msnbc | May 24, 2012
>>> what about gay marriage ?
>> i have friends that are in partnerships with loved ones, they are as stable as my family is and they raise children, so i don't see any reason not to say that they should be able to get married.
>> that was former secretary of state colin powell coming out in support of marriage equality . while he's yet to endorse president obama like he did in 2008 , mpowell is the latest leader to embrace marriage ee equality.
>> a new video was released.
>> we'll continue to lean forward in making sure that whether it's a capacity to adopt, hospital visitation, ending travel bans, making sure that benefits to spouses or partners are recognized at the federal level , we'll keep on making sure that the rights of same sex couples are expanded and it's not just a matter of head, it's heart, it's who i am, it's what i care about.
>> the campaign is preparing a series of fund-raisers with lgbt supporters in coming weeks. a june 6, a reception staring ping at the l.a. home of ryan murphy is in the works. joining me to talk about this is joe , president of the human rights campaign and obama co-chair. nice to see you this morning.
>> nice to see you.
>> the president's campaign launching this effort to get the lgbt community more involved in his reelection. if he wins, if he wins, what will the community want in return for that help? obviously the president has made big strides in gaining support since coming out in full support of marriage equality but what do they want to see?
>> we'll continue on the journey we have been on with this president over the last few years as you showed in the video, we've made historic gains from the passage of the hate crimes bill, repeal of don't ask don't tell, of course the president's commitment to support full marriage equality , ending work place discrimination, and a range of other issues of i am importance to the community in terms of family, safety and access to health care , but what i think is most important about the effort that we're making is not just to remind folks about what has been done and what is left to do but also draw very sharp contrast between this president and governor romney, and his views on lgbt issues and in particular his commitment to write discrimination in the constitution.
>> you can talk about the contrast and outline them a lot of people now that the president has come out in support of marriage equality will want to see actions as opposed words. yesterday's poll registered 59d% of african americans who expressed support for same sex marriage and 18 point jump from polls taken before the president's endorsement. while the president coming out for this certainly changing hearts and minds , especially in a community within the african american community, this have been slow to accept marriage equality as being that of a civil right, but the lgbt community will want to see more from the president on a federal and state level, if they believe that he fully supports this, don't you agree?
>> well, not only do i agree, and let me just say i think it's not to be under-estimated the strength and historic nature of the president's words and what that meant to americans and as you said what it meant to continuing to change the hearts and minds of americans. that is not to be under-estimated. but as i said, the president has committed first and foremost and has been on record since his time in the senate, to repealing the defense of marriage act . that is significantly important from the federal level , it's something that we not only need to get the president reelected to be able to do but also need to insure that we have an lgbt friendly majority in the senate and bring back that majority in the house. the president has made clear and i agree with him that we are in this together. he and the community and us and our allies in congress, so to continue to do that work we need all those things to be in place after this election.
>> joe , you brought up employment non-discrimination act, the president has not signed an executive order , do you expect movement on that front in the next six months?
>> i do. there are, as you mentioned, there are two roads to end work place discrimination. something the administration is not doing right now, but is something that i think whether it's that or whether it's moving a fully inclusive employment non-discrimination act are both things we look forward to do after the election cycle. again, though, moving a fully inclusive employment non-discrimination act is something that will require more lgbt friendly faces in the house and senate and that is something we have also got to be focused on in this election cycle.
>> joe , thank you for your time this morning, appreciate it.