The PJ Tatler

Obama: Gay Marriage Proponents Should 'Revere Our Deep Commitment to Religious Freedom'

President Obama lauded today’s 5-4 ruling at the Supreme Court in favor of same-sex marriage as a civil rights victory while the White House Twitter avatar — and Valerie Jarrett’s — went rainbow.

The “slow, steady effort” of activists was “rewarded with justice that arrives like a thunderbolt,” he said in Rose Garden remarks.

Obama said in 2004 that he didn’t believe marriage was a civil right, and expressed opposition to same-sex marriage over the next several years until his self-described “evolution.”

“This ruling will strengthen all of our communities by offering to all loving same-sex couples the dignity of marriage across this great land,” he said today. “In my second inaugural address, I said that if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. It is gratifying to see that principle enshrined into law by this decision.”

The president gave himself a back-pat for refusing to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court and for ending “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”

“I know that Americans of good will continue to hold a wide range of views on this issue. Opposition, in some cases, has been based on sincere and deeply held beliefs. All of us who welcome today’s news should be mindful of that fact and recognize different viewpoints, revere our deep commitment to religious freedom,” Obama said.

“But today should also give us hope that on the many issues with which we grapple, often painfully, real change is possible. Shift in hearts and minds is possible. And those who have come so far on their journey to equality have a responsibility to reach back and help others join them, because for all of our differences, we are one people, stronger together than we could ever be alone. That’s always been our story.”

Obama said the people who worked toward marriage equality “slowly made an entire country realize that love is love.”

“What an extraordinary achievement, but what a vindication of the belief that ordinary people can do extraordinary things; what a reminder of what Bobby Kennedy once said about how small actions can be like pebbles being thrown into a still lake, and ripples of hope cascade outwards and change the world,” he said.

“Those countless, often anonymous heroes, they deserve our thanks. They should be very proud. America should be very proud.”