President Barack Obama officially came out in support of marriage rights, responsibilities, and protections for gay and lesbian families earlier this week during an interview with ABC News!:
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.This isn't a huge shocker. Pretty much everyone has assumed that he supports marriage equality, but has remained cagey up until now for political expediency. Even without support marriage itself, his administration has been (for the most part) supportive of gay and lesbian families. HUD rules have been made to respect gay and lesbian families. The Department of Justice stopped defending DOMA in federal court. Following the repeal of Don't Ask/Don't Tell, the Department of Defense has allowed chaplains the option of officiating at the weddings of gay and lesbian service members in states where are marriage are legally recognized. There are other examples of practical ways that this administration has been supportive of gay and lesbian people and our families over the past 3.5 years.
(And let's not forget that Obama supported marriage equality in 1996, back when he was running for the Illinois state Senate!)
Still, it's great that we finally have a sitting president who openly supports all of America's families -- het or gay. Also, we will hopefully never hear another Republican assert that "GOP Candidate X" shares the same view on gay marriage as Barack Obama. (Though it should be noted that a few minor Republican presidential candidates do support marriage equality. They've been shut out from most Republican campaign events, but they support marriage equality!)
Thank you, President Obama, for finally coming out of the closet with your support for all of America's families! Hopefully we will reach a time in my life when these types of announcements are no longer controversial.