The Seattle Lesbian received word just after noon on Thursday that President Barack Obama publicly issued his support for Washington State’s marriage equality law – asking voters to “Approve” Referendum 74 on their 2012 election ballots.
The following statement was released by Paul Bell, Washington Press Secretary, Obama for America:
“While the president does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the president believes in treating everyone fairly and equally, with dignity and respect. Washington’s same-sex marriage law would treat all Washington couples equally, and that is why the President supports a vote approving Referendum 74.”
Washington United for Marriage Campaign Manager Zach Silk said in a statement that President Obama’s support for gay marriage is timely and in line with the American people.
“President Obama’s support for marriage reflects what’s happening in WA and across the country. As more people, and more voters, realize that only marriage fully protects and supports families, they move towards supporting marriage for same-sex couples and approving Referendum 74,” said Silk.
Silk added that he could foresee a marriage victory in Washington State.
“We’re now in the home stretch, mobilizing thousands of volunteers with the largest ground game in Washington ballot history,” said Silk. “We feel momentum is on our side, and having the President weigh in on approving Referendum 74 puts an extra gust of wind in our sails.”
Additionally, the Alaska-Oregon-Washington State Area Conference of the NAACP has officially endorsed Referendum 74. The announcement comes just days after the area conference held its annual convention in Vancouver, WA.
“The Alaska-Oregon-Washington State Area Conference of the NAACP officially endorsed Referendum 74,” stated Area Conference President Oscar Eason, Jr. “The NAACP has always been at the forefront of the battle for marriage equality. We fought for marriage equality in the 1960s when miscegenation laws that blocked marriages between races and we continue to stand up for marriage equality today.”
In May, the NAACP National Board of Directors passed a resolution endorsing marriage equality.
“Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law,” said Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP. “The NAACP’s support for marriage equality is deeply rooted in the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and equal protection of all people. The National NAACP commends the efforts of the Alaska-Oregon-Washington State Area Conference to break down the barriers to marriage equality.”
The Alaska-Oregon-Washington State Area Conference will actively engage in voter education efforts on marriage equality ahead of the November 6 elections.