For Immediate Release
Freedom to Marry Hails President Obama’s Historic Support for the Freedom to Marry
WASHINGTON - Moments ago, we learned the President Barack Obama has joined the growing number of Americans who support the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples. President Obama becomes the first sitting President to stand with the majority of Americans whose hearts have opened and minds have changed in favor of the freedom to marry. In short, today is a turning point in the movement to win marriage nationwide.
Below is statement from our Founder and President Evan Wolfson hailing President Obama's support for the freedom to marry:
“Today, President Obama added his voice to the growing chorus of Americans who believe that all loving and committed couples should share equally in the freedom to marry. Like so many others who have made this journey – from Bill Clinton to Laura Bush, most recently Vice President Biden, and a majority of the American people – President Obama has come to know loving and committed gay couples. Through thought and conversation about these families and their dreams and challenges, President Obama has reflected on his own values of fairness and respect for others, and completed his journey to support for the freedom to marry. He now becomes the first sitting President to join the majority of Americans whose hearts have opened and minds have changed in favor of the freedom to marry.
“The President’s support marks a historic turning point for the freedom to marry movement. Yet there is much left to be done. Forty-four states continue to exclude same-sex couples from marriage and because of the federal so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the civil marriages of thousands of same-sex couples are not respected by the federal government, thus depriving families of a crucial safety-net of federal protections and responsibilities. It is time to repeal discriminatory laws that hurt families and help no one and speed passage of freedom to marry laws throughout the country.
“Government has no business putting obstacles in the path of loving and committed couples and their families who simply seek to care for one another and for whom marriage matters. We call on the President, members of Congress, and state legislators from both sides of the aisle, to act together to bring an end to marriage discrimination and put government at every level on the side of families, fairness, and freedom.”
Since 2010, President Obama has said that his views on marriage for gay and lesbian couples were "evolving". Since that time, the Obama Administration has pursued numerous initiatives and policy changes aimed at ending discrimination against same-sex couples and their families, including the Department of Justice's refusal to defend the so-called Defense of Marriage Act in court and endorsing the Respect for Marriage Act.
Over the past year, over 122,000 Freedom to Marry supporters nationwide have stood alongside prominent civil rights leaders, Hollywood celebrities, professional athletes, and civic leaders as a part of our "Say I Do" campaign urging the the President to complete his journey and support the freedom to marry.
We look forward to working with President Obama, his Administration, and our hundreds of thousands of members nationwide to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage once and for all.
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Freedom to Marry is the gay and non-gay partnership working to win marriage equality nationwide. Headed by Evan Wolfson, one of America's leading civil rights advocates and lawyers, Freedom to Marry brings new resources and a renewed context of urgency and opportunity to this social justice movement.