Mayor lauds Obama’s decision to back gay marriage

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – President Barack Obama's announcement that he supports
marriages between gay and lesbian couples was hailed this week by San Diego Mayor
Jerry Sanders and Councilman Todd Gloria.

In an interview with ABC News, Obama said that he “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.”

Sanders, who has a gay daughter, was excited to hear the president
express his views, but he said he did not think the issue would be a key one in
the election.

“It's obviously a historic day for the president of the United States
to recognize the rights of all individuals to marry,” he said. “I applaud
President Obama, I know it's a difficult political position, but he's on the
right side and history will judge him that way.”

Obama said he had “been going through an evolution” on the issue and
while he has supported equality, he had hesitated on same-sex marriage
“because I thought civil unions would be sufficient.”

“And I was sensitive to the fact that for a lot of people, the word
marriage was something that evokes very powerful traditions, religious beliefs
and so forth,” Obama said.

“But I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I
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're 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.”

Sanders was opposed to gay marriage when he took office, but announced a
change of position in 2007, saying his daughter, Lisa, was a lesbian. He has
since advocated letting same-sex couples marry. Earlier this year, he joined
other big-city mayors in voicing their support for gay marriage.

“It's very difficult to come to that position at times because you're
getting a lot of advice in a lot of different ways, and I think you finally
have to go with your heart and that's what he's doing,” Sanders said.

Gloria, one of two openly gay members of the City Council, said it was a
historic day.

“Our president has once again broken a barrier that many thought would
never be broken in our lifetime,” Gloria said. “Today's announcement reminds
us that in America, all are created equal.”

After the president's remarks were publicized today, Obama's likely
opponent in November, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, reiterated his
belief in marriage being a bond between a man and a woman.

Categories: KUSI