Advocates: Obama should support gay rights

Dec. 19, 2011 at 9:34 PM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- U.S. gay rights advocates have called on President Barack Obama to support marriage equality during his 2012 re-election campaign.

"The initial question the president faces is, does he come out for same-sex marriage now or after the election?" said Richard Socarides, president of Equality Matters, a gay rights organization. Socarides told Politico "it may be riskier to wait."

Since taking office, Obama has led the repeal of the ban on gays in the military, has signed a tough new hate-crimes law and required equal treatment for gay patients in the health-care system, Politico reported Monday.

"I think if he did come out and say, 'Yes, I believe gay people are equal,' you'd have a lot of [gay and straight] volunteers," Dan Choi, a former Army officer who pushed for the end of the ban on gays in the military, said last summer. "But as of right now, I do not think I should endorse a president that does not endorse my right to full personhood."

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