Obama's Support for Gay Marriage Splits U.S.
Washington D.C., May 11 (BBC-RHC) Barack Obama has been both praised and criticized a day after he became the first sitting U.S. president to publicly support gay marriage.
Obama broke from his long-claimed indecision on the issue of gay marriage to express outright support for the right of homosexual couples to marry, in an interview on Wednesday with ABC News. Social conservatives and religious leaders condemned his remarks. Meanwhile, the Obama campaign criticized Republican Mitt Romney, who restated his opposition to same-sex marriage, as out of touch on the issue.PresidentObama travelled to the West Coast on Thursday for fundraisers in Seattle and Los Angeles likely to raise millions.
Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese said that the president's comments would "inspire thousands more conversations around kitchen tables and in church pews." But Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, labelled President Obama's remarks "deeply saddening".
On Wednesday evening, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives moved to reinforce the Clinton-era Defense of Marriage Act (Doma). By 245-171, lawmakers voted to prevent the justice department from using taxpayer funds to actively oppose the act, which prevents gay marriages from being recognised at the federal level.Obama ordered the department to stop actively defending Doma in February 2011. Obama's newly declared stance does little to change the legal status for gay people who wish to wed in states where such marriages are outlawed. Thirty-one U.S. states have passed constitutional amendments or legislation against same-sex marriage.