A new campaign aiming to convince President Obama to support marriage for gay and lesbian couples called “Say I Do” has kicked off with a letter addressed to the commander in chief that features some high-profile signatories.
The campaign was created by the organization Freedom to Marry and hopes to see the current administration continue the forward momentum displayed by the Department of Justice’s announcement that it would no longer uphold the discriminatory “Defense of Marriage Act.” Among those who are asking President Obama to end the “exclusion from marriage” are Ellen Degeneres and Portia De Rossi, Jane Lynch and Lara Embry, Anne Hathaway, Eric McCormack, Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner, David Geffen, Rufus Wainwright, and Tony Kushner. Anyone interested in adding their own signature to the letter can do so here.
Read the full letter below.
The White House
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
In February, you made a powerful statement about the law.
Invoking guarantees enshrined in the Constitution, you and the Attorney General determined that federal discrimination against gay and lesbian couples in marriage is unconstitutional. Thank you for taking a principled stance and an important step toward equal protection under the law for all Americans.
Today we ask you to take the next step and join the majority of Americans who support allowing loving and committed gay and lesbian couples to legally marry.
Mr. President, marriage matters. In law, in love, in life, marriage says “we are family” in a way that nothing else does. Marriage is the coming together of two lives, marked by a public promise of love and responsibility in front of friends and family. And marriage brings not only public respect and personal significance, but also a safety net of legal protections, rights, and responsibilities for which there is no substitute.
Like so many Americans, you have spoken of your personal journey toward support for the freedom to marry. You have talked about the gay and lesbian people in your life, their commitment to each other and care for their kids, and their families that aren’t so different from any other family.
We ask you now for your leadership on ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage, an exclusion that harms millions of Americans each day. Whether to end discrimination in marriage is a question America has faced before, and faces again today. With so many Americans talking it through in heartfelt conversations, it is a question that calls for clarity from the President.
You can offer hope to millions of young gay and lesbian Americans who are facing discrimination. You can tell them that their future is bright, that they, too, will be able to grow up and marry the person that they love, that the pursuit of happiness truly belongs to all of us. You can put government on the side of those seeking to care for their loved ones, instead of those standing in their way. You can affirm that for all of us, gay or non-gay, love is love and commitment counts— and that we Americans should treat others as we all want to be treated.
Mr. President, the time to end exclusion from marriage is now. We ask you to complete your journey and join us and the majority of Americans who support the freedom to marry.
Helen Fabela Chavez
Ellen & Portia DeGeneres
Chris Hughes & Sean Eldridge
Tony Kushner & Mark Harris
Jane Lynch & Lara Embry
Rev. Peter Morales
Frank Selvaggi & Bill Shea
Rev. William Sinkford
Lily Tomlin & Jane Wagner
Bob Wright & Suzanne Wright