Saying it was his "sincere hope that marriage equality will soon become the law of the land," Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) today applauded President Obama's announcement in an interview with ABC News that he supports the right of same-sex couples to marry.
In explaining the "evolution" of his view on gay marriage over the last several years, Obama told ABC's Robin Roberts that "at a certain point, I've just concluded that for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married."
His statements in support of same-sex marriage were the first for a sitting U.S. president.
Obama's statements drew rounds of praise from democrats, including state Assembly Speaker John Perez, who on his Twitter account posted: "So proud of the President and his historic announcement."
In his statement, Schiff said he he too was proud to support Obama's position on an issue of "great significance to the country."
"Marriage equality extends one of our most basic rights of citizenship to all Americans -- that is, the right to marry the person you love," Schiff said.
The main scope of Obama's position was contained in this response to Roberts in the ABC interview:
"Over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors, when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or Marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that 'don't ask, don't tell' is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I've just concluded that for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married."
Burbank resident Paul Katami -- who with his long-time partner, Jeff Zarrillo, filed a joint legal challenge with a lesbian couple to California's voter-approved Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriage -- was not immediately available for comment.
FULL COVERAGE/LOS ANGELES TIMES:
-- Jason Wells, Times Community News, the Los Angeles Times contributed to this report.