Reactions in Mass. to Obama's Stance on Gay Marriage

May 10, 2012

Aime Kunes is President of the LGBT Coalition of Western Massachusetts. She says that President Obama’s support for gay marriage falls in line with other efforts his administration has made, such as the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”.

Kunes says that the she thought the president spoke his mind despite political risk.

Jason Verchot, president of Berkshire Stonewall, a nonprofit supporting the well-being of the gay and lesbian community in the Berkshires, says that president Obama’s support at the federal level is significant.

In his statement, President Obama affirmed that legalizing gay marriage should be left up to states.

Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriage in 2004. Since then, all immediately surrounding states have all taken up measures to legalize gay marriage or civil unions. Mary Bonauto , a lawyer for Boston-based Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, or GLAD,says that Massachusetts can be seen as a role model in an effort legalize gay marriage on a federal level.

GLAD seeks to repeal the 1996 The Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Mary Bonauto continues…

In the Massachusetts contest for US Senate, aides to incumbent Republican Senator Scott Brown have said the senator stands behind the state’s rights to define marriage. Chief democratic rival Elizabeth Warren tweeted that she was “proud to stand with our President in support of marriage equality."

Only 6 states have legalized gay marriage, and 31 states have voted on resolutions to ban gay marriage.