What a difference three years makes.
Three years ago President Obama was silent on Maine's citizen referendum to overturn the same-sex marriage law that had been passed by the state legislature and signed by Democratic Governor John Baldacci. The referendum passed, meaning the marriage law was repealed. It was a shitty day in Maine history, especially since our opponents (NOM, Frank Schubert, the Catholic church leading the charge) ran one of the most dishonest and sleazy campaigns the state has ever seen.
This year, I'm happy to report, it's a different story. The president is publicly on board with this year's referendum (Question 1) to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
A very pleasant announcement from Mainers United for Marriage below the fold:
PORTLAND – President Obama today announced his support for Question 1, which would allow same-sex couples to receive a marriage license while also protecting religious freedom.
In a statement, Michael Czin, northeast regional press secretary for the president, said: “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. The president believes same-sex couples should be treated equally and supports Question 1.”
President Obama first announced his support for allowing same-sex couples to marry during an interview with ABC News in May.
“I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors, when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together; when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, 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," Obama told ABC’s Good Morning America.
Mainers United for Marriage is the coalition to win marriage for all Maine families. A “Yes” vote in November will allow marriage licenses for all loving, committed same-sex couples in Maine while also protecting religious freedom.
For more information about the campaign, visit our web site.
Fantastic. And historic.
Thank you, Mr. President.
Update via Scottie Thomaston in the comments: The president has also endorsed Referendum 74 in Washington state.
Update #2: Via Americablog, Obama is now supporting the pro-equality side in all four ballow measures:
He doesn’t just support marriage equality personally, he’s advocating for voters to join him – that’s a big step that a number of us have been asking for.