Education Secretary Arne Duncan endorses marriage equality

By Andrew Jones
Monday, May 7, 2012 9:24 EDT
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Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Screenshot via MSNBC.
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Secretary of Education Arne Duncan became the latest person in the Obama administration to support same-sex marriage Monday morning, one day after Vice President Joe Biden made his announcement.

Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Duncan was asked by Time magazine reporter Mark Halperin about whether he shared the same position on the issue as Biden.

“Yes I do,” Duncan said.

Halperin replied: “Have you ever said that politically before?”

“I don’t think I have ever been asked publicly,” Duncan said.

Duncan is the second person in the current White House cabinet to support marriage equality, following Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan’s endorsement last November.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who will be the chairman of this year’s Democratic National Convention, lobbied in March for same-sex marriage to be the party’s official platform.

President Obama continues to oppose same-sex marriage, but his senior advisor David Axelrod said yesterday following Obama agrees with Biden that “all married couples should have exactly the same legal rights.

Obama ordered the Justice Department announced earlier this year that it would stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act, which legally defines marriage as between a man and a woman, in court.

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Update: In a conference call Monday morning, Axelrod continued to assert that Biden was aligned with Obama’s position on marriage equality.

“I think they were entirely consistent with the president’s position, which is that are couples who are married, whether they are gay or heterosexual couples, are entitled to the very same rights and the very same liberties. And that’s why the president and the administration has struck down the DOMA court case. The president believes that the law is unconstitutional. And when people are married, we out to recognize their marriages, and the rights to which they are entitled.”

Axelrod also slammed Mitt Romney for his opposition to same-sex marriage.

“There couldn’t be a starker contrast on this issue than Governor Romney, who has funded efforts to roll back marriage laws in California, other places, who believes that we need a constitutional amendment banning the right for gay couples to marry, and would take us backward, not forward. So there’s a very key distinction in this race.”

Andrew Jones
Andrew Jones
Andrew Jones is a staff writer/reporter for Raw Story. Besides covering politics, he is also a freelance sports journalist, as well as a slam poetry and music artist. You can follow him on Twitter @sluggahjells.
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