President Obama supports marriage, opposes discrimination in ballot campaigns
October 25, 2012
In May, President Barack Obama made history by becoming the first sitting U.S. president ever to support the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. Today, a spokesperson for the Obama campaign issued a statement about the president's support for the ballot campaigns to win marriage in Maine, Maryland, and Washington. The campaign has already spoken out against a ballot measure in Minnesota that would permanently limit the freedom to marry and enshrine discrimination in the state's constitution.
The Obama campaign commented today on the campaigns in Maine, Maryland, and Washington. He commented on Minnesota's campaign back in April:
- MAINE: While the president does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the president believes in treating everyone fairly and equally, with dignity and respect. The president believes same-sex couples should be treated equally and supports Question 1. (From Michael Czin, Northeast Regional Press Secretary for Obama for America)
- MINNESOTA: While the President does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the record is clear that the President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same sex couples. That's what the Minnesota ballot initiative would do -- it would single out and discriminate against committed gay and lesbian couples - and that's why the President does not support it. (From Kristin Sosanie, Minnesota Communications Director, April 2012)
- WASHINGTON: While the president does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the president believes in treating everyone fairly and equally, with dignity and respect. Washington's same-sex marriage law would treat all Washington couples equally, and that is why the President supports a vote to approve Referendum 74. (From Paul Bell, Washington Press Secretary for Obama for America)
Freedom to Marry's founder and president Evan Wolfson applauded President Obama's continued support for ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. Wolfson said:
Today President Obama added a strong and personal ‘I do' to voters still making up their minds on whether to support the freedom to marry in Maine, Maryland, and Washington this election, and Freedom to Marry applauds the president's moral leadership in standing up for families, fairness, and freedom. As the president said in May, ‘Same-sex couples should be able to get married ... when we think about our faith, it's also the golden rule.' The right thing to do on these ballot-measures is to vote to treat others just as you would want to be treated - and let loving and committed couples share in the freedom to marry.
The president of the Human Rights Campaign, Chad Griffin, also commented on the president's support. He said:
President Obama continues to be a transformational leader for LGBT equality. The president's historic announcement of his support for marriage equality earlier this year sent a powerful message, particularly to LGBT youth, that no one's hope of achieving the American dream should be curtailed simply because of who they are. In Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington, we enter the final two weeks of this hard-fought campaign knowing that the president of the United States joins our entire community in supporting their efforts to ensure that all people are treated with dignity and respect.
Freedom to Marry joins our friends at Mainers United for Marriage, Marylanders for Marriage Equality, Minnesotans United for All Families, and Washington United for Marriage in thanking the President for speaking out for fairness for all loving and committed couples, and against a divisive amendment to Minnesota's constitution. We're proud to be supporting all four campaigns.
On November 6, Mainers are being asked to vote YES on Question 1 to proactively pass the freedom to marry at the ballot. Residents in Washington and Maryland are being asked to vote to APPROVE Referendum 74 and to vote FOR Question 6, respectively, to uphold marriage laws passed by their state legislatures in February and March 2012. Minnesotans are being asked to vote NO on a proposed amendment that would constitutionally exclude same-sex couples from marriage.
You can read more about all four states facing ballot measures HERE, and read profiles of couples from each of the four states HERE.