National News

Statements on Obama's support for gay marriage

"Today President Barack Obama took a historic step in granting full rights for all Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation. I am proud of our President and proud to be an American. I commend President Obama for supporting Americans who deserve equal rights, equal respect and equal recognition. I am proud that the leader of the most powerful nation in the world took a stand for the fundamental American principle that all people are equal, and deserve equal rights and treatment under the law. However, the fight is not over. Whether here in California, or in places like North Carolina where voters to approved a ban on same-sex marriage this week, the march towards justice must continue. It is clear our work is not done. I hope that the President's support of same-sex marriage leads to legislation action that protects the rights of all our citizens."
California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.

"The arc of history today bent a little closer to equality for every American. After hearing the stories of countless couples and families, President Obama has drawn the same conclusion shared across party lines and by a majority of Americans today: everyone deserves the opportunity to marry the person they love. As our nation draws closer to a more perfect union in which every person is created equal, we are left deeply encouraged by this truly watershed moment."
Herndon Graddick, GLAAD President

"I applaud the President's statement today supporting marriage equality. Equality before the law is the founding principle of our nation. In that spirit, I will continue our common work to ensure that equality belongs to all Californians and all Americans."
Attorney General Kamala D. Harris

"This is a historic day and another step in our country's long march toward equal rights and justice for all. The President's statement is a milestone and so important for the millions of American families who deserve full equality. None of us can rest until marriage equality is a reality for all Americans."
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA)

"I am very proud of the President for today's eloquent and bold announcement that he supports marriage equality for every person in this country. As with many Americans, his views on this issue have evolved towards an embrace of dignity, respect and justice for every American. Like the President's successful effort to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell, I believe today will be remembered as a major milestone in the LGBT movement, and one that gives credence to Dr. Martin Luther King's observation that 'the arc of history is long, but it bends towards justice.' I am deeply grateful for the President's leadership on this fundamental issue of civil rights."
California Speaker John A. Pérez

"This is a milestone in our fight to secure equal rights for all Americans. I applaud President Obama for his leadership, for being bold, speaking from the heart, and reaffirming America's founding principle of 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness' for all Americans regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation
Representative Xavier Becerra (CA-31)

"Today is a proud day for all Americans. The bedrock American principles of freedom and human dignity are central to the political and legal convictions of Republicans, Democrats, liberals, and conservatives alike. President Obama's words remind us that marriage and equality are universal values that unite us all. They remind us that we are all - as a People and a Nation - striving to form a more perfect Union."
Theodore B. Olson, American Foundation for Equal Rights Lead Co-counsel

"President Obama's words today will be celebrated by generations to come. For the millions of young gay and lesbian Americans across this nation, their President's words provide genuine hope that they will be the first generation to grow up with the freedom to fully pursue the American dream. Marriage - the promise of love, companionship, and family - is basic to the pursuit of that dream. Our Constitution's promise, the promise of liberty, is one that every generation must realize. As President Obama recognized today, the fight to secure marriage equality is the defining element of our generation's search for greater freedom."
Chad Griffin, American Foundation for Equal Rights Board President

"As executive Secretary-Treasurer for the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, and a National Co-Chair for the Obama Campaign, I applaud President Obama for his announcement today in support of the freedom to marry for loving and committed same-sex couples. The freedom to marry affects same-sex couples' ability to take care of themselves and their families by ensuring critical economic protections and fair treatment. As a leader of the labor movement, which has a long tradition of supporting freedom for all, I am very pleased to see that after listening to the stories of why marriage matters to all Americans, the President has completed his journey on marriage and is standing up for all families."
Maria Elena Durazo

"We welcome the news that President Obama understands the importance of equality for all people in this country, and we are excited that he joins the majority of Americans in supporting the freedom to marry. There is no bully pulpit bigger than the President's, and loving, committed same-sex couples across the country - and all of us - thank him for using it to speak up for justice and fairness. The momentum for marriage equality is building across the country. When people have a chance to think deeply about marriage equality, they come to the right answer - that discrimination against our families is wrong. There's so much more work to be done. Right now, Lambda Legal is fighting in the courts for marriage equality in New Jersey and Nevada. There will be more fights at the ballot in November. In my thirty years working in the LGBT movement, it has become easier to recognize watershed moments - and this is one. And we know we're winning because these watershed moments are beginning to happen closer together.
Kevin Cathcart, Lambda Legal Executive Director

"Only a day after the disheartening passage of Amendment 1 in North Carolina, the supporters of marriage equality now have a reason to celebrate. With his inspired declaration of support for same-sex marriage, President Obama has significantly advanced the cause of human rights and equality in the United States. We look forward to the day when all Americans - gay and straight - are free to follow their hearts and marry the person they love. If we truly believe in family values, we should value all families."
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

"Today, our President moved us closer to fulfilling the promise of equality and fairness upon which our nation was founded. When you put the politics aside, it's simple: when two people love each other and want to get married, it's nobody's business but their own."
Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles City Councilman

"President Obama has done more for LGBT equality than any other President in history - Mathew Shepard Hate Crimes, Don't Ask/Don't Tell, and now, marriage. His record over the past 3 ˝ years in office has demonstrated a strong commitment to equal rights for all Americans, including equal rights for the LGBT community. We, the LBGT community, must now show our strong commitment to ensure that he is reelected as our Nation's leader."
West Hollywood Mayor Jeffrey Prang

"President Obama's comments today in support of the redefinition of marriage are deeply saddening. As I stated in my public letter to the President on September 20, 2011, the Catholic Bishops stand ready to affirm every positive measure taken by the President and the Administration to strengthen marriage and the family. However, we cannot be silent in the face of words or actions that would undermine the institution of marriage, the very cornerstone of our society. The people of this country, especially our children, deserve better. Unfortunately, President Obama's words today are not surprising since they follow upon various actions already taken by his Administration that erode or ignore the unique meaning of marriage. I pray for the President every day, and will continue to pray that he and his Administration act justly to uphold and protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman. May we all work to promote and protect marriage and by so doing serve the true good of all persons."
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

"The Bishops of the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Los Angeles fully endorse marriage equality and welcome the growing public understanding and appreciation of same-sex couples living as faithful families worldwide. We particularly applaud the statement made by President Obama earlier today and will continue to pray and work for the respect of every human being with dignity, justice and peace for all."
Bishops of Los Angeles

"Today, President Obama announced that he would support marriage equality for all Americans. The President's strong statement is something that I am proud to support, and an issue of great significance to the country. Marriage equality extends one of our most basic rights of citizenship to all Americans - that is, the right to marry the person you love. It's my sincere hope that marriage equality will soon become the law of the land, and as the President indicated, we can learn a lot from the changing views of the younger generation. Members of the LGBT community serve in our armed forces, and contribute to the strength of our nation and community in every field of endeavor. They should have the right to marry, and enjoy all the benefits and responsibilities of citizenship without discrimination."
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA)

"I applaud President Obama for endorsing same-sex marriage. If we truly believe in the Constitution, it's clear that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered individuals deserve equal rights. They deserve the right to stand in front of family and friends and proclaim their love and devotion for each other in a ceremony recognized in the eyes of the law. We have a long way to go before we achieve full equality for the LGBT community, but today's announcement by the President puts us one step closer."
Congresswoman Linda Sánchez (CA-39)

"Today the President added his voice to the forces of liberty and justice, reasserting those most evident truths that love deserves recognition, respect and equality before the law. I believe the President's historic statement will help move our country forward so our friends, family and neighbors no longer face discrimination simply because of who they love and choose to spend their life with."
Congresswoman Janice Hahn (CA-36)

"President Obama continues to be a true leader for equality and I have never been prouder to call him my president than I am today. The president's support of marriage equality gives hope and encouragement to the millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people who feel ostracized and alone. The words of the president have reinforced that they are worthy of dignity, respect, and love - just like everyone else. As a supporter of the president and a longtime advocate for young gay and lesbian Americans, I am thrilled about today's news and I'm looking forward to my visit to Capitol Hill, where I will tomorrow appeal to members of Congress to fund programs supporting our homeless LGBT youth."
Cyndi Lauper

Full story: Obama announces support for same-sex marriage

Video: Obama's interview on same-sex marriage