By Karen Ocamb
With just 12 days to go before the most important election in memory, Mainers United for Marriage is the coalition to win back marriage equality in Maine with a “Yes” vote in November on Question 1. Thursday afternoon, they released this news from President Obama:
In a statement, Michael Czin, northeast regional press secretary for the president, said: “While the president does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the president believes in treating everyone fairly and equally, with dignity and respect. The president believes same-sex couples should be treated equally and supports Question 1.”
Obama issued a similar statement in Maryland for Question 6 and Washington to approve Referendum 74.
Freedom to Marry and the Human Rights Campaign were thrilled:
Today President Obama called on Americans to support the freedom to marry when they vote on ballot measures in Maine, Maryland and Washington. The president has previously spoken out against a Minnesota proposal to exclude gays and lesbians from marriage in the state constitution. Washington residents are already voting by mail, while voters in the other three states will vote at the polls on Nov. 6.
“President Obama continues to be a transformational leader for LGBT equality,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin. “The president’s historic announcement of his support for marriage equality earlier this year sent a powerful message, particularly to LGBT youth, that no one’s hope of achieving the American dream should be curtailed simply because of who they are. In Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington, we enter the final two weeks of this hard-fought campaign knowing that the president of the United States joins our entire community in supporting their efforts to ensure that all people are treated with dignity and respect.”
“Today President Obama added a strong and personal ‘I do’ to voters still making up their minds on whether to support the freedom to marry in Maine, Maryland, and Washington this election, and Freedom to Marry applauds the president’s moral leadership in standing up for families, fairness and freedom,” said Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, the campaign to win marriage nationwide. “As the president said in May, ‘Same-sex couples should be able to get married … when we think about our faith, it’s also the golden rule.’ The right thing to do on these ballot-measures is to vote to treat others just as you would want to be treated—and let loving and committed couples share in the freedom to marry.”
As if underscoring just how significantly different President Obama is from his opponent Mitt Romney, the Boston Globe published a story Wednesday detailing the extraordinary extent to which the then-Massachusetts Governor went in reacting to the state Supreme Court ruling ordering marriage equality in that state by refusing to change birth certificates for gay parents:
It seemed like a minor adjustment. To comply with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling that legalized gay marriage in 2003, the state Registry of Vital Records and Statistics said it needed to revise its birth certificate forms for babies born to same-sex couples. The box for “father” would be relabeled “father or second parent,’’ reflecting the new law.
But to then-Governor Mitt Romney, who opposed child-rearing by gay couples, the proposal symbolized unacceptable changes in traditional family structures.
He rejected the Registry of Vital Records plan and insisted that his top legal staff individually review the circumstances of every birth to same-sex parents. Only after winning approval from Romney’s lawyers could hospital officials and town clerks across the state be permitted to cross out by hand the word “father’’ on individual birth certificates, and then write in “second parent,’’ in ink.
Divisions between the governor’s office and state bureaucrats over the language on the forms and details about the extraordinary effort by the Republican governor to prevent routine recording of births to gay parents are contained in state records obtained by the Globe this month…..
The Romney campaign declined to comment.
Strange since—while the Romney campaign is trying to tack quickly to the center before Nov. 6—his campaign was very quick this weekend to underscore his strong support for the Federal Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would ban same-sex marriage.
Nonetheless, the Log Cabin Republicans endorsed Mitt Romney—prompting longtime loyal Los Angeles-based gay Republicans Kevin and Don Norte to resign from Log Cabin and drop out of the Republican Party to re-register as Decline to State.
Kevin—a research attorney who works for the L.A. County Superior Court and served on LCR’s California PAC in April 2008—and Don—who was at that time on Governor’s Committee on Labor for People With Disabilities—have been in the fore of fighting for marriage equality in California for years. Kevin also nudged Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to appear at the LCR convention in San Diego and come out against Prop. 8 and wrote articles for the legal Met News about fighting the initiative. They are one of the 18,000 legally married same-sex couples in California concerned about who will be elected President.