Media outlets and progressive organizations applaud Obama’s endorsement of the freedom to marry
May 11, 2012 at 10:10 am
This week, news organizations from across the country and around the world have been positioning the freedom to marry as one of the biggest stories of the week, largely thanks to President Barack Obama's discussion of his views on marriage.
On Wednesday, he appeared on ABC for an interview in which he announced, "Over the course of several years, as I've talked to friends and family and neighbors, 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."
The announcement quickly became top news. This blog post in Poynter showcases the ways in which various web publications trumpeted the news of Obama's support.
The New York Times communicated that although the statement does not in itself translate to legislation or tangible action, it's clear that with the President's support, positive public opinion from people uncertain about marriage will follow. The Times explains:
While Mr. Obama’s announcement was significant from a symbolic standpoint, more important as a practical matter were Mr. Obama’s decision not to enforce the marriage act and his successful push in 2010 to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law that prohibited openly gay men and lesbians from serving in the military. For that reason, gay rights groups had been largely enthusiastic about his re-election campaign while being pragmatically resigned to his not publicly supporting same-sex marriage before the election.
Mr. Obama’s announcement has little substantive impact — as an aide said, “It’s not like we’re trying to pass legislation.”
But the political impact is a wild card, even Obama advisers acknowledged, and it came one day after voters in North Carolina — the site of the Democratic Party’s nominating convention — supported a ban on same-sex marriage. But while the president has now injected a volatile social issue into the campaign debate, both sides say the election still is all but certain to turn on the economy.
The media has turned to Freedom to Marry for greater elaboration on the freedom to marry and why marriage matters. Our founder and President Evan Wolfson appeared yesterday on Hardball with Chris Matthews to discuss the next steps in the campaign to win the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. Our senior advisor, Sean Eldridge, also applauded Obama's statements on Current.
Support of Obama's announcement has poured in from a wide range of organizations in the United States, including LGBT advocacy groups, labor-focused organizations, and other civil rights organizations.
The Service Employees International Union released a statement on Wednesday:
To those who have chosen to stand on the wrong side of history, we say this: There is growing momentum for equality in this country. And with each American that believes in equality, we are reminded that the continued dream of equality is our birthright, our heritage and our promise.
The National Council of La Raza also applauded Obama and cited a recent report that found that 54 percent of Hispanics support same-sex couples having the freedom to marry. In a statement, NCLR President Janet Murguía said, "We celebrate this historic moment with our allies in the LGBT community and with the millions of LGBT Latinos across the nation, and we look forward to working together to advance equal rights for all in the days ahead."
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. With newfound support from the president, we look forward to working with President Obama, his administration, and our hundreds of thousands of supporters to end the exclusion of same-sex couples form marriage.