Change we can believe in

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: We are encouraged and ecstatic by President Barack Obama’s public announcement that he supports same-sex marriage.

With President Barack Obama’s Wednesday announcement in support of same-sex marriage, the country is on its way to becoming, as our Founding Fathers put it, a more perfect Union.

Obama’s declaration is historically significant and monumentally important. No president has ever come out in favor of marriage equality before Obama. Our country’s unequivocal defense of liberty not only should but must extend to all its citizens, regardless of their sexuality.

Some question the political nature and timing of the announcement, as it came on the heels of Vice President Joe Biden’s support for same-sex marriage and just six months before the presidential election. But Obama has continued to state that his views are “evolving.”

It takes a while for opinions to change. When Obama was growing up four decades ago, the American public’s views were very different. Homosexuals could not even serve openly in the military until the Obama administration led the law’s nullification last year. While we wish Obama did not wait so long to declare his support for same-sex marriage, we are ecstatic that he has finally come around.

What’s next? The president has said he believes gay marriage is a state issue. However, just eight states recognize or are on the path to recognize same-sex marriage. We hope Obama not only supports same-sex marriage as an unalienable right but also that his administration works with Congress to ensure that every American across the nation is given the opportunity to marry the person of his or her choice.