Obama on marriage equality: Americans of all age groups understand love is love

Wed. June 18, 2014 12:50 PM by OnTopMag.com

New York City - President Barack Obama on Tuesday headlined a major Democratic National Convention (DNC) LGBT gala in New York City, where he touted his administration's achievements on gay rights.

"So Pride Month is a time for celebration, and this year we've got a lot to celebrate," Obama said after toasting "a lifetime of health and happiness" to a male gay couple in attendance who had married earlier in the day.

"So now you flash back 10 years ago.Maybe no single issue divided our country more than same-sex marriage. In fact, the Republican Party built their entire strategy for 2004 around this issue. You remember? They calculated that if they put constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage on state ballots, they'd turn out more voters, they'd win. And they, frankly, were right. People flocked to the polls. Those amendments were on the ballots in 11 states. They passed in every single one."

"When I took office, only two states had marriage equality. Today, 19 states and the District of Columbia do."

"But what's been remarkable is the way Americans of all age groups are increasingly embracing marriage equality. They understand love is love."

Obama went on to tout some of his administration's accomplishments, including repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and no longer defending the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court.

Obama also made his first public remarks about plans for an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating based on sexual orientation and gender identity, saying he decided to sign the order "because in the United States of America, who you are and who you love shouldn't be a fireable offense."

"It would be better, by the way, if Congress passed a more comprehensive law that didn't cover federal contractors," he said. "And we need to keep working on that, so don't take the pressure off Congress."

(Related: White House to issue gay workplace protections order.)