veto them.

  80. Married in MA says

    I don’t think this will loose him the election; it may even help and get younger folks out to vote. For most people, this is a non-issue. It’s important to us, but does the average Joe really care? Probably not.

    Well, he’s already got the cash to do this, now he needs a plan… which I’m sure he already has. Let’s hope some other skeletons come out of Romney’s closet!

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