Yesterday afternoon, President Obama made history with these nine words: "Same-sex couples should be able to get married." With that sentence, he became the first president in American history to publicly support marriage equality.
After personal soul-searching and conversations with family, gay friends, servicemen and women he met in the fight to end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," staff members, and everyday Americans, the President concluded it's wrong to prevent couples in loving, committed relationships from getting married. Every American deserves the same rights and protections, and that includes the freedom to marry the person they love.
The Republicans' presumptive presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, doesn't believe in equality for all Americans.
When it comes to fighting for the rights of the LGBT community, President Obama has a record to be proud of. In three years, we've made tremendous progress in the fight for full equality. He passed hate-crimes prevention legislation named after Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. He led the fight to repeal the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"—and today, no member of the U.S. military will be forced to hide their sexual orientation. The Obama administration has declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and called for its repeal, and it was the first administration to provide hospital visitation and medical decision-making rights for same-sex couples. And there's still more to do.
This is what's at stake in this election, because the Republicans' presumptive presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, doesn't believe in equality for all Americans.
Yesterday, the same day President Obama stood up for LGBT marriage rights, Romney doubled down on his opposition not only to same-sex marriage—but also civil unions.
Even President Bush supported civil unions.
As president, Romney would take us back. He'd allow bans on civil unions and discrimination against LGBT Americans, denying gay and lesbian couples the rights and benefits straight married couples enjoy—things like health insurance for partners and children, hospital visitation rights, medical decision making, and adoption.
But he'd go even further. Romney has pledged to write discrimination into the U.S. Constitution through an amendment that would ban gay and lesbian couples from marrying. This would be the first time in history the Constitution was amended to discriminate and deny Americans equal rights.
That's why it's more important than ever to show support for President Obama. If you support marriage equality, add your name to stand up with the President—and make sure your friends and family do too.