Anne Hathaway and Martin Sheen are just two of the celebrities who have added their names to a letter which urges President Barack Obama to support marriage rights for same-sex couples. The letter comes just weeks after the U.S. President instructed the Justice Department to stop defending the constitutionality of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, a major political shift with the past.
Currently the law prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriages, and many people now argue that this is unconstitutional. Obama is a known supporter of civil unions for gays and lesbians. Now the stars are asking him to go one step further and sanction marriage for same-sex couples. The “exclusion that harms millions of Americans each day,” states the letter, and they say the current position is discriminatory.
With same-sex marriage a touchy subject among Americans, arousing strong emotions on both sides of the argument, it is felt that now it is time “for clarity from the President,” the letter added.
Many celebrities have signed the letter, posted on the Freedom to Marry website, including “Glee” star Jane Lynch and her partner Lara Embry, Ellen DeGeneres and her partner, the actress, “Will & Grace” actor Eric McCormack and Sean Parker, the co-founder of file-sharing website, Napster. They have swelled the thirty thousand plus signatures from regular members of the public who support the idea of legalizing gay marriage. It is hoped to present the letter to the White House later this spring.
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