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Gay rights groups hope Obama support will encourage others

May 9, 2012 |  1:50 pm


Gay rights groups heralded President Obama's support of same-sex unions Wednesday, saying his comments sent an important message to the American people.

"It's a huge step forward for our country," said Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry. "I think the president’s moral leadership today will make a huge difference in helping other Americans along the same journey that he and so many other Americans have taken."

Clarissa Filgioun and Cary Davidson of the San Francisco-based Equality California called it an "unmistakable and historic turning point."

"When the highest authority in the land says that all committed couples should be able to enjoy the unique happiness, security and recognition that marriage brings, it sends a powerful message of fairness, acceptance and belonging," the two said in a statement.

Chad Griffin, incoming president of the Human Rights Campaign in Washington, D.C., said the fight for marriage quality was the "defining element of our generation's search for greater freedom."

“President Obama’s words today will be celebrated by generations to come," he said in a statement. "For the millions of young gay and lesbian Americans across this nation, President Obama’s words provide genuine hope that they will be the first generation to grow up with the freedom to fully pursue the American dream."

Local city officials were also quick to weigh in. West Hollywood Mayor Jeff Prang, who is gay and was married during the short time it was legal in 2008, said he was “startled but thrilled.”

He included himself in what he called a “core base of supporters who have been frustrated with [Obama’s] cautious support of policies,” though he was quick to praise the president’s record on LGBT issues. He said he thinks Obama’s stand will help energize voters come November.

“In many ways, it is getting us closer to the culmination of full equality everywhere,”  Prang said. “The pendulum just swung very far today.” 


Gay marriage backers on Obama: 'Big day for all Americans'

West Hollywood celebrates Obama's support of gay marriage

Villaraigosa applauds Obama: ‘Love doesn’t care if you’re gay’

— Kate Mather (twitter.com/katemather) and Matt Stevens (twitter.com/MattStevensLAT)