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Equality Florida Lauds Obama's Support for Same-Sex Marriage

President Obama announced Wednesday his support for same-sex marriage, with advocates across Florida, including Dunedin, cheering his decision.

The head of Equality Florida lauded President Barack Obama Wednesday for voicing his support for lesbian and gay couples who want to marry.

This is a "historic day," said Nadine Smith, executive director of Equality Florida.

"The President's support moves us closer to the day when all Americans will be able to enjoy full marriage equality," Smith said in a written statement released this afternoon to the media.

Domestic Registries in Florida

The President's discussion comes at a time when some Florida communities are moving toward adopting domestic registries that would recognize unmarried couples in committed relationships, including same-sex couples.

Dunedin and Gulfport are the only two cities in Pinellas County to have passed Human Rights ordinances banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

And, when it's put to a vote on May 15, Gulfport is expected join the nearby City of Sarasota and Hillsborough County in creating a domestic partnership registry. The registry will grant unmarried couples rights similar to that of married couples making critical choices for children's education, emergency medical decisions, end-of-life care and funeral arrangements.

If it passes, Gulfport will be the first city in Pinellas County to create one.

'Historic Day'

Smith of Equality Florida explained why she feels that Obama's support is so vital to lesbian and gay couples:

“This is an historic day, when the President of the United States has come out in support of marriage for same-sex couples. The President is clearly in step with the growing majority of people across the country that support marriage equality, as people come to understand that same-sex couples want to marry because they love each other. We believe that marriage also provides the best means of taking care of each other and our children. The President's support moves us closer to the day when all Americans will be able to enjoy full marriage equality.

"The announcement comes at a time when a Gallup poll released just yesterday shows that half of Americans support same-sex marriage.  This marks only the second time in Gallup's history of tracking this question that at least half of Americans have supported legal same-sex marriage. In another recent poll by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center, a nationwide plurality of swing voters favors same-sex marriage, 47 percent to 39 percent, and outside the South the margin widens to a majority of 53 percent in favor and 35 percent opposed."

Obama's Announcement

On Wednesday, Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage in a sit-down interview with ABC's Robin Roberts. During the interview with ABC NewsObama stated that he's "always been adament that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly."

"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," he said.

The interview with Robin Roberts will air in full during ABC's "Good Morning Amerca" on Thursday.

Sara Mullins May 10, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Funny how Obama supports same sex marriage now that we are so close to election. Regardless of how anyone feels about the subject, Obama is clearly using the platform to make a last ditch effort for votes.
Bob Hackworth May 11, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Sara, this, unfortunately, probably hurts Obama a bit more than it helps him. Disagree it was a calculated last ditch effort for votes. The President spoke from his heart and I completely agree with him.
Joan Lind May 11, 2012 at 06:26 PM
AMAZING. WOW. BIG DEAL. He give them the support at such a crucial time...RIGHT BEFORE THE ELECTION. I wouldn't vote for him if he were the last man on earth. I don want someone who wants to be KING. I want a decent man who will take this country back to where it belongs! Obama is killing our country, and I cannot believe how some people just do not see this. "...spoke from his heart???" Give me a break. OH, and by the way, let's not forget Bill Ayers, Van Jones,Rev. Wright et al. THESE are the people with whom he is "friends." I cannot WAIT till the election.
Joan Lind May 11, 2012 at 06:26 PM
HEAR HEAR!

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