In wake of President Obama’s announcement that he now supports same-sex marriage, a reader reminded us that it was almost a year ago to the day that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand predicted such an event would come to pass prior to the 2012 election.
In an interview with the gay newspaper The Advocate, the junior senator was asked directly if she thinks Mr. Obama will come out in support of marriage equality.
“Yes,” she said.
Before the 2012 election, the newspaper asked?
“Definitely,” the junior senator responded:
He put the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” in his State of the Union address. So there’s no reason why he can’t lean into marriage equality in a public speech or through some action he could do through the White House. I’d be thrilled if he decided to do that. He did take the step of not [defending] DOMA through his Department of Justice, which is a fantastic step because it was one that he was unwilling to do in “don’t ask, don’t tell.” So it shows a shift in his willingness to use the power of the White House — the power of the administration — to change public perception and to change policy.
So I think we could get a very strong public statement out of him.
Ms. Gillibrand has been one of the Senate’s foremost advocates for gay civil rights since arriving there in 2009. Today she praised the president’s statement and urged him to go further by repealing the Defense of Marriage Act.
Throughout the 2008 campaign President Obama called on all of us to bend the moral arc of history towards justice. As President, he has backed up those words for LGBT Americans through his leadership in repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and by instructing his Justice Department to no longer prosecute DOMA cases. But our work is far from done. The President’s unequivocal support today in favor of all committed couples to marry the person they love is a watershed moment in American history that will provide the leadership needed to finally repeal DOMA and win the unfinished fight for equality for all Americans.