By Robert Schlesinger |
American voters value honesty, authenticity, and straight-from-the-heart declarations by our leaders. President Obama spoke movingly as he reflected on the people he works with and who work for him. He brought his own relationships into the picture. He invited us to take a peek into his family when he talked about his children's experiences with schoolmates who have two dads or two moms. He noted that they would be shocked to know that their friends' families would be ill-treated. President Obama thoughtfully acknowledged that his daughters' acceptance of the reality of their friends' lives greatly motivated him to rethink his own view of same-sex couples and their families.
For Americans who are themselves engaged in a personal struggle about marriage rights, the president helped open the door for them to say, "Yes, me too."
For gay, lesbian, and bisexual Americans, the president's heartfelt statement of support for our right to marry strikes a strong chord. After the loss in North Carolina, many are hurting. His words were balm on very fresh wounds.
The president, by taking an unequivocal stand on our right to marry, motivates and energizes many people who want to hear the passionate leader they came to know in 2008, including LGBT people and their families, friends, and co-workers.
In just 24 hours of the president's comments, scores have pledged through social media that they will work for his re-election. People who, until they heard those words, were "sitting it out" have declared that this is a game-changer for them.
For those who were never ambivalent, President Obama's strong and personal statement on marriage rights sharpened the intensity to see him re-elected. The Obama campaign reportedly received $1 million in spontaneous contributions within the first 90 minutes of the president's remarks.
President Obama made history and lights the path to realize our foundational promises of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. He electrified his supporters and brought new supporters to the campaign. They are fired up and ready to go.
About Rea Carey Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Evan Wolfson Founder and President of Freedom to Marry