In his fifth annual State of the Union
address delivered Tuesday, President Barack Obama highlighted his
commitment to gay marriage.
Pledging to address inequalities in
America, Obama said: “Upward mobility has stalled. The cold, hard
fact is that even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans are
working more than ever just to get by – let alone get ahead. And
too many still aren't working at all. … But America does not stand
still – and neither will I. … Across the country, we're
partnering with mayors, governors and state legislators on issues
from homelessness to marriage equality.”
Evan Wolfson, founder and president of
Freedom to Marry, responded in an emailed statement: “President
Obama has had an indelible impact on the lives of gay and lesbian
Americans, our families, and the country we love. His moral
leadership on the freedom to marry has given permission to millions
of Americans – indeed, hundreds of millions worldwide – to open
their hearts, think anew, and continue a journey to support for the
freedom to marry and ending discrimination against gay people.”
“We won't rest until all loving,
committed couples can share in the freedom to marry, and aim to see
that day before President Obama leaves office,” Wolfson added.
The White House expanded on the actions
the president plans to take in a State of the Union fact sheet.
Among the items listed is passage in
the House of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which
would prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation
and gender identity. A bipartisan majority of the Senate approved
ENDA last year.