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California politicians praise Obama's support for same-sex marriage

May 9, 2012 |  1:54 pm

Top California politicians hailed President Obama's statement of support for same-sex marriage on Wednesday.

Assembly Speaker John Perez (D-Los Angeles), the first openly gay person to hold that position, said he was "very proud" of the president's statement, made in an interview with ABC News.

"As with many Americans, his views on this issue have evolved toward an embrace of dignity, respect and justice for every American," Perez said in a statement.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who has pushed the Democratic Party to include the issue in its national platform, said on Twitter that "love doesn't care if you're gay or straight. Love doesn't discriminate."

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) issued his own statement saying, "I have never been more proud of our President than I am today." He added, "Denying the right for any two people to marry is discrimination."

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, another outspoken supporter of same-sex marriage, called Obama's comments a "historic moment" on Twitter. "So proud to see our President come out in support of marriage equality and full equal rights for ALL Americans," he wrote.

Same-sex marriage was briefly legal in California, thanks to a state Supreme Court decision in 2008, but voters passed Proposition 8 later that year, banning it with a constitutional amendment.

[Updated 5:10 p.m.: Gov. Jerry Brown refused to defend Proposition 8 in court when he was attorney general. He posted on Twitter that, "Equality before the law is a pillar of American democracy. I applaud President Obama's support for the right of same-sex couples to marry."]

RELATED:

Obama declares support for same-sex marriage

Romney declines opportunity to comment on gay marriage

Gay-marriage backers on Obama: "Big day for all Americans"

-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento

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