Quote Roundup: Reactions to Obama’s support of same-sex marriage


A collection of quotes and reactions from different figures in politics discussing President Obama’s recent announcement in support of same-sex marriage.

Bristol Palin: “While it’s great to listen to your kids’ ideas, there’s also a time when dads simply need to be dads…It would’ve been helpful for him to explain to Malia and Sasha that while her friends parents are no doubt lovely people, that’s not a reason to change thousands of years of thinking about marriage. Or that – as great as her friends may be — we know that in general kids do better growing up in a mother/father home. Ideally, fathers help shape their kids’ worldview.”

Chad Griffin, incoming president of the Human Rights Campaign: “If you are one of those who care about this issue, you will not forget where you were when you saw the president deliver those remarks. Regardless of how old you are, it’s the first time you have ever seen a president of the United States look into a camera and say that a gay person should be treated equally under the law. The message that that sends, to a young gay or transgendered person struggling to come out, is life changing.”

Brian S. Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage: “President Obama has now made the definition of marriage a defining issue in the presidential contest, especially in swing states like Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida and Nevada.”

Steve Elmendorf, Democratic strategist: “I don’t think it’s about particular states or particular demographics. He said the right thing. He did the right thing. People are going to overanalyze the politics of this.”

Mitt Romney, Republican presidential candidate: “My view is the same as it’s been from the beginning. I don’t favor civil unions if it’s identical to marriage, and I don’t favor marriage between people of the same gender.”

Maggie Gallagher, founder of the National Organization for Marriage: “We now have a clear choice between Romney and Obama.” She called the president’s decision “a huge mistake” that would reward the Republican Party.

Evan Wolfson, founder of Freedom to Marry: “…there is absolutely no way that opponents of gay rights can hide behind any unclarity in the president’s position and make the bogus claim that it’s the same as theirs.”

Barney Frank, former Senator: “This country is moving, and what’s interesting is every time somebody does something that’s supportive of our rights, it turns out to be (a) popular and (b) not very controversial…Many Americans already assumed Mr. Obama supported same-sex marriage. Politically, it’s kind of a nonevent.”

Peter Fenn, Democratic consultant: “Just before an election, you’re going to rile up the right-wing base, there’s no question about it. It will hurt in rural areas and the West, and you may take some fallout in the black community.”

President Barack Obama: “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…I had hesitated on gay marriage in part because I thought that civil unions would be sufficient…I was sensitive to the fact that for a lot of people, the word marriage was something that invokes very powerful traditions and religious beliefs…The thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it’s also the golden rule — you know, treat others the way you would want to be treated,” he said. “And I think that’s what we try to impart to our kids, and that’s what motivates me as president.”

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