NewsNation | May 10, 2012
>>> the "news nation" is following what leading democrats call a republican push to tie the president's hands on marriage equality . the gop has hit back with two measures designed to limit same sex marriage rights. last night the house voted to block the obama administration from using taxpayer funds to fight the defense of marriage act which the president stopped defending last year. the house armed services committee also advanced a american that you are would ban same sex marriage on military bases. and republicans in congress are not the only once pushing back. mitt romney not only came out to talk about his opposition to same sex marriage but they also stood by the federal ban. and joining us is the executive director of the organization, freedom to marry . let me get your reaction to some of the fallout today. while many republicans have remained silent for the most part regarding the president's big interview, we saw these moves last night in the house. nancy pelosi said it all happened in the dark of night.
>> unfortunately, mitt romney seems to be staking out a position that is more extreme than even dick cheney and george w. bush . cheney supported the right to marry. mitt romney is actual promoting constitutional amendments . marriage civil union partnership and has yet to find a measure that is in support of gay people 's equality and participation.
>> it was just 24 hours ago we got word that the president's stance changes. anything mitt romney said or for the matter, would it be a great surprise?
>> i think it is a surprise.
>> did you think he would change his position because the president changed?
>> while president obama was evolving, mitt romney has been revolving and he now seems to be settling on a position that is way out of step with where the majority of americans are. certainly where a majority of independents are and even where republicans are headed. it is very sad to see these attacks on families.
>> i want to play more of the president's remarks. regarding his family and how they played a role in his evolution. let me play that, please.
>> there have been times where michelle and i have been sitting around the dinner table and we've been talking about their friends and their parents. and malia and sasha, it wouldn't dawn on them that somehow their friends' parents would be treated differently. it doesn't make sense to them. and frankly, that's the kind of thing that prompts a change of perspective.
>> i have to till, a lot of people talked about this portion of the interview. when you go personal in explaining your decision for anything, that's in many cases the heart. it is the younger generation who says that interracial marriage should be criminal and blacks should not have the right to vote and women should stay in the kitchen bare foot and pregnant. these antiquated and ignorant things that were once a part of our fiber, sadly. you hear the president talk about his future. his daughters.
>> it bursts my heart to see the president be only exercising the moral leadership and his convictions when fighting for fairness and freedom and families but to talk from the heart and to talk about the conversations the first family, michelle and his daughters have had. because that's exactly the same kinds of heartfelt conversations that have moved americans across the country. people can recognize in what the president said last night, the journey of understanding that so many others have been on.
>> the question also is what's next for republicans. do they really want to fight here. the rnc released a statement saying we call for a constitutional amendment that fully protects marriages. a union of man and women so the judge cannot make an arrangement equivalent to it. in the absence of a national amendment, we support the right of the people of the various states to affirm traditional marriage through state initiatives. he is not pushing for any federal decision here. nonetheless, this is still very complicated. those who are opposed to same sex marriage have come out the victors.
>> first the idea that anybody's fundamental freedoms in america should be put up to a vote. the freedom of speech , the freedom of religion . the freedom to marry is really not the way our country is supposed to operate.
>> that's in opposition to what the president is saying.
>> he is correct in that marriage licenses are issued by the states. we get married according to the laws of new york or new jersey et cetera . it is also true that we all have a federal constitution that protects all of us. we're not 50 separate kingdoms. we're one country. and all families should be secure and protected no matter what state they're living in, no matter where their kids are going to school.
>> evan, thank you very much. greatly appreciate it. while the