Washington, DC – Congressman Jim Moran, Northern Virginia Democrat, released the following statement in response to President Obama’s public announcement of support for marriage equality:
“President Obama’s comments today reflect the views of a growing number of Americans across the country. I welcome the President’s words, and those of members of his Administration, for their outspoken support for marriage equality.
“Marriage equality is an issue of basic fairness. The Declaration of Independence clearly states that “all men are created equal” and that everyone has a right to “the pursuit of happiness” – principles that surely cannot be achieved without the ability to marry the person you love. Religious institutions have the right to define and sanction marriages in keeping with their religions’ faith. But the federal government has no place in determining which types of state-sanctioned marriages to recognize.
“The President’s comments today represent an important turning point in the fight to end discrimination. President Obama has become the first sitting President to take this position, and he deserves credit for arriving at this decision. Much work remains to achieve the goal of true equality for all citizens. I will continue my efforts to ensure that all Americans, regardless of age, race, gender and sexual orientation, are afforded equal rights and protection.”
Moran has a long record of working to secure equal treatment under the law for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals, dating back to his work as Mayor of Alexandria during which he prohibited discrimination in the hiring of city employees. A member of the LGBT Equality Caucus, Moran voted against the Defense of Marriage Act when passed Congress in 1996. In 2009, Moran was a leader in the Congressional effort to overturn “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.