KANEOHE [May 9, 2012] Tulsi Gabbard today released a statement in response to President Barack Obama's announcement in support of marriage equality for all Americans:
I congratulate the President for taking a strong stand on marriage equality for all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation. I understand his journey, and stand with him on this issue. This is why in Congress I will work for the repeal of DOMA and support and co-sponsor the Respect for Marriage Act.
During my deployment to the Middle East with the Hawai'i National Guard in 2004 I realized that I could not, in good conscience, fight for liberty and freedom overseas while advocating something less than that here at home. That was an important decision for me and, in that context, I fully recognize the significance of the president's announcement today. Protecting the civil rights of all Americans is an obligation we must strive to fulfill. It's critical that we support President Obama and stand with him now more than ever so our progress on these issues cannot be overturned by extremist Republican presidents and Members of Congress.
Mufi Hannemann has past used Obama's previous position to validate his own opposition to marriage equality and equal rights for all Americans regardless of sexual orientation. My position remains firmly that same-sex couples should be afforded all benefits, privileges, and rights that the government grants to heterosexual couples. I call on Mufi Hannemann to state clearly his position, and to state whether or not he will support the marriage equality act and work to repeal DOMA to ensure equal treatment under the law for all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation.
As a member of the Hawai'i National Guard, Tulsi Gabbard served two tours of duty in the Middle East. She was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for her service and currently serves as a Captain.
A Democrat, Tulsi was the youngest woman in America ever elected to a state legislature when in 2002 at the age of 21 she won a Hawai'i State House seat. Two years later, Tulsi sacrificed her position in the legislature to voluntarily join her fellow soldiers being deployed to a war zone in Iraq. Between her two deployments to the Middle East, Tulsi served as an aide to Senator Daniel Akaka in the U.S. Senate. In 2010, she was elected to the Honolulu City Council where she chairs the Safety, Economic Development, and Government Affairs committee. Gabbard is a candidate for Hawai`i's second congressional district encompassing rural Oahu and the Neighbor Islands. Learn more about Tulsi at www.votetulsi.com.