Obama: Extending marriage to gay couples will ‘strengthen families’

President Barack Obama has continued to speak out in favour of equal marriage while attending a celebrity laden fund-raiser in New York.

After being introduced by openly gay star Ricky Martin, President Obama said that all people are “equal in terms of dignity and in terms of respect.”

Obama added: “I want everyone treated fairly in this country. We have never gone wrong when we’ve extended rights and responsibilities to everybody. That doesn’t weaken families; that strengthens families.”

Obama is due to appear on ABC’s The View, where he will continue to speak out in favour of equal marriage. “Congress is clearly on notice that I think it’s a bad idea,” he told the programme. “This is going to be a big contrast in the campaign because you’ve got Governor Romney saying we should actually have a constitutional amendment installing the notion that you can’t have same-sex marriages.”

Last week, the President said: “I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbours 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.”

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