WATCH: President Obama delivers emotional address following SCOTUS ruling
June 26, 2015
Today, shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled uneqivocally in favor of the freedom to marry nationwide, President Barack Obama issued a rousing address in the rose garden of the White House. Full transcript here.
"Progress on this journey often comes in small increments," the president said. "Sometimes two steps forward, one step back, compelled by the persistent effort of dedicated citizens. And then sometimes there are days like this, when that slow, steady effort is rewarded with justice that arrives like a thunderbolt."
He continued: "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. Those countless, often anonymous heroes, they deserve our thanks. They should be very proud. America should be very proud."
For several years, President Barack Obama and his administration have been increasingly vocal advocates for the freedom to marry, beginning with his announcement in February 2011 that the Obama administration believes that the so-called Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. In May 2012, he made history by becoming the first sitting president to voice personal support for same-sex couples' freedom to marry. He subsequently weighed in on four key marriage ballot measures in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington, expressed strong support for similar legislative marriage bills, and memorably, in his inaugural address in January 2013, called for the freedom to marry for all couples, saying, "Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law - for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well."
Freedom to Marry thanks President Obama for years of work moving marriage forward, and for this affecting speech. Watch the full video below: