Barack Obama, "The Leader Of The Free World," Endorses Same-Sex Marriage; New Yorkers Share Reactions With The Voice

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Not President Obama anymore! (Just congress, until they repeal DOMA. Also, maybe SCOTUS.)
President Obama has told ABC news that he supports the right for same-sex couples to get legally married.

Obama told ABC, in an interview where he appeared relaxed and calm (even if he'd been pushed into this moment due to Joe Biden's loose lips on Sunday, Andrew Cuomo's bro-date yesterday, and the White House Press Corps's full on assault on Jay Carney), that he believed that, "It's important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married."

The Voice reached out to four New Yorkers for their immediate reactions: Blogger Joe Jervis of Joe My God, New York native (and North Carolina resident) Pam Spaulding of Pam's House Blend, and both Dean Dafis, Director of Legal Affairs and Community Liaison for Marriage Equality USA, as well as that group's Co-President Cathy Marino-Thomas.

Obama has many LGBT supporters, and Democratic voters overwhelming favor same-sex marriage equality, so they are taking the news (in our small sampling) with a mixture of unabashed glee and a little regret that it didn't happen sooner.

Joe Jervis, Joe My God

This is long overdue, and welcomed wholeheartedly. Nobody was fooled during the entire dance, but we're happy to finally be able to sit down and talk. It's a landmark day in American history, of course, and for LGBT history. The leader of the free world, without reservation, on national TV, said that he endorses full equality for LGBT people. No quibbling, no way to parse it, no reservations. He said it comfortably and calmly.

He may have been backed into it by Vice President Biden, and we'll always be grateful to both of them.

(The Voice: We know where you stand. But you're astute politically. Will this affect him, come the fall?)

I don't think it will have the slightest affect. This will give the other side some ammunition which they were using anyway. It will create some hot air, but nobody on either side of this quagmire doubted where he stood. People who wouldn't vote for him anyway won't vote for him more now. But he certainly won back some progressives, and people in the middle -- not that we really had anywhere else to go. But it's a wonderful day. Could he have done this sooner? Why did he put us through this? Today, I'm just going to sit back and smile.


Pam Spaulding, Pam's House Blend
In terms of the President, from my point of view it doesn't help and and it doesn't hurt, where I am in North Carolina. Speaking as a national blogger covering the movement, this is good news, because it ends the torturous tap dance around the issue, which had become ludicrous. I think the breaking point was the last press conference with Jay Carney, where is was clear the mainstream media was going to press this until he did something. I am glad this moment happened, even if it wasn't a moment of [Obama's] choosing.

I don't think this makes a huge difference [in terms of the election]. Romney's position is that he wants a federal marriage amendment. The choice is clear, but how many votes will today's news convert? It's hard to know.

(The Voice: More personally, how does it affect you, if at all? I was following your tweets from the War Room last night. What was it like when you got home to your wife?)

Like I keep liking to frame it, it doesn't have anything to do with what happened last night. [Amendment 1] wasn't about marriage equality at all. It was about stopping civil unions and domestic partnerships. This wasn't about extending rights, it was about taking them away. I was very sad that the Obama campaign couldn't even be bothered to email their massive email list and tell them to vote no. Something that would have cost them zero. Today, he's taking something which will have a national impact. But yesterday, the campaign couldn't even take that one, small local step.


Dean Dafis, Marriage Equality USA
I am overwhelmingly elated, and I also feel kind of justified doing today's work. Most of the time in this journey, you feel defeated. It's two steps backwards instead of two steps forwards. We've suffered tremendous losses, like last night. So when this happens, it really validates what we're doing. With determination, education people always works. Even dedicated foes -- and this president was far from a foe -- through education, and living out loud as proud gay people, gay couples, gay families --and their hearts change. This is historic, and almost unbelievable.

Cathy Marino-Thomas, Co-President, Marriage Equality USA

I wasn't predicting this at all. I was pleasantly -- fabulously -- surprised. It shows Obama's real dedication to change. It shows his dedication to the constitution. My gut reaction was, "Oh, my God, someone has finally read the constitution!" It was really hard for him to do and say this, but he did it. He took a stand, and a chance. And now, maybe we can get back to the equality which this country was founded upon.

I'll be on Yetta Kurland Live tonight at 10:00 PM to talk about Obama's big announcement at 10 PM EST. Tune in live in NYC at 1600 AM, or listen online at www.wwrl1600.com.

@steven_thrasher | sthrasher@villagevoice.com


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MRjimvinbur at TOUT
MRjimvinbur at TOUT

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LIMEM !
LIMEM !

Well I will say that her in the land of the free, brave and the pursuit of happiness, that this is more than long over due. At well over 60 I will not believe it till Isee it! It's time to stop a moronicall antiquated religionism of Neanderthaloid mind-set that has been uncivil and indigently intellecttual in any ability to understand that other human beings should all have the same right to act as they choose, when it comes to the loving relationship between to consenting adults. It's totaly unacceptable that one groups religious beliefs can stop the pursuit of happiness and deprive millions in the land of the free of thier natural acts of pleasure. One persons ideology has no right to be in control of an others rights. It's totaly wrong to let churchs other human being from having full civil rights. Thats why our founding Fathers HAVE seperation of church and state! They knew full well the unholy over reach that church perpetrated through out history time and time again. And in many of those instances with horrific acts shrouded as acts of nobility. No matter how foul, obscene, diabolical, fiendish, and evil. More suffering and misery has fallen on mankind in the name of God than by evil ideology of evil misguided governments, often skillfully manipulated by religions of one kind or an other!! I believe religions only are for the egotist and the fearfull foul.So we shall see were this all goes. May be it's well over due for change! I hope for the well being of all gays. We have been pushed down way to long to stand for this wrong any longer. Life is to short for us to let this continue. And to many of our young brothers and sisters are killing thier selves because of religion indoctrinating them into hating them selfs. BE PROUD OF YOUR SELF! AND RESPECT YOUR SELF!

rayy
rayy

I hope you live to see it, brother (or sister)!

LIMEM !
LIMEM !

Thank you rayy. It's always good to know that there are caring people out there! If we would all stand together, may be we could get more done for the lest of or brother and sisters. I hope that soon humanity wakes up and comes to the realization that we are all in this together. And those that spend all thier time working against people that they don't even know, get a life. It puzzles me that these so called Christian heterosexuals think that they know who and what we are? No one has the right to hold back another human being, from being happy. UNITED WE STAND, DIVEDED WE WILL FALL. They count on it! Love and peace be with you. Make each day the best that you can FOR YOUR SELF AND OTHERS! We will over come deep-rooted stupidity some day.

Nathaniel Siegel
Nathaniel Siegel

“Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe demonstrates thatsame-sex relationships have been sanctioned and even idealized in Westernsocieties for over two thousand years.”

Same-Sex Unions in Premodern EuropeWritten by John Boswell

ISBN: 978-0-679-75164-9

http://www.randomhouse.com/acm...

yahoo-FHG4IRSQ55T5K2IMJMWKRMKFAU
yahoo-FHG4IRSQ55T5K2IMJMWKRMKFAU

Obama & the Republicans are joined in eliminating the social safety net, as we know it. Same sex married couples sharing a can of cat food: is that what is really important?

rayy
rayy

Yes, basic rights such as marriage rights are important, especially to those who don't have them.  The economy has improved, not enough, but it was a big hole to fill.  

scottrose
scottrose

No, one thing that's really important is that if you've been with your same-sex soul mate for 40 years, and then she dies, you aren't refused her body for burial because of gay-bashing prejudice.

livejasmintips
livejasmintips

 Maybe Obama can do something about that kind of problem like producing a law that can give you the rights as long as the dead approve it before he/she dies or something like that. I'm not against in same sex relationships, and the law has many flaws, but holy matrimony is still a sacred thing. If it's only because of the rights, then we will only make another mistake in our system.

Tips on how to get livejasmin credits !

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