The head of Equality Florida lauded President Obama today 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.
On Wednesday, President Barack Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage in a sit-down interview with ABC's Robin Roberts. During the interview with ABC News Obama stated that he's "always been adament that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly," Obama told Roberts.
"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.
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.
Clearwater city leaders have asked city staff to develop a domestic partnership registry, similar to ones on the books in Tampa and Gulfport.
Supporters say that Obama's announcement may help them in their quest for legalizing same-sex marriage in Florida.
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."