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Gay-Rights Advocates Say Obama’s Stance Will Help Their Cause

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland came out in support of his state’s yet-to-be-enacted measure legalizing same-sex marriage. Gay-rights advocates say President Barack Obama’s public support of gay marriage is shifting the landscape.

The biggest thing we do is provide staff expertise and boots on the ground, he said.

They wont be alone. Opponents of same-sex marriage say their side, too, got a boost when the president publicly backed gay nuptials.

To us, it was obvious where the president was on the issue; were just glad hes finally telling the truth about it, said Tom McClusky, senior vice president for the conservative Family Research Council Action. In Maryland, Washington state and in Maine, what were hoping for is this motivates the voters.

McClusky added that when Obama served in the Senate, the future president sent McCluskys group a letter saying he supported marriage as between one man and one woman.

Now, the gloves are off, McClusky said of Obamas reversal.

People for the American Ways Drew Courtney said Obamas change in position will help other Americans come to the same conclusion.

Ive seen reports of politicians who have been inspired to come out in support of marriage equality, said Courtney, whose liberal organization supports same-sex marriage. Having the president of the United States take this stand is huge. Its an issue that Americans struggle with. Everyone has had their own evolution on this.

The HRCs Cole-Schwartz said the presidents announcement generated a lot of excitement in the gay-rights lobby.

Politicians who dig in their heels on an anti-gay point of view are going to be left in the dust, he said.

 

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