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Obama opposes laws ‘designed to take rights away’

CHRIS JOHNSON | Washington Blade
Friday, January 13, 2012

The White House, in response to a Washington Blade inquiry about the possible vote to repeal same-sex marriage rights in New Hampshire, said Thursday night that President Obama “believes strongly in stopping laws designed to take rights away.”

“While the president does not weigh in on every single action taken by legislative bodies in our country, the record is clear that the president has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same-sex couples,” said White House spokesperson Shin Inouye. “The president believes strongly in stopping laws designed to take rights away.”

The statement doesn’t explicitly express support for same-sex marriage or mention New Hampshire. At the same time, the statement doesn’t include language found in previous White House statements on marriage that states should “determine for themselves how best to uphold the rights of their own citizens.” Such language was included in the White House response to the North Carolina anti-gay marriage measure that will be on the ballot in May.

The New Hampshire Legislature is likely to vote sometime this month or in February on repeal of the state’s same-sex marriage law, which Gov. John Lynch (D) signed in 2009. Lynch has said he would veto repeal legislation should it come to his desk, but the Republican supermajority in the legislature may have enough votes to override his veto.

The vote to repeal the marriage law in New Hampshire has become an issue in the presidential race. Both former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry spoke in favor of repeal prior to the primary there.

But each of the candidates who have expressed support for a Federal Marriage Amendment — Perry, Romney, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum — have implicitly backed the repeal of the New Hampshire law because such a measure would prohibit same-sex marriage throughout the country.

Last week, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said he didn’t know the president’s position on potential repeal of the New Hampshire marriage law. The White House statement issued Thursday follows up on his response from that time.

© Washington Blade. Reprinted by permission.

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19 more reader comments:

  1. yes he signed a law that gives the government the power to put us in jail forever without trial

    Posted on Friday, January 13, 2012 at 1:36pm
  2. @David Stinnett–I know, right?! This man is nothing but a coward who will die knowing that he killed due process of law.

    Posted on Friday, January 13, 2012 at 1:40pm
  3. please excuse me if I’m wrong but wasnt it Bush that got those laws rolling after 911

    Posted on Friday, January 13, 2012 at 1:48pm
  4. All the presidents sucked to me…nothing has changed! The people have the power to overturn government but we are to scared to voice our opinions. The blame game is old. Until we get a real president who faced struggles and hardships..nothing will ever change

    Posted on Friday, January 13, 2012 at 1:57pm
  5. They both did that sort of thing, we need someone who will protect our liberties. Anyone who gives up their security for the sake of safety deserves neither.

    Posted on Friday, January 13, 2012 at 1:59pm
  6. Kris….”But he did it first!” isn’t a defense that holds muster.

    Posted on Friday, January 13, 2012 at 2:00pm
  7. Just can’t wait for the day that we are equal

    Posted on Friday, January 13, 2012 at 2:01pm
  8. He’s done a hell of a lot more than the others ever have, or ever will. Deal with it.

    Posted on Friday, January 13, 2012 at 2:35pm
  9. Then he should come to Michigan! Our Govener is trying to take all LGBT rights away!

    Posted on Friday, January 13, 2012 at 2:54pm
  10. Let’s see… Got rid of DADT, is no longer enforcing DOMA, recorded an “It Gets Better” message for the “Trevor Project” to help stop GLBT teen suicides/bullying, actually TALKS IN PUBLIC about GLBT rights and defends those who are already married… Pres. Obama, as a public, political figure, has done more to help GLBT issues than any other president in history. The topic of this story was about equality, liberty, and freedom for those in the GLBT community, and about Pres. Obama speaking out on behalf of those who are at risk for having their rights taken away. The Republicans in this country, as a whole, want to take away, or not even grant civil rights to anyone who is not heterosexual. Where are the gay Republicans? Why are they not standing up to their own party? We’re waiting!!!

    Posted on Friday, January 13, 2012 at 3:14pm
  11. I love what he has done for the LGBTQ community! Keep up the great work Mr. Obama!!!

    Posted on Friday, January 13, 2012 at 4:08pm
  12. Obama is such a hypocrite. He supposedly “strongly believes in stopping laws designed to take rights away” and yet just a few weeks ago signed the Indefinite Detention Bill allowing the arrest and detainment of U.S. citizens, without trial, for an indefinite amount of time. Pretty much revoking the 4th amendment of the Constitution.

    Posted on Friday, January 13, 2012 at 5:14pm
  13. So corrupt, just like an average Republican.

    Posted on Friday, January 13, 2012 at 5:44pm
  14. Obama is a spineless pussy. He’s too cowardly to come out and just answer the question in context. He’s not man enough to stand up and say what he believes. He lost my vote this year and not just for this…

    Posted on Friday, January 13, 2012 at 6:09pm
  15. right and the shit he signed a week ago doesn’t take rights away ehh?

    Posted on Friday, January 13, 2012 at 6:15pm
  16. none of any of your votes matter…. get with the times here

    Posted on Friday, January 13, 2012 at 6:55pm
  17. Wow people are getting it… he is spineless huh????

    Posted on Saturday, January 14, 2012 at 9:33am
  18. I totally agree. He also implemented rules that give persons the right to visit their loved ones in hospitals that receive Medicaid and Medicare regardless of sexual orientation. He also expanded federal benefits for the same-sex partners of foreign service and executive branch government employees. He signed the Matt Shepard Hate Crime Law, which Bush would not do for years. He has done a great deal for the gay community but still there are people who loathe him. I don’t get it. You can be a Republican (or a disappointed Democrat), want a Republican to win the next election and still have the integrity and honesty to admit that Obama has done more for the gay community than any president ever. Geez!

    Posted on Sunday, January 15, 2012 at 11:39am
  19. My comments were intended to continue the list started above by Caden Logan. I know that gay rights is not the only issue on table in the next election. However, as for gay rights (and this is a gay website), I shudder to think what any of the republicans will do for gays if any of them make it to the oval office. Moreover, I shudder to think what types of judges they will appoint (including Saint Romney). The Sup Court will likely have the final say on the matter of same-sex marriage. All we need is a few more Justice Scalias and Thomases on the court to doom marriage rights for a generation.

    Posted on Sunday, January 15, 2012 at 11:48am