Whilst the President of the United States of America wows Ireland and the UK on his first legs of a European Tour. The White House issued a statement in response to a proposed measure in Minnesota that would make a ban on same-sex marriage part of the state constitution.
It wasn’t a long statement, but nonetheless, an important one.
“The President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same sex couples or to take such rights away. While he believes this is an issue best addressed by the states, he also believes that committed gay couples should have the same rights and responsibilities afforded to any married couple in this country.”
The statement was provided to the Washington Blade via email responding to a question on President Obama’s position on the marriage amendment, which will come before Minnesota voters in 2012.
Whilst the short statement doesn’t explicitly mention the proposed constitutional amendment in Minnesota, it states that the president “has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts” that would restrict rights for gay couples. This is a powerful declaration of support to equality on the same sex marriage issue. It makes it clear same-sex marriage rights should be assigned by each state, this is by far the nearest he’s come to fully endorsing gay marriage since he’s been in office.