msnbc | May 09, 2012
>>> topping the agenda today, apparently some same-sex couples in north carolina didn't get that big, fat, whopping memo that voters sent them last night when they overwhelmingly approved defining marriage as being only between a man and a woman. the vote putting president obama and the democrats between a rock and a hard place as lgbt activists demand the president speak out now.
>> this is about civil rights , it's about taking away rights. they've messed around in our bedrooms and our classrooms. the people of north carolina , i hope, are sick up.
>> he should man up and say, this is what i believe.
>> this is a chance for him to step forward at a point where it could make a difference.
>> this is the question, who do you love?
>> starting today, same-sex couples will be lining up to ask for marriage licenses in counties across north carolina . in fact, two demonstrators have already been arrested in asheville after they showed up demanding the right to wed. protesters hoping to spread the campaign to eight counties by the week's end. if you look at the breakdown from the vote, it's telling where the battle lines are drawn. urban cities with younger population like charlotte and greensboro voted to defeat the amendment while more rural areas with older voters overwhelmingly supported the measure. and we were all watching for how the african-american vote would break down. well, those voters who overwhelmingly supported president obama in 2008 also voted overwhelmingly to support a ban on gay marriage . so where does this put the president who really needs a state like north carolina in his win column come november? joining me now is evan wolfson , executive director of freedom to marry . good to have you this morning. in passing this amendment, a lot of people in north carolina have come out and said their peace on this. have they kicked a hornets' nest, these people are going to be out in force bringing attention to what they feel is an unequal system?
>> the passage of this amendment was the last gas of discrimination in a state where there hasn't been enough conversation about who gay families are and why marriage matters. this amendment has propel that had discussion. and we're going to see more of that and what we're going to see in north carolina as in the country overall is a bump in support for the freedom to marry as more people have a chance to think it through and not be stampeded in a political attack but to actually talk neighbor to neighbor.
>> as we look at this on a state level, we pull back and talk about it on a national level. president obama 's campaign release add statement saying he was disappointed with the passage of amendment one. and forcing president obama to take a stand on this, do you think this is for lgbt advocates of same marriage equality -- that want to see marriage equality go forth, do you think the americans are asking the president to cut off his nose to spite his face?
>> not at all. this president has taken many steps in the direction of defending rights of gay people and in the direction of freedom to marry . it's time for him to complete the journey so many americans have taken, most recently, vice president biden, in thinking about values of fairness and equality under the law and loving and committed couples and being authentic about what he believes.
>> the president's campaign would fight back or the administration would tell you they've done more for the lgbt community than any other campaign or any other white house in history with the corepeal of "don't ask, don't tell."
>> the fact that the president's taken so many important steps underscores he'll never be anti-gay enough to appease that small slice of voters who are going to cast their vote based on opposition. but until he's fully forthright in support of the freedom to marry , he is not really totally mobilizing and energizing not just gay people but the overwhelming number of young people , of independent voters, of democrats, people he needs to win.
>> evan, nice to see you