This upcoming November, same-sex couples in Maine, Maryland and Washington state hope to see same-sex marriage legalized in their states and have their commitments to each other recognized as they are in the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Iowa and New York. On Thursday, President Barack Obama announced his support for ballot measures in these states.
Obama’s endorsement is drawing gratitude from the LGBT community and supporters as it did back in May when he became the first U.S. president to publicly support gay marriage. Back then Obama told Robin Roberts of ABC’s Good Morning America that at a “certain point I’ve just concluded that, for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.”
It was a symbolic moment and gave many gay men and women new reasons to believe and gave a promise of hope for the equality of same-sex marriage throughout the nation. But until now, the president hasn’t offered any specific endorsements of the three ballot measures. Paul Bell, Obama’s re-election campaign press secretary in Washington state, said in a statement reported by the Associated Press:
“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. 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 amount of gratitude and a great example of what Obama’s support means to the gay community is emphasized by Ed Murray who is an openly gay state senator in Washington who hopes to soon be able to wed his partner of 21 years.
“When I first began fighting in the legislature for marriage equality … I would never have dared to dream that a president of the United States would one day step forward at this crucial moment, in the middle of his own close re-election campaign, to offer his support for our efforts. But that is exactly what President Obama has done, and it is an example of his courage and leadership.”
There are many such cases in the states of Maine, Maryland, Washington state, Minnesota and throughout the nation who just want to experience equality with the generated support from strong leaders committed to moving this country forward.
Recently New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg made financial contributions to each of the three states in favor of equal marriage rights feeling that “marriage equality is the next big step in America’s long march of freedom”
In all three states polls suggest a slight edge to gay-marriage supporters as the issue hits the ballot on Nov. 6.