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.Words matter. Knowing that the President has now openly and publicly embraced the idea of marriage for all matters a great deal. It changes the way we as a society think about and discuss the concept of marriage, and it forces a shift in the discussion, normalizing the idea of marriage for all people. It energizes advocates for marriage equality to know that the sitting President of the United States has said this. For being willing to come out and support marriage equality on the record, thank you, President Obama.
However, I said this on Twitter and I'll say it again here: words only go so far. I don't say that to minimize the excitement and energy that has overtaken the progressive movement, because I truly believe that this has had a major impact on us. But there's still more to be done. I, for one, look forward to seeing these words become meaningful changes in national law and policy - the kinds of changes that would truly allow same-sex couples to be able to marry each other across the United States. Especially in the wake of North Carolina's vote yesterday, that's the kind of thing we need more than ever.
Your campaign slogan, President Obama, is now "Forward." Hearing you say things like what came out this afternoon can almost make me believe in your support of that idea of forward progress once again. As long as you're going to stand up and champion real forward progress, I will stand with you.