By Josh Richman
Wednesday, May 9th, 2012 at 2:40 pm in Assembly, Barack Obama, Barbara Boxer, California State Senate, Darrell Steinberg, Gavin Newsom, Jerry Brown, John Perez, Kamala Harris, Leland Yee, Lynn Woolsey, Mark Leno, Mike Honda, Mike Thompson, Nancy Pelosi, Pete Stark, Rich Gordon, same-sex marriage, U.S. House, U.S. Senate.
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.:
“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:
“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:
“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.”