The nation’s largest LGBT rights group celebrated the re-election of the first sitting president to announce his personal support for marriage equality.
The Human Rights Campaign, which endorsed President Obama’s re-election before he even had a set Republican opponent for that re-election effort, released a statement moments after NBC called Ohio, and the presidency, for Obama.
President Chad Griffin, whose last job was founding and running the organization that is challenging California’s ban on recognition of same-sex couples’ marriages, noted the president’s support for marriage equality — but also called on him to address workplace non-discrimination in his second term:
“As millions of Americans celebrate President Obama’s reelection tonight, the LGBT community is particularly elated to send the most pro-equality president ever back to the White House for a second term. There is no doubt that we will continue to see tremendous progress toward full equality like we’ve made during his first four years.
“While some pundits predicted the President’s support for marriage equality would hinder his campaign, we know the opposite is true. President Obama’s historic and heartfelt declaration that all loving and committed couples should be able to marry further rallied millions of voters and sparked conversations that advanced marriage campaigns around the country. His reelection after expressing support for marriage equality is further proof that the momentum is on the side of marriage for all families.
“With our Ally-in-Chief back in the White House, we look forward to working with him on a host of issues including addressing workplace non-discrimination and expanding federal benefits to same-sex couples.”
National Stonewall Democrats, an LGBT partisan group, also chimed in with support. Executive director Jerame Davis said:
“Four years ago, our country made history by electing Barack Obama as the first black president. After four years, the American people have spoken and they want to continue marching forward with this transformative Commander in Chief. As the first president to sign a pro-LGBT bill, the first president to speak out in support of the freedom to marry, and the president who made open service in our armed forces for gays and lesbians possible, LGBT Americans have won a major victory tonight.”
Freedom to Marry’s president, Evan Wolfson, said:
“In reelecting President Obama, the American people chose a candidate who strongly and explicitly supports the freedom to marry — and rejected a challenger who had opposed the freedom to marry and criticized every step the president has taken to end discrimination against loving and committed gay couples and their families. Far from hurting President Obama, his support for the freedom to marry undoubtedly galvanized his base and independents, delivering the turn-out that carried him to victory. The president’s reelection further reflects and accelerates the momentum for marriage, which Freedom to Marry will transform into more victories in 2013.”
GOProud, the conservative gay group that endorsed Romney this summer, responded in typically brash fashion, with executive director Jimmy LaSalvia saying in a statement:
“We congratulate Barack Obama on his win. The President performed a spectacular political sleight of hand in this election. Instead of this election being a referendum on his failed record on jobs and the economy, Obama and his campaign successfully made this about side-show issues and the culture wars.”