President Barack Obama's announcement that he supports marriages between gay and lesbian couples was hailed today by Coachella Valley residents.
Via Twitter, Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet thanked the president
"for proving the talking heads wrong and standing up for marriage equality.''
Kevin Bass, who works in Palm Springs and is a member of the board of
the Washington, D.C.-based Human Rights Campaign, said he became emotional listening to the interview.
"When he's boldly stating gays and lesbians deserve marriage equality,
he's reinforcing what most Americans already believe ... and having our
president support that is an important moment for LGBT civil rights,'' Bass
Obama's position sends a message to younger people "that their futures
will be equal,'' he said. "They can still have full rights as their brothers
and sisters, neighbors.''
Fred Bilodeau, the founder of the Stonewall Democrats of Palm Springs, and former member of the Board of Directors of the National Stonewall Democrats, said the President's new stance makes sense for political reasons as well.
“It’s a wonderful thing, because if he didn’t, there’s lots of money that would be held back, “ Bilodeau said. “It’ll bring him more in line with the Democratic Party and (Senator Nancy) Pelosi and (Los Angeles Mayor Antonio) Villaraigosa, because they don’t want a platform fight over this at the convention.”
“I wouldn’t be surprised if more Democrats came on board now the that the numbers are leaning toward a majority.” Bilodeau claims that a recent poll showed 67% of voters under age 40 are in favor of gay marriage.
Andy Linsky, a Palm Springs resident who co-chairs the Human Rights
Campaign's foundation, said that Obama's "support of full marriage equality
for all Americans says our gay and lesbian families deserve the same
recognition as any loving couple.''