Tulsa LGBT Community Celebrates Obama's Support Of Gay Marriage
TULSA, Oklahoma - The Tulsa gay community is celebrating after a sitting president in the United States -- for the first time in history -- showed support for gay marriage.
President Obama has previously opposed gay marriage. But Wednesday, he had a change of heart and threw his support to same-sex couples.
The President says his position came through heartfelt conversations with his wife and daughters.
"It is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married," President Obama said during a Wednesday interview.
It's a declaration made by no other sitting president, and it's giving the gay community hope.
"I would say it's a good day to be gay in the United States of America," Toby Jenkins said.
It was through tear-filled eyes that Toby Jenkins, Executive Director of Oklahomans for Equality, watched as Obama announced his support of gay marriage.
"It really affected me very emotionally because I knew this was going to mean a lot to some many people in Oklahoma," he said.
It affected Aiden and Wynn Steiner-Ives the same way. They're a lesbian couple who met 12 years ago in college.
In March, they made a trip to Iowa, a state that recognizes same-sex marriage and they were wed in a 15 minute ceremony.
"We promptly left Iowa and our marriage was no longer legal," Aiden said. "It lasted for about twenty miles."
"It's been 12 years, so that's a long time," Wynn said. "I know straight marriages of friends that haven't lasted that long. So I'm happy with it."
The issue is front and center in today's the race for the White House. Wednesday, while Mitt Romney was in Oklahoma, he responded in opposition to Obama's announcement.
"My view is that marriage itself is a relationship between a man and a woman and that's my own preference," Romney said.
It's a debate that is far from finished but for some there's more hope than ever.
"I think as a country legalizing gay marriage… I think it's important that we get there, and I think we will," Aiden said.
The President stressed that his support is his personal position and that he still backs the concept of states deciding the issue on their own.