President Obama’s historic endorsement Wednesday of gay marriage—a first by any U.S. president—has been hailed as a courageous “American value” by Luis Lopez, one of the four frontrunners in the race for California’s 51st Assembly District elections.
Lopez, who is openly gay and lives in Eagle Rock, participated in an April 25 ‘'Meet the Candidates” forum at the Center for the Arts. He e-mailed Patch the following message in response to Obama’s support for same-sex couples:
“I am immensely proud of our President today for making official his support for marriage equality. Casting aside fear and standing clearly on principle, President Obama has stated his full support for the full humanity of me and thousands of LGBT people in my district. He has honored the bonds, sacrifices, and commitments by millions of same-sex couples across our state and our nation, including the millions who are raising children, caring for relatives, and including veterans or service members.
"Marriage equality and the recognition and support of our diverse families should not be a question of liberals and conservatives. It's not an issue of Democrats or Republicans. It is an American value that has deep significance for my family and the communities of Northeast and East L.A.
"The president has shown that political progress follows personal exposure, professional collaboration, and prolonged conversation. This has been true in my own family, in our community, and across California. The President's announcement gives us hope that these important interactions, along with committed political leadership, can overcome division and pave the way for full equality in our country and here at home in California.”
The Los Angeles Times described Obama’s backing of gay marriage as a “risky stand” that drew “praise and cash” from supporters. Millions of them had been waiting for the president to end his nearly year-and-a-half-long equivocation on the matter and make a clear public declaration that he does not oppose same-sex marriage on religious grounds, as he had reportedly stated during his presidential campaign. Read more about the Times analysis here.