President Barack Obama called for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) Monday evening at a fundraiser headlined by the popular singer Ricky Martin, who, ironically, had performed at the 2004 inauguration of President George W. Bush.
“It’s been said that this election is going to be about values, and I absolutely agree. It’s about the economic values we have, about the values that I believe are what makes America so special — the idea that everybody gets a fair shot, everybody does their fair share, everybody plays by the same set of rules,” President Obama told about 200 supporters at the fundraiser co-hosted by Ricky Martin, the LGBT Leadership Council and the Futuro Fund at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City.
“So everything we do — from Wall Street reform, making sure that banks aren’t taking risks with other people’s money that taxpayers may have to end up bailing out later, to repealing DOMA — to getting the DREAM Act passed, to investing in our schools, to rebuilding manufacturing in America — all of these things are designed to make sure that we’re restoring middle-class security for all those folks out there that are struggling for their small portion of the American Dream.”
“We admire his courage, like the courage he showed last week in affirming his belief in marriage equality,” Martin, who introduced the President, said. “That is the kind of courage we expect from our president and that is why we support him. He knows we’re in this together and that together we’re stronger than divided. We elected the right president at the right time.”
Looking back to the 2008 campaign, President Obama last night also said that the “idea that all of us, if we worked, if we tried, we could make it here in America — regardless of what we look like, where we came from, who we loved, what our surnames were; the notion that those basic values of responsibility and hard work, of giving back, that that’s what built this country and we built it together. And we felt like we had lost some of those core values.”
The first bill I signed, the Lilly Ledbetter Act — a simple proposition — equal pay for equal work. I don’t want my daughters treated differently than my sons. That’s the reason why we’re fighting for comprehensive immigration reform — because I believe that a child who’s here, raised with our kids, playing with our kids, has as much talent as our kids, the notion that somehow they would not have the capacity, the ability to proclaim themselves Americans and to fulfill their American Dream — that’s not who we are and that’s not what we’re about.
The announcement I made last week about my views on marriage equality — same principle. The basic idea — I want everybody treated fairly in this country. We have never gone wrong when we expanded rights and responsibilities to everybody. That doesn’t weaken families; that strengthens families. It’s the right thing to do.
New York’s Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, and actress Eva Longoria, were in attendance as well.
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