Politics

President Obama Receives Cheers During Visit to Seattle

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The President was in Seattle for two fundraisers yesterday, and drew crowds supporting his views on same-sex marriage. Obama witnessed the support first hand as his motorcade passed a woman holding an infant and a sign that said: “Thank you! Mr. President for standing up for my mommys!”

He drew big cheers from supporters at Seattle’s historic Paramount Theater when he said his vision for a better America applies to everyone, “no matter what you look like, no matter what your last name, no matter who you love.”

Without referring directly to marriage, Obama expanded on the theme of same-sex equality.

“We are moving forward to a country where every American is treated with dignity and with respect and here in Washington you’ll have the chance to make your voice heard on the issue of making sure that everybody, regardless of sexual orientation, is treated fairly,” Obama said. “You’ll have a chance to weigh in on this. We are a nation that treats people fairly.”

Washington state has passed a law approving same-sex marriage, but opponents are gathering signatures for a ballot initiative to overturn the law and declare marriage as union of man and woman.

Outside the Paramount, 44-year-old Teri McClain was holding a double-sided sign expressing gratitude to the president for “evolving on same-sex marriage.”

“He’s looking out for the good of the people, and this is what the people want,” McClain said.

Though the timing of his announcement was not of his choosing, the campaign was not shying away from the issue even though aides conceded it held some political risk for the president. Just hours after Obama voiced his support for gay marriage in an ABC interview, the campaign emailed a clip of the interview and a personal statement from the president to its vast list of supporters, drawing attention to his stance.

Still, Obama said Vice President Joe Biden got “a little bit over his skis” in publicly embracing gay marriage, forcing Obama to speed up his own plans to announce support for the right of same-sex couples to marry.

“Would I have preferred to have done this in my own way, in my own terms, without I think, there being a lot of notice to everybody? Sure,” Obama said. “But all’s well that ends well.”

After leaving Seattle, President Obama went on to a Hollywood fundraising dinner at the home of actor George Clooney.

— Copyright 2012 The Associated Press with contributions by tamacbsseattle.

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