Obama Pledges ‘Total Equality’ for Same-Sex Families

By Pete Winn | August 6, 2008 | 7:27 PM EDT

Sen. Barack Obama, who has studiously avoided coming out in full support of same-sex marriage, may have finally tipped his hand on how he really feels.

(CNSNews.com) - Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), who has studiously avoided coming out in full support of same-sex marriage, may have finally tipped his hand on how he really feels.
In recent letters written to homosexual activist groups, the presumed Democratic nominee said he supports homosexual couples adopting babies. Further, he said, he wants to repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as being between one man and one woman – and forbids states from being forced to accept any other definition of marriage under the U.S. Constitution’s Full Faith and Credit Clause.
In an Aug. 1 letter to a Boston-based homosexual rights group, the Family Equality Council, Obama specifically pledged to use the presidency to overturn DOMA – and pledged his support for homosexual “families” and efforts to totally redefine marriage.
He wrote: “... (W)e also have to do more to support and strengthen LGBT (Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgendered) families. Because equality in relationship, family, and adoption rights is not some abstract principle; it’s about whether millions of LGBT Americans can finally live lives marked by dignity and freedom.
“That’s why we have to repeal laws like the Defense of Marriage Act. That’s why we have to eliminate discrimination against LGBT families. And that’s why we have to extend equal treatment in our family and adoption laws,” Obama wrote.
“I’ll be a president that stands up for American families – all of them,” he added.
Jennifer Chrisler, executive director of the Family Equality Council, told CNSNews.com that she sent identical letters to both Obama and to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the expected Republican presidential candidate. Only Obama has responded, thus far.
“It basically asked both candidates to outline what policies they would put into place to help uplift and protect all kinds of families in the United States of America, including those headed by gay and lesbian folks,” she said.
The letter to Chisler’s group, however, is remarkably similar to a letter he sent in July to the Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club. In it, Obama said:
"As the Democratic nominee for President, I am proud to join with and support the LGBT community in an effort to set our nation on a course that recognizes LGBT Americans with full equality under the law,” Obama wrote.
“That is why I support extending fully equal rights and benefits to same-sex couples under both state and federal law. That is why I support repealing the Defense of Marriage Act and the ‘Don't Ask, Don't Tell’ policy, and the passage of laws to protect LGBT Americans from hate crimes and employment discrimination."
Obama also wrote that he supports “extending fully equal rights and benefits to same-sex couples under both state and federal law” – and called for repeal of DOMA and the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.
He also proclaimed his opposition to “the passage of laws to protect LGBT Americans from hate crimes and employment discrimination” and added that he opposes “the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states.”
(The California amendment to which Obama referred is on the ballot this fall and would prohibit same-sex marriage in the state.)
Obama concluded: “Finally, I want to congratulate all of you who have shown your love for each other by getting married these last few weeks.”
In February, meanwhile, the Obama campaign took out similar-sounding ads in homosexual newspapers in Ohio and Texas, saying: “As your President, I will use the bully pulpit to urge states to treat same-sex couples with full equality in their family and adoption laws.
“I personally believe that civil unions represent the best way to secure that equal treatment. But I also believe that the federal government should not stand in the way of states that want to decide on their own how best to pursue equality for gay and lesbian couples – whether that means a domestic partnership, a civil union, or a civil marriage.”
Obama: wink and nod support for same-sex marriage?
Conservative and pro-traditional marriage groups say when you consider Obama’s recent pronouncements, it is now possible to connect the dots, and Obama’s position on same-sex marriage is becoming clear.
“This is the first time that you have had a major presidential candidate voicing his support for same-sex marriage,” said Tom McClusky, vice president of government affairs at the Family Research Council.  
“This letter is congratulating those who have gotten married, despite the fact that he has said in the past that he opposes same-sex marriage, so to me this is clear support for same-sex marriage,” McClusky said.
“Repeal of DOMA has been a mainstay of the Democratic leadership in Congress since they took over,” McClusky said.
“Nancy Pelosi supports it, of course Barney Frank does. Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton said this when they debated at the Logo debate in the primary. Here though, he is crossing the line and saying that he supports same-sex marriage,” he added.
McClusky said there’s a world of difference between saying, “I support families” and “I’m going to fight for same-sex couples, oppose DOMA as president, oppose efforts to stop the redefinition of marriage and press for adoption for homosexual couples.”
“It’s a huge difference,” McClusky said. “You didn’t get John Kerry saying anything like that in his statement concerning same-sex marriage in 2004. This really is the first time that you have a presidential candidate who has pledged to fight for all of these issues.” 
Matt Barber, director of cultural affairs for Liberty Counsel, agreed that Obama’s position is now clear – even if it’s being done with a wink and nod.
“Barack Obama, in the past, has been unclear about whether he supports same-sex marriage – I think this statement sews up any loose ends,” Barber said. “There’s no question that he is now the first presidential candidate to come out in support of same-sex marriage.”
Barber, however, said the Democratic candidate gives every appearance of supporting the full homosexual political agenda.
“He essentially has bought the homosexual agenda hook, line, and sinker and has promised to push it whole-heartedly – to use the full weight of the office of the presidency to push the homosexual activist wish-list,” Barber told CNSNews.com
“He has whole heartedly stepped behind the notion of same-sex marriage, homosexual adoption, ENDA – the employment nondiscrimination act, hate crimes legislation – all of these things that, if they were implanted, would take away religious liberties and freedom of speech and the traditional values upon which our nation was founded,” Barber said.
Chrisler, whose organization advocates for families headed by lesbians, homosexual men, bisexuals, and transgendered people, said homosexual activists are pleased to hear of Obama’s support.
“I am pleased that Sen. Obama continues to articulate a vision for families in this country that promotes fairness and equality,” Chrisler said. “I think it is important that all families, regardless of how they were created, have the protections they need in order to make sure their children grow healthy and strong.”
The Obama campaign did not respond to a request for an interview on the letters, or his position, prior to press time – except in an automatically generated e-mail that promised to “touch base with you as soon as we have an update.”
Calls to the McCain campaign were also not returned prior to press time.