Reactions to Obama’s same-sex marriage stance

Here’s what some of California’s state and federal elected officials are saying about President Obama’s statement today affirming support for same-sex marriage rights:

From U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.:

Barbara Boxer “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.”

From House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco:

Nancy Pelosi “Today marks progress for the civil rights of LGBT Americans and all Americans. With President Obama’s support, we look forward to the day when all American families are treated equally in the eyes of the law.

“Republicans are standing on the wrong side of history. Just yesterday, a Republican-backed amendment to ban same-sex marriage passed in North Carolina. Here in the House, Republican leaders refuse to bring up a bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act that includes critical domestic violence protections for the LGBT community, and they are using taxpayer funds to defend the indefensible Defense of Marriage Act in court. These actions only serve to advance fundamental unfairness in our society.

“Throughout American history, we have worked to live up to our values of liberty and freedom, and to end discrimination in all of its forms. Today, we took another step forward in our march toward equality.”

From state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento:

“I have never been more proud of our President than I am today. His journey to acceptance is an example of the one value we honor most in America, freedom; freedom to choose who we love, freedom to choose who we marry, freedom to choose who we partner with to raise a family. Denying the right for any two people to marry is discrimination. I can only hope the President’s personal position will swell the tide of public opinion to end prejudice against the LGBT community.”

From Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles:

John Perez “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.”

From Gov. Jerry Brown:

“Equality before the law is a pillar of American democracy. I applaud President Obama’s support for the right of same-sex couples to marry.”

For counterpoint, here’s Alliance Defense Fund litigation staff counsel Jim Campbell:

“This shows that the Obama administration doesn’t understand the public purpose of marriage. Marriage – the lifelong, faithful union of one man and one woman – is the building block of a thriving society. It’s not something that politicians should attempt to redefine for political purposes. The president has spoken eloquently about how fatherless homes often hurt children and society. Today’s statement is a tragic contradiction that promotes the creation of even more fatherless and motherless homes.”

Lots more, after the jump…

From Rep. Mike Honda, D-San Jose:

“Today, President Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage equality, recognizing a long held belief that millions of Americans, including myself, share: that marriage is a human right and the product of a loving committed relationship that all Americans – gay or straight – should have the opportunity to experience. As vice-Chair of the Congressional LGBT Caucus, today represents a monumental barrier broken in our struggle for equality and a reminder that we are on the right side of history.

“Discrimination in any realm is still inequality. Now more than never, it is imperative to remind each other, and our elected officials, that until we all have equal rights – be it the right to marry or earn equal wages – liberty and justice has not yet been granted. I look forward to continuing my efforts with a strong ally in President Obama to finally repeal the discriminatory and unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act and push for LGBT rights in the workplace.”

From Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Napa:

“Today, the President took an historic stand for love, equality and civil rights. All couples – gay or straight – should have the right to marry who they love, and I commend the President for his public support of same-sex marriage.”

From Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma:

“I couldn’t be prouder that the President of the United States now views marriage equality – the right to say ‘I Do’ to the person you love – as among our most fundamental rights as Americans.

“This is an inspirational, watershed day in an epic struggle. Every day, we are moving closer to living up to our founding ideals as a nation. Every day, we are moving further away from a past in which LGBT people were marginalized, delegitimized, and often completely ostracized, their relationships relegated to second-class status.

“The year I arrived in Congress, the dreadful “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy was adopted. As I leave Congress, DADT has been repealed and now the President affirms the fundamental dignity of LGBT Americans by expressing his support for their basic right to marry and raise families.

“The momentum on marriage equality, and LGBT rights more generally, is unmistakable and unstoppable. Today, the President put himself on the right side of history.”

From state Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco:

“I am proud and elated that the President of the United States today announced his support for same-sex couples across our nation who wish to recognize and validate their relationships through marriage. This is an historic moment for our country, and I applaud President Obama for standing up for freedom, justice and equality for all people in a time when other elected officials are reluctant to do so. Denying committed same-sex couples the choice to marry has no benefit to our society and only divides communities and hurts loving couples and their families. I am confident the President’s support will help build momentum for the international movement to achieve full equality for same-sex couples everywhere.”

From state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco:

“Today, President Obama reaffirmed the hope and promise most Americans felt nearly four years ago when he was elected. After yesterday’s disappointing defeats in North Carolina and Colorado, the President still had the political courage to do the! right thing and publicly support marriage equality. I commend his leadership and commitment to all Americans, and I look forward to the day when such announcements cease to be viewed as momentous and start being viewed as common sense.”

From Assemblyman Rich Gordon, D-Menlo Park, who chairs the Legislature’s LGBT Caucus:

“I thank and applaud President Obama for taking the courageous and bold step in affirming marriage as a fundamental right for all couples, regardless of sexual orientation. All families deserve equal protection of the law. We have a long way to go in ensuring full equality for LGBT people and the President’s support for marriage equality brings us closer towards that goal.”

From Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont:

“President Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage today comes as very welcomed news. Same-sex partners deserve all the rights afforded to opposite-sex partners. I have always worked to advance equal rights for all Americans and I will continue my work to ensure full equality is realized.”

From California Attorney General Kamala Harris:

“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.”

From Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom:

“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.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Elwood

    I don’t need to read any of this crap.

    I know what the dimmiecrat mafia will say before they open their mouths.

    Just wind them up, stand them up before a mike and out it comes.

  • JohnW

    Yes, among the “dimmiecrats” spewing forth this crap: Dick Cheney, Laura Bush and her daughters, Cindy and Meghan McCain, Bush 43, solicitor general Ted Olson etc.

    This may not go over very well in some of the battleground states like NC, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Like Willie Brown, I would have advised him to keep “evolving.” But the deed is done, and the president is on the right side of history.

  • JohnW

    Oops, I did not mean to put a comma after Bush 43.

  • Elwood

    “the president is on the right side of history.”

    Well, he may or may not be on the right side of history, but he’s definitely on the wrong side of the election.

    Of course this will sow up the gay vote for him.

    All that leaves is everybody else.

  • Truthclubber

    @4 —

    “definitely on the wrong side of the election”?

    Not according to Real Clear Politics, a site I know will be near and dear to you, given its right-leaning bias.

    Here’s what they have to say about the current view of this race.

    Note that NH and CO are not going to vote for Romney — so that means “the Kenyan” (as you so disrepectfully call him) will have 266 EVs with 7 “battleground” states to duke it out with the Mittster — and Willard is NOT gonna run the table.

    Ain’t. Gonna. Happen.

    Let us know when you move to Canada…and please take Ted Nugent with you.

  • JohnW

    I’m sure Barack will be deeply disappointed to learn that he won’t be getting your vote, Elwood. He was really counting on your support.

    My guess is that (a) anybody who feels strongly enough on the issue to have it influence them to vote against him wasn’t going to vote for him anyway; (b) it could tilt older tossup voters against him in Florida and rust belt states; and (c) it will re-energize the younger voters who were key to his win in 2008. How it all balances out remains to be seen.

    I’m sure Team Rove is holding meetings as we speak to figure out how to exploit this in Virgina, NC, Ohio and Pennsylvania. I’d say that about West Virginia too, but 40% voted for a prison inmate instead of Obama in Tuesday’s primary. Gee, I wonder how they feel about same sex marriage! Kind of ironic in light of what they say about cousins and siblings in that state.

  • JohnW

    Pete Stark praises the prez. So, where’s Eric Swalwell’s statement on the subject? Hey, Eric. “Being in touch” doesn’t just mean living in the district. It means being in touch with issues and taking a stand.

    Fox Nation twitters: “Obama flip flops, declares war on marriage.” Cute.

    Fox News anchor Shepard Smith praises Obama for being in the 21st century.

  • JohnW

    Okay, #6 was a cheap shot on Swalwell. He has previously spoken in favor of same sex marriage.

  • Elwood

    Chickens, hatch etc.

  • Truthclubber

    @9 —

    One word. Lame.

    Start rehearsing the words to this as I hear it (singing it without the aid of a teleprompter) is part of a mandatory test to determine whether you are fit to enter their country as a resident.

    Good news — have no fear; I also hear that the sunshine is so sparse up there that even “Kenyans” eventually bleach out, so you won’t have to deal with THAT issue anymore…and please do take Ted Nugent with you.

  • Elwood
  • Elwood

    “Black voters, who were critical to Obama’s ‘08 victory, are strongly against marriage equality.”

    Read more: http://ideas.time.com/2012/05/09/will-black-voters-punish-obama-for-his-support-of-gay-rights/?iid=op-main-lede#ixzz1uQycL5Vd

  • Truthclubber

    @11 —

    Hey, Josh — are you going to allow the use of nornally censored and vulgar words like those that rhyme with “fulltwit” on this site that you moderate with such care (and I know since you frequently hold up my postings until you’ve had a chance to vet the numerous hyperlinks)?

    Just askin’…

  • Elwood

    Just copy and paste.

    Blame the Gawker website.

  • JohnW

    Fortunately for Michele Bachman and her spouse, they now have dual citizenship in the U.S. and Switzerland. So, if this gay thing gets out of control, they can escape to Switzerland. Of course, then they would have to live with that country’s individual health insurance mandate and universal health care.

  • Bruce R. Peterson, Lafayette

    Politicians want money. This statement by president O’Bailout will bring in money from the LGBT community. Will it repulse Latino & black voters? Maybe, but few of them bother to vote or give money to politicians.

  • Publius

    President O’believe in anything that will get me elected Obama. This is a moral issue that has to be answered in one’s heart and serves as another distraction from the poor job performance of our President in his first term. This is election is more important than Gay “rights”. This election is about the future of America. I fear once again that the Republicans cannot help but to fall into the moral trap laid by the Dems.The Republicans should stay on message; Cut our bloated government (State and Federal), reduce entitlements, reduce regulations, reduce the Obama debt, and get people off of food stamps and get them back to work.

    I do not care what Obama thinks about gay mairrage. I am deeply concerned about his belief in government.

  • Truthclubber

    @11 and @12 —

    You’re wrong.

    Nice try, though. Send us a postcard from Canada.

  • Elwood

    @ #18

    “Gary Segura, professor of American Politics and Chicano Studies”

    What the bleep is “American Politics and Chicano Studies”? One of those new PC courses I guess.

    And who gives a rat’s patootie what Senor Segura thinks anyway?

  • JAFO

    Well, it looks as if Elwood and Truthclubber, aka “the temper-tantrum twins,” need another timeout. They’re throwing spitballs at one another again. Take it outside kids. I’ll hold your coats.

  • Elwood

    @ #20 JAFO

    All I’ve posted are links and legitimate commentary, no ad hominem whatsoever.

    Are you the new moderator replacing Josh now?

    You should direct your comments elsewhere.

  • Truthclubber

    @19 —

    You think I can’t find another source to show just how wrong you are?


    I hear Vancouver is lovely this time of year — oh, wait, they have lots of gays, er, homosexuals (as I believe folks like you are want to call them, ala Rush Limbaugh) up there as well.

    Oh, well — just grin and bare it, I suppose.

    Do remember to send us a sample of that great maple syrup…

  • Elwood

    @ #22

    “Maria Cardona is a Democratic strategist, a principal at the Dewey Square Group, a former senior adviser to Hillary Clinton and former communications director for the Democratic National Committee.”

    Well, whoop dee doo!

    See previous remarks concerning Senor Segura and his relevance.

    We’ll know on November 7 won’t we?

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    If BHO and Delaware Joe belong in “Profiles In Courage” 2012 edition, Rosie O’Donnell is “America’s Next Top Model.”

  • JohnW

    I will be the second person to concede that BHO didn’t deserve the Nobel Peace Prize. The first to concede that would be BHO himself. However, having read the original Profiles in Courage a few times and having noted subsequent recognitions through the foundation JFK’s daughter runs, I would say that he definitely deserves P-I-C recognition and will receive it soon after leaving office, whether that be 2013 or 2017.

  • Elwood

    The standards must have been drastically lowered since the days of JFK.

  • JohnW

    Re #6

    Considering what happened to the Iowa Supreme Court judges who voted their legal conscience on the subject of same sex marriage. Considering that Iowa is a battleground state. Considering that North Carolina is a battleground state that just voted overwhelmingly for an amendment that bans not only same sex marriage but also domestic partnerships between men and women. Considering your own statement, “Well, he may or may not be on the right side of history, but he’s definitely on the wrong side of the election.” I’d respectfully disagree with your comment about the standards being lowered.

  • Elwood

    “On this issue, Obama had to choose between blacks and liberals. He chose Liberals and that will come at a price.”


  • JohnW

    Re: #28

    “He chose liberals and that will come at a price.”

    You are mentioning the very reason that this qualifies as an act of significant political courage, considering Obama’s presidency is on the line and that the election could come down to the electoral votes in a single state.

    Were political calculations involved? Was he, to some extent, Bidenized into getting off the “evolving” fence? Will he do everything possible to turn this into a political net plus and minimize the liabilities? Yes to all. You will find that most of the political courage stories in JFK’s book also involved comparable factors and weren’t necessarily pure and intentional acts of somebody falling on a political hand grenade.

  • Truthclubber

    I just went onto Fux News to see what they had to say about this latest statement of courage on the part of our sitting president, and this story about a ‘Obama 2012 Gay Party Pack of goodies for sale at the campaign store’ caught my eye.

    There was a hyperlink to “see for myself” the kind of obscene merchandise being shamelessly hawked by “the Kenyan” (as some here like to call this Hawaiian-born person) — I clicked on said Obama campaign store site, and went through all 19 pages of content and did I find anything matching the description of what was called out by an officially sanctioned Fux News story?


    Not One. Item.

    All of the images on that Fux News story (such as the onesies proclaiming “my two daddies are for Obama” and “my two mommies are for Obama”) were clearly fabricated photoshopped images, and as such, lies.

    So much for “it’s only the liberal mainstream media that lies through their crooked teeth.”

  • Elwood

    He was forced into it by his idiot Vice-President.

    Biden is the best insurance policy Obama could have.

  • JohnW

    Re: #10

    No problem. From my perspective, it got us to a good place. I like Joe. He was a good pick by Obama, gaffes and all. I remember his unscripted eulogy at Tom Lantos’ funeral. That was no “idiot” speaking. Kind of reminds me of the Happy Warrior, Hubert Horatio Humphrey.

  • Elwood

    Obama is coming out with a new book:

    “Profiles in Expediency”

  • JohnW

    Re #33


  • JohnW

    Thank goodness that Obama’s challenger is a stalwart man of principle, who can always be counted on to say what he means and mean what he says. Who never wavers from conviction for the sake of political expediency. What a refreshing change that will be!

    Today, Mitt gave the commencement address at Liberty University, that bulwark of academic excellence and religious freedom (i.e., our way or the highway). And, with courage rarely summoned by mortals, and at great risk of rejection, voiced his support for excluding gay people from the institution of marriage.

  • For Liberty

    @ 1-35

    Unless you desire to waive your 10th amendment right and allow more dictation from the executive branch of our federal government, this issue has no standing with this office (US President) and thus should be left with the states.

    If you look deeper into the statements made this week by both Obama and Romney, it’s really not about marriage, but about the fake two party argument to divide Americans in choosing one party side over the other, that is continuously being fed by the media, while both parties continue to grow the federal government, bankrupting us and ultimately wiping away the liberties we once had.

    Do you really want the power of government (federal and/or state) over marriage?

  • JohnW

    Re #36 on 10th amendment

    No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    “Marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man…” U.S. Supreme Court, Loving v Virginia, 1967.

  • For Liberty


    “Government-free marriage is a solution that can unite each of us in preserving our natural right of freedom from forceful imposition of a conception of marriage contrary to our own.”


  • Elwood

    If Obama wins, he appoints a new justice, SCOTUS very gay.

    Romney wins, not so gay.

  • JohnW

    Re: 38

    For Liberty, I agree with you on that point. But I’m guessing fewer people would be happy with your solution than will ultimately come to accept marriage equality. Public opinion seems to be shifting fairly quickly in that direction. People like the institution of government-licensed marriage. If we maintain that institution, then it is very hard to logically argue that people whom Nature made into a sexual minority should be excluded from the institution by the majority.

  • JohnW

    Re: 39

    Well, Elwood, just wearing those robes seems pretty gay, especially the one with the royalty stripes that Rehnquist liked to wear when he was Chief. I don’t know. That hair cutting/wrestling match that Willard can’t seem to remember seems like a pretty gay thing. And Romney did have an openly gay guy as his national security spokesman, until that preacher man said it was a sin. But you are right. There’s a higher probability of Obama naming a gay SCOTUS. And I guess that would be terrible, right? Would take some getting used to by the six Catholics currently on the Court.

  • Truthclubber

    All this neanderthal chatter about “anti-homosexuality” by @1, @4, @9, @11, @12, @14, @16, @17, @19, @20, @21, @23, @24, @26, @28, @31, @33, @36, @38, @39 and @40 got me wondering what this fuss was all about.

    So, I went a-wondering through the “Internets” (as one knuckle-dragging GOP US Senator referred to it) so as to see what their motive might be, and behold, now I know what motivates them to be so proactively condemning of any kind of anti-heterosexual behavior.

    Excerpt from above hyperlink:

    Psychoanalysts use the concept of repressed or latent homosexuality to explain the emotional malaise and irrational attitudes displayed by some individuals who feel guilty about their erotic interests and struggle to deny and repress homosexual impulses….

    In fact,…”when placed [or confronted with]…a situation that threatens to excite their own unwanted homosexual thoughts, they overreact with panic or anger.”

    To each of those referenced above by number, flagellating themselves over this quandray as they are bent (pun intended), I ask them to reflect:

    “WWJS* when confronted with such a social issue as that of two people, who happen to be of the same gender, and want to spend the rest of their lives together in a monogamous relationship?”

    *What Would Jesus Say?

  • Truthclubber

    My bad — @40 does not belong on that list above (@42) — it’s a late night after much lawn care in the hot sun… 😉

  • Elwood


    Some of us really don’t give a rip what Jesus would say.

    Everybody’s wrong except you.

    You should check your hole card.

  • Truthclubber

    @44 —

    You don’t need to feel a need to hold back with us, your friends — if you want to really say “I don’t give a f*ck what Jesus would say”, that’s OK with us — we know that you are NOT a Christian, but only a Jew, or an Buddhist, or an atheist; we are tolerant and can accept that, even if you can’t at this moment in time.

    I am bothered somewhat by the other language you use, however — “Everybody’s wrong except you.”

    Sounds defensive and rather strongly self-flagellating — since we all know that no one is perfect and for you to assume out of the gate that “someone else is right” is to admit to “self-condemnation” — and that’s NOT a good thing to be practicing, is it? (Unless you know deep down in your soul that what you are espousing is, in fact, WRONG and HATEFUL and BAD.)

    Hey, if you are indeed gay, look up — things for folks like you are better than they have ever been… 😉

  • Elwood

    @ #45





    You really should check your hole card.

  • Truthclubber

    @45 —

    P.S. — no egregious, or vicious, or hyperbole-like ad hominen attacks, remember?

    Joel will make sure that’ll get you disbarred from this blog ad infinitum…

    Love and kisses,


  • Truthclubber

    @46 —

    It’s clear that I am striking waaaaaaaaaaaay too close to home, as most psychoanalysts would see it — based on your snark non-denial-denial of everything I said on @42 and @45 above — methinks you have a LOT to hide in this regard…

    The world is watching, and tne Internets are capturing everything you rant, er, say —

    Are you a represssed, vicious, angry, hateful, closeted gay or NOT?

    Love and kisses,


  • Elwood

    @ #47 & 48

    Get help.

  • Josh Richman

    re:#48 – Truthclubber, find a way to express your views without making personal accusations/attacks, or find another blog to frequent. Last warning.