Obama backs gay marriage ballot measures

The president endorsed three key ballot initiatives to legalize gay marriage

By Jillian Rayfield

Published October 26, 2012 3:20PM (EDT)

In a series of campaign emails, the president unsurprisingly lent his support to three state-level ballot measures that would allow same-sex marriages.

From the New York Times:

"While the president does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the president believes in treating everyone fairly and equally, with dignity and respect," according to a statement in Seattle by Paul Bell, press secretary for Obama's campaign in Washington and Oregon.

The state goes on to explicitly urge a yes vote for Washington state Referendum 74, which would allow same-sex couples to marry.

Nearly identical endorsement statements were issued in support of similar initiatives on the November 6 ballot in Maine and Maryland.

Obama announced his support for gay marriage for the first time back in May.

In Washington and Maryland, voters will decide whether to uphold laws passed by the respective state legislatures. Maine would be the first state to legalize gay marriage by a vote if the measure is successful.

Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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2012 Elections Barack Obama Gay Marriage Maine Maryland Washington