Obama opposes Maine, Washington referenda

by Rex Wockner

National News Briefs

Prodded by The Advocate, the White House issued a statement Oct. 16 opposing the Nov. 3 referendum in Maine that would repeal the same-sex marriage law passed by the legislature and signed by the governor. The law has not yet taken effect pending the referendum's outcome. The statement also opposes the referendum in Washington state that would undo the "all but marriage" domestic partnership law that has been delayed from coming into force by a Nov. 3 referendum.

The White House statement does not specifically name the two states, although The Advocate's query did. The statement says: "The President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same-sex couples, and as he said at the Human Rights Campaign dinner, he believes 'strongly in stopping laws designed to take rights away.' Also at the dinner, he said he supports, 'ensuring that committed gay couples have the same rights and responsibilities afforded to any married couple in this country.'"

Same-sex marriage is legal in Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts and Vermont, and becomes legal in New Hampshire in January. It will become legal in Maine on Nov. 4 if the "Question 1" referendum fails.

Same-sex couples also can marry in Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Spain and Sweden.

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