Earlier this week the organization Freedom to Marry launched a campaign entitled “Say I do, Mr President” that has garnered endorsements from recording executive David Geffen, singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge, Napster founder Sean Parker, popera singer Rufus Wainwright, and R&B performer Mya.
The centerpiece of the campaign is an open letter to Barack Obama challenging the President to go beyond just ending Justice Department support of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a federal law that bans recognition of same sex marriage. Freedom to Marry wants the President to unequivocally say he supports gay marriage, and work toward repealing DOMA entirely.
“Glee” star, Jane Lynch, issued a statement to accompany the letter in which she urged Obama to listen to the people that the DOMA directly affects:
As President Obama continues his journey toward recognizing our right to equal taxation, protection and dignity under the law, I encourage him to listen to gay and lesbian couples and families so he can better understand how marriage equality affects us all.
President Obama has never come out and said he is for gay marriage, although he has expressed openness to civil unions. The country meanwhile, is split on the issue. According to a recent Pew Research poll, 46% of those surveyed were opposed to giving gays and lesbians the legal right to marry, while just 45% were for legalizing same-sex marriage.
In the few days that this campaign has been active, over 40,000 individuals have signed the letter to President Obama.