Former President Barack Obama has slammed Republican politicians still attempting to use marriage equality as a wedge issue.
MetroWeekly reports that Obama made the remarks at a Virginia rally for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe on Saturday at an event at Virginia Commonwealth University. McAuliffe’s GOP rival, Glenn Youngkin, had made comments days earlier calling marriage equality “legally acceptable,” but adding the caveat that he finds it personally unacceptable.
Obama, the first sitting president to endorse marriage equality, didn’t hold back his thoughts on Youngkin’s remarks.
“Are we still arguing about gay marriage? Really?” Obama groused. “I thought that was pretty clearly the right thing to do.”
“I’m here today because I believe Virginia will make the right choice,” he then added. “I believe America, ultimately, will make the right choice. I believe you right here in Virginia are going to show the rest of the country, and the world, that we’re not going to indulge in our worst instincts. We’re not going to go back to the past that did so much damage, we’re going to move forward with people like Terry leading the way.”
With the Trump Supreme Court, we can’t take anything for granted. I’ll ALWAYS stand up for marriage equality here in Virginia. We’ve come too far to go back now.
— Terry McAuliffe (@TerryMcAuliffe) October 22, 2021
McAuliffe, for his part, also showed opposition to Youngkin’s remarks. “As governor, I worked my heart out to keep Virginia open and welcoming to all. This type of bigotry and intolerance has NO place in our Commonwealth,” he tweeted October 22. “I was proud to be the first Southern governor to officiate a same-sex wedding. With the Trump Supreme Court, we can’t take anything for granted. I’ll ALWAYS stand up for marriage equality here in Virginia. We’ve come too far to go back now.”
At the time of this writing, FiveThirtyEight shows McAuliffe leading over Youngkin in the race by just 2% points.