As the news networks waited for Pres. Obama to appear in the Rose Garden to make remarks on today’s landmark Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage, the president was on the phone with a plaintiff in the case, and CNN was there to listen in.
Jim Obergefell, who was the lead among dozens of plaintiffs in this case, and whose husband died in 2013 was doing an interview on CNN when he got a call from the president. “Your leadership on this, has changed the country,” Obama said. “We’re really proud of you. Not only have you been a great example for people but you’re also going to bring about a lasting change in this country. And it’s pretty rare when that happens,” the president added.
A few minutes later, Obama appeared in the Rose Garden, mentioning Obergefell by name: “This ruling is a victory for Jim Obergefell and the other plaintiffs in this case. It’s a victory for gay and lesbian couples who fought so long for their basic civil rights. It’s a victory for their childrenwhose families will now be recognized as equal to any other.” He continued:
I know that Americans of goodwill continue to hold a wide range of views on this issue. Opposition in some cases has been based on sincere and deeply held believes. All of us who welcome today’s news should be mindful of that fact, recognize different viewpoints, revere our deep commitment to religious freedom. But today should also give us hope that on the many issues with which we grapple often painfully real change is possible. Shifts in hearts and minds is possible. Those who have come so far on their journey to equality have a responsibility to reach back and help others join them.
The president himself only came to accept gay marriage, revealed in an interview wit ABC’s Robin Roberts, in 2012.