Obama Campaign Announces Support for Marriage-Equality Ballot Measures

Posted by Justin Snow
October 25, 2012 4:55 PM |

The Obama campaign officially put its support behind three marriage-equality ballot initiatives on Thursday.

Official_portrait_of_Barack_Obama.jpgIn three similar statements released earlier this afternoon, spokespeople for Obama's re-election campaign announced the president's support for ballot questions in Washington, Maine and Maryland that, if passed, would legalize same-sex marriage in those states.

Paul Bell, Washington press secretary for Obama for America, announced Obama's support for the Washington initiative, according to Washington United for Marriage.

"While the president does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the president believes in treating everyone fairly and equally, with dignity and respect," Bell said in a statement. "Washington’s same-sex marriage law would treat all Washington couples equally, and that is why the President supports a vote to approve Referendum 74."

The statement was similar to one released by Michael Czin, a spokesperson for the Obama campaign in Maine, according to the Portland Press Herland.

"While the President does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the President believes in treating everyone fairly and equally, with dignity and respect," Czin said. "The President believes same sex couples should be treated equally and supports Question 1."

A spokesperson for the Obama campaign announced his support for the ballot measure in Maryland as well.

"Maryland’s same-sex marriage law would treat all Maryland couples equally, and that is why the president supports Question 6," said Frank Benenati of the Obama campaign, according to The Baltimore Sun.

Activists applauded the president's endorsements in the three states.

Washington United for Marriage Campaign Manager Zach Silk said Obama's support reflects changing attitudes across the country.

"We feel momentum is on our side, and having the President weigh in on approving Referendum 74 puts an extra gust of wind in our sails," Silk said in a statement.

In Maine, Matt McTighe, the campaign manager for Mainers United for Marriage, said they were grateful for Obama's support.

"President Obama made history earlier this year when he became the first sitting president to endorse same-sex marriage," McTighe said in a statement. "Today, he spoke out in support of the thousands of loving, committed same-sex couples in Maine who want to accept the responsibility and joy that go along with marriage."

It was a sentiment echoed by Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin, who said Obama "continues to be a transformational leader for LGBT equality." Freedom to Marry president and founder Evan Wolfon said Obama "added a strong and personal 'I do' to voters still making up their minds on whether to support the freedom to marry in Maine, Maryland, and Washington this election."

Few have doubted Obama's support for the three marriage-equality ballot measures since he announced in May that he believes same-sex couples should have the right to marry. He has also signaled his opposition to an amendment in Minnesota that would ban same-sex marriage.

There has been little discussion of marriage equality or other LGBT issues from Obama or his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney. Although Obama is the first sitting president to openly endorse marriage equality and four states will vote on marriage equality this November, same-sex marriage was not mentioned in any of the three presidential debates.

[Photo: Barack Obama (Courtesy of the White House).]

[Editor's note: This post has been updated to include the Obama campaign's statement on Question 6 in Maryland.]


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