At the gala, Obama spoke about his commitment to LGBT equality, the progress we have seen in the past seven years and religious freedom.
Yet in acknowledging that as Americans, “we cherish our religious freedom and are profoundly respectful of religious traditions”, Obama said that right must not be used to deny the constitutional rights of others.
U.S. President Barack Obama embraces Jim Obergefell who introduced him to speak at a Democratic National Committee LGBT Gala at Gotham Hall in New York September 27, 2015.
But that doesn’t mean people can use religion to deny people their rights, Obama added – and political candidates shouldn’t encourage them.
“America has left the leaders of the Republican Party behind”, he declared proudly. Another candidate [Ted Cruz] boasts that he introduced an amendment to end nationwide marriage equality – which isn’t even an accomplishment at all. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).
Obama appeared to be referring to Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.
“I’m sure he loves the Constitution – except for Article III”, Obama said of Huckabee. And maybe the Equal Protection Amendment. “And the 14th Amendment, generally”.
Debbie Wasserman Shultz was in attendance at the fundraiser, and Star Trek’s George Takei also was expected to attend. It’s noteworthy that President Obama also publicly opposed same-sex marriage in the not-too-distant past – a fact which should tell us (and his current swooning supporters) something about his convictions.
“And tonight, thanks to the unbending sense of justice passed down through generations of citizens who never gave up hope that we could bring this country closer to our founding ideals… we now live in America where our marriages are equal as well”, he said. “But it only wins out because folks like you put your shoulder behind the wheel and push it in that direction”.
The president did concede there was still a few division within his own party, saying, “I think we’re right on most policy issues”, and that the Democrats have not always been on the right side of history. Tammy Baldwin [D-WI], New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. Davis said such marriages violate her Apostolic Christian faith. Her view seems to comport with the president’s.