Yesterday, President Obama became the first sitting president in history to support lesbian and gay marriage. This is a monumental victory for lesbian and gay rights. In an interview with ABC’s Robin Roberts, President Obama said that “gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally….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.”
Vice President Joe Biden publicly voiced support for same-sex marrage on “Meet the Press” this past Sunday. He said, “I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men and women marrying are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. And quite frankly, I don’t see much of a distinction beyond that,” reported the Washington Post.
President Obama’s statements came one day after voters in North Carolina approved a constitutional amendment 61% to 39% that defines marriage as the legal union between a man and a woman. Amendment One, or the Defense of Marriage Act, not only outlaws same-sex marriage, which was already illegal in the state, it also bans domestic partnerships for gay or straight couples. North Carolina is the 30th state and the last state in the South to ban same-sex marriage through a constitutional amendment.
Currently same-sex couples are allowed to marry in New Hampshire, Maryland, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, New York, Iowa, Washington state, and the District of Columbia.
Media Resources: ABC News 5/9/2012; Feminist Majority Email 5/9/2012; Feminist Daily Newswire 5/9/2012, 3/22/2012; Washington Post 5/7/2012