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

May 9, 2012 | 11:53 am

Gay marriage

As gay rights advocates waited for a much-anticipated interview with President Obama regarding gay marriage, one called Wednesday “a big day for all Americans.”

Speaking from his office in Washington, D.C., Human Rights Campaign communications director Fred Sainz said the president’s expected comments could be the end to his “evolving” views on the issue.

“I think the term ‘evolving’ implies constant motion with an end. I think at some point, the evolution has to end,” Sainz said. “I’m hopeful that it will be today.”

ABC’s Robin Roberts was scheduled to interview Obama on Wednesday in a hastily scheduled interview that comes after two top members of his administration spoke publicly in support of same-sex marriage.

On Sunday, Vice President Joe Biden said on “Meet the Press” he is “absolutely comfortable” with same-sex marriage. A day later, Education Secretary Arne Duncan told MSNBC he supports gay marriage.

Also making headlines was the Tuesday passage of a law banning same-sex marriage in North Carolina, which Sainz called a “stinging loss.” Having the president speak out in support would show a “strong and principled leader taking a position based on his convictions.”

West Hollywood Councilman John Heilman called it “incredible” progress that a president will even address the issue of gay marriage directly. Echoing a sentiment common in his city, he called the North Carolina amendment “disappointing but not surprising.”

“I think everyone would hope [Obama] would come out strongly in favor of same-sex marriage,” Heilman said. “But if he doesn’t, I think people will understand.”

Fellow Councilman John Duran said he expects “more of the same” from Obama because it’s an election year, but he would support the president even if Obama takes a more moderate stand.

"I’ve met him twice, once when he was Sen. Barack Obama and once at the White House," Duran said. "In his heart, I know he is with the LGBT community.”

Duran jokingly thanked Biden, whose remarks he said “sort of boxed” Obama into a corner. He said the LGBT community has “had to fight for everything,” and isn’t likely to stop pressing the president despite the fact that he is up for reelection.

“We’re pretty accustomed to having to push hard," he said.

Sainz said Wednesday was a "big day for all Americans" not just the LGBT community.

“What’s at stake are ultimate American values of justice and equality for all," Sainz said. "If there is a sign of that from our president, I think it affirms our values.”


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

Photo: Gay activists Ivy Bottini, left, and Dottie Wine hold each other during a news conference in West Hollywood in February, when a federal appeals court cleared the way for a U.S. Supreme Court decision on gay marriage by striking down California's ban. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times