Colin Powell supports President Obama's decision on marriage equality

Colin Powell supports President Obama's decision on marriage equality

Washington : DC : USA | May 24, 2012 at 12:13 PM PDT
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Powell favors same-sex marriage

Today in an interview on CNN, Colin Powell said he supported the president’s decision regarding marriage equality saying, "Times have changed, just like they changed between gays in the military.”

Today’s interview comes after his comments yesterday criticizing Mitt Romney’s foreign policy advisers, saying that some are so right-wing that the advice they give deserves "second thought."

"I don't know who all of his advisers are, but I've seen some of the names and some of them are quite far to the right. And sometimes they might be in a position to make judgments or recommendations to the candidate that should get a second thought," Powell said during an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

Colin Powell was the 65th U.S. Secretary of State, serving under George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005 and the first African American to serve in that position. He is a retired four star general in the U.S. Army and served as National Security Adviser from 1987-1989 as Commander of the U.S. Army Forces Command and as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1989-1993, which included holding that position during the Gulf War.

The following is the transcript in part of today’s interview.

I have no problem with it. And it was the congress that imposed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." It was certainly my position, and my recommendation, to get out us of an even worse outcome that could have occurred, if you'll recall. But, as I've thought about gay marriage, I know a lot of friends who are individually gay but are in partnerships with loved ones. And they are stable a family as my family is. And they raise children. And so I don't see any reason not to say that they should be able to get married under the laws of their state or the laws of the country, however that turns out – it seems to be the laws of the state.

There may be religious objections to it, and I respect that many denominations have different points of view with respect to gay marriage. And they can hold that in the sanctity of their place of religion and not bless them or solemnize them. But, in terms of the legal matter of creating a contract between two people that's called marriage, and allowing them to live together with protection of law, it seems to me is the way we should be moving in this country.

And so I support the president's decision, and I think most Americans increasingly understand that times have changed, just like they changed between gays in the military and when I was able to support removing that barrier to service. And so I hope everybody will just carefully look at this, and I understand the religious objections to it. But at the same time, we are a country that is open to diversity and change. And my experience with many of my gay and lesbian friends is that they form unions as strong as any other unions I've seen and raise children that are good, strong children. And are either or heterosexual or homosexual, lesbian, depending on themselves, not because their parents happen to be.

The former Secretary of State Powell hasn't signaled yet whom he plans to endorse for president. He broke with his party to support President Barack Obama in 2008, but would not commit when asked this week if he planned to do the same this time around. White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday appreciated Powell’s endorsement in 2008 and gave reasons why he should back Obama again.

His remarks supporting the president and questioning the wisdom of Romney’s selection of foreign policy advisers suggest, perhaps, Powell should become a Democrat in support of the president and then be influential in the critical elections of senators and representatives that will give the president congressional support he needs to move the country forward in providing jobs and economic recovery. The Democratic Party would welcome his military insight and political wisdom.


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Colin Powell
Colin Powell speaks on CNN in support of marriage equality.
Dava Castillo is based in Clearlake, California, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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