Obama Endorses State Measures for Gay Marriage

Backs ballot efforts in Maine, Maryland, Washington

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 26, 2012 5:35 AM CDT

(Newser) – After announcing his support for gay marriage in May, President Obama is putting his weight behind ballot measures to make those unions a reality. Obama is supporting measures in Maine, Maryland, and Washington state to legalize same-sex marriage, the AP reports. "Washington's same-sex marriage law would treat all Washington couples equally, and that is why the president supports a vote to approve Referendum 74," says Obama's campaign press secretary in the state.

Washington and Maryland both passed gay marriage laws this year, but petitions against the measures resulted in ballot referendums. Maine gay rights advocates got the issue on the ballot after a 2009 referendum that nixed lawmakers' support for gay marriage. "When I first began fighting in the legislature for marriage equality ... I would never have dared to dream that a president of the United States would one day step forward at this crucial moment, in the middle of his own close re-election campaign, to offer his support for our efforts," says a gay Washington state senator. "But that is exactly what President Obama has done."

President Barack Obama greets a small crowd of supporters after arriving at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012, with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel,  right.
President Barack Obama greets a small crowd of supporters after arriving at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012, with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, right.   (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
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