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Fri May 11, 2012
Obama supporters cheer his stance on same-sex marriage during Seattle visit
President Barack Obama was in Seattle yesterday on a fundraising swing. It was his first trip since the big announcement Wednesday that he now supports the right of same-sex couples to marry, a stance that was celebrated by supporters both inside and outside his speech at the Paramount theater downtown.
At 8th and Pine, a colorful band of demonstrators gathered for a rally near the barricades to say thank you to the President, even though they couldn’t afford the thousand-dollar ticket to see him speak.
Terry McClain wore a sandwich board decorated with rainbow-colored balloons and the words “Thanks for evolving on same-sex marriage.”
“I’m not gay, I’m not married either," she said "but I am in support of anyone who wants to get married and they want to have the same rights as everyone else does.”
Sage Alixander came from Sammamish, draped in a rainbow flag. She said she and her wife got married in California four years ago. They've been together 15 years. They feel this is their civil rights fight.
“And I am a proud American today knowing that my civil rights are being spoken about for the first time by a president,” Alixander said.
Devante Johnson came from Federal Way to show his support. He carried a huge banner with airbrushed paintings of the President and Martin Luther King Junior.
“I’m more about supporting the rights of all and the equality of people. You know I think it really matters,” he said.
Inside the fundraiser, the President’s speech contained mostly passing references to marriage equality. But those comments drew some of the strongest applause.
Afterwards, Seattle lawyer Michael White said he was most interested in the president’s promises to save the middle class, even if that means he'd be paying higher taxes. White was less interested in same sex marriage rights.
“I hope it’s not a distraction from the election, " White said. "I mean, I’m for his position on it, I just hope it doesn’t hurt him politically.”
The President told the Seattle crowd this election campaign will be tougher than his last. Many took that as a challenge to get more engaged.
His Seattle swing this week is expected to add at least $3 million to the $3 million already donated by Washington supporters for his re-election campaign.