Some recent political analysis had Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and his call for a Democratic Party platform plank supporting gay marriage posing a potential problem for President Barack Obama. I'm not sure it really did pose such a problem then, but Obama has chosen to make it an issue going forward. He made it clear today in an ABC News interview that he supports marriage between same-sex couples. On June 6 he will be back in Los Angeles to speak at a benefit for the gay, bisexual and transgender community.
I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors, when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together; when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that 'don't ask, don't tell' is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, 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.
Villaraigosa put out a short statement:
Only a day after the disheartening passage of Amendment 1 in North Carolina, the supporters of marriage equality now have a reason to celebrate. With his inspired declaration of support for same-sex marriage, President Obama has significantly advanced the cause of human rights and equality in the United States. We look forward to the day when all Americans – gay and straight – are free to follow their hearts and marry the person they love. If we truly believe in family values, we should value all families.
Los Angeles County Democratic Party Chair (and California Democratic Party Vice Chair) Eric Bauman also released a statement hailing the move by Obama:
The Los Angeles County Democratic Party could not be more proud of President Barack Obama, following his announcement of his support for marriage equality earlier today.
The President's support of marriage equality epitomizes his presidency over the last four years - standing up for what is right, no matter the consequence.
This is not just a victory for the LGBT community; it's a historic day for all Americans.
The American Dream will be stronger for all of us when marriage equality is achieved across our country, though we still have a long road ahead. I'm proud that President Obama is now leading the way as we continue on that journey.
City Councilman Eric Garcetti:
Today, our President moved us closer to fulfilling the promise of equality and fairness upon which our nation was founded. When you put the politics aside, it's simple: when two people love each other and want to get married, it's nobody's business but their own.
File photo of Obama and Villaraigosa at LAX