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To say that the reaction of the D.C. area’s LGBT community to President Barack Obama’s endorsement of marriage equality was favorable would be the understatement of the year.
Just hours after Obama announced his support for marriage equality, during a May 9 ABC News interview, becoming the first sitting president to do so, several local groups and community figures began issuing a flood supportive statements.
The Marylanders for Marriage Equality coalition used the juncture to call for renewed support of Maryland’s recently passed marriage-equality law.
”We’re delighted – as millions of Americans undoubtedly are – with the news that our President supports civil marriage rights for all committed couple,” Josh Levin, the campaign director for Marylanders for Marriage Equality, said in a statement.
Levin continued, tying the president’s support to the fight to uphold marriage equality in the Free State.
”His announcement is especially important to our coalition and to the thousands of couples and families in Maryland who are working to ensure the Civil Marriage Protection Act is upheld this November,” Levin said, pointing to an expected referendum fight over the new law.
The nonpartisan LGBT rights group Equality Virginia mentioned the president’s support in its monthly newsletter and asked its supporters to send a message of support to the president, who will need to win Virginia as he did in 2008 in order to win re-election.
”Equality Virginia thanks the Commander-in-Chief for stating to the public that he supports marriage equality,” the group’s release said. ”We hope that the leaders and people of Virginia and across the nation will be encouraged by the president’s statement.”
In the District, where marriage equality is already legal, gay Councilmember David Catania (I-At Large) issued a statement praising the action.
”The President’s comments today mark a historic moment for equality and human rights for our nation,” Catania said. ”By his simple declaration, President Obama has affirmed the deeply American principle that we should all be treated equally under the law.”
The Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, D.C.’s largest LGBT political group, also issued a statement supporting the President.
”President Obama’s support for marriage equality puts him on the right side of history,” Stein President Lateefah Williams said in a statement. ”We are overjoyed that President Barack Obama decided to stand firm in support of marriage equality, even while knowing that his stance promoting equality and fairness would ignite opposition among his detractors.”