Washington State Democrats Chair Dwight Pelz released the following statement in response to President Obama’s announcement of his support for marriage equality. Additional statements from local Democrats are included below:

“Today is an historic day, with President Obama standing for equality by endorsing Referendum 74,” Pelz said. “And November 6 will be another historic day, when Washingtonians vote to approve the referendum, ensuring that all couples are treated equally in our state.

“Washingtonians believe strongly in equality, including the right of all committed couples to marry. The president’s support for Referendum 74 shows his own deep commitment to equality, as well as the importance of this issue. The Washington State Democrats stand with the president in support of marriage equality, and look forward to the day when all couples in Washington are able to marry the person they love.”

Gubernatorial Candidate Jay Inslee

“Leadership and support from our state and national leaders makes a difference. As one of those who will proudly be voting for marriage equality on November 6, I thank President Obama for his support in an historic effort to make Washington leader in one of the biggest civil rights issues of our lifetime.”

Congressional Candidate Rich Cowan (D-WA05)

“Marriage equality guarantees more than the fundamental right of same-sex couples to marry; it proves that we will not discriminate against Americans because of whom they fall in love with, that we refuse to create a second-class citizenry, and that we have learned the lessons of our past.”

State Senator Ed Murray

“Seventeen years ago, when I first began fighting in the legislature for marriage equality for gay and lesbian families in Washington State, I would never have dared to dream that a President of the United States would one day step forward at this crucial moment, in the middle of his own close reelection campaign to offer his support for our efforts. But that is exactly what President Obama done, and it is an example of his courage and leadership. On a personal note my partner of 21 years Michael Shiosaki, and I look forward to the day – coming very soon – when we will finally be able to realize our dream to marry. Thank you, President Obama, for bringing that dream a little closer to reality with your actions today.”

King County Executive Dow Constantine

“President Obama’s support of Ref. 74 is an endorsement of equal rights for all Washingtonians and, indeed, all Americans. Ref. 74 is not only about the rights of gay couples; it is a reaffirmation of our fundamental American values of fairness and justice.”

State Representative Marko Liias

“Once again, President Obama has taken a stand for marriage equality for our gay and lesbian families. Like millions of Americans, he understands that marriage is fundamentally about love and commitment, and no politician should be able to tell a loving couple who they can marry. This is yet another reminder why we need to reelect Barack Obama, elect Jay Inslee, and approve Referendum 74 this fall.”

Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland

“President Obama’s endorsement of R-74 demonstrates his commitment to treating all people with respect and ensuring they have equal protection under the law. Those of us who support marriage equality also know that financial security for gay and lesbian couples is a smart pro-business policy.”