Gasp! Imagine: A politician (who happens to be the president) who’s willing to treat other Americans as adults. Who acknowledges that we can think; that we’re capable of pondering complex human issues; that we have empathy.
Today, I was asked a direct question and gave a direct answer:
I believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.
. . .
I’ve always believed that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally. I was reluctant to use the term marriage because of the very powerful traditions it evokes. And I thought civil union laws that conferred legal rights upon gay and lesbian couples were a solution.
But over the course of several years I’ve talked to friends and family about this. I’ve thought about members of my staff in long-term, committed, same-sex relationships who are raising kids together. Through our efforts to end the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, I’ve gotten to know some of the gay and lesbian troops who are serving our country with honor and distinction.
What I’ve come to realize is that for loving, same-sex couples, the denial of marriage equality means that, in their eyes and the eyes of their children, they are still considered less than full citizens.
Even at my own dinner table, when I look at Sasha and Malia, who have friends whose parents are same-sex couples, I know it wouldn’t dawn on them that their friends’ parents should be treated differently.
So I decided it was time to affirm my personal belief that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.
I respect the beliefs of others, and the right of religious institutions to act in accordance with their own doctrines. But I believe that in the eyes of the law, all Americans should be treated equally. And where states enact same-sex marriage, no federal act should invalidate them.
Thank you, President Obama, for giving us an honest statement about your opinion on the subject of marriage, family, and love in the United States in the early twenty-first century.
Text is from an email message the president sent to his supporters. For video of the television conversation about this, see this link.