Former Democratic President Barack Obama spoke out this weekend against Republicans who are still, more than six years since it became the law of the land, attempting to overturn same-sex marriage rights.
Obama's comments came during a speech he delivered in Richmond, Virginia Saturday in support of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe.
Obama's speech comes after McAuliffe's Republican opponent, Glenn Youngkin, confirmed in an interview he does not agree with marriage equality for LGBTQ+ people.
See Obama's speech below.
Referencing Youngkin and Republicans like him, Obama said:
"Are we still arguing about gay marriage? Really? I thought that ship had sailed. I thought that was pretty clearly the right thing to do."
Same-sex marriage became legal in 2015 after years of state and federal level court battles when one such case, Obergefell v. Hodges, landed before the Supreme Court, which ruled same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional.
Expansion of LGBTQ+ rights and protections is considered one of Obama's signature achievements and is often credited with helping move the United States in a more LGBTQ+-inclusive direction. That trend reversed during former Republican President Donald Trump's administration, which overturned much of Obama's LGBTQ+ related policies.
Youngkin is one of several Republicans in recent years who seem eager to carry an anti-LGBTQ+ mantle. In a recent interview with the Associated Press, Youngkin stated plainly he does not agree with LGBTQ+ marriage equality, though he added he will "support" the law as written on the matter.
Youngkin presents a stark contrast to McAuliffe, who supported his state's effort to legalize LGBTQ+ marriage equality in 2014, and included the issue in his platform during his 2013 run for governor.
Like most Republicans, Youngkin also believes the 2020 election was stolen by Democratic President Joe Biden, has called for an audit of Virginia's voting machines and has financially backed politicians in favor of the January 6 coup attempt.
Obama rebuked Youngkin for this, too.
"Encouraging the lies and conspiracy theories we've had to live through all this time and yet we're supposed to believe he's going to stand up for our democracy?"
On Twitter, people applauded the former President's straight talk about Youngkin's stances.
Love this man!!!!!!
— Ann James (@AnnJame83563983) October 25, 2021
He sure still got it.
I got inspired, and I am not even an American.
— stig malmqvist (@Rod_dk) October 24, 2021
Youngkin is a Trump sychophant.
Virginians, don't let your state become the next TX/FL!
Vote for Terry McAuliffe! https://t.co/aDzihSfMld
— Vitruvian Woman 🆘️ (@PamelaSahl) October 24, 2021
I GUARANTEE Barack Obama would destroy Glenn Youngkin in a 1v1 basketball game.
— Jack Cocchiarella (@JDCocchiarella) October 24, 2021
President Obama is ripping Youngkin's hood off and I love to see it https://t.co/mCJJMmBGXT
— Qondi 💛 🐝 🇺🇸🇿🇦🇿🇼 (@QondiNtini) October 23, 2021
GOP Consultants: Okay Glenn it's the end of the campaign you should focus on GOTV and stay out of controversy
Youngkin: No imma oppose gay marriage and pick a fight with Obama https://t.co/UQZRKtG6ty
— Nikolaj🍦🧦 (@nikicaga) October 23, 2021
This all of this https://t.co/lMSG5wrI4X pic.twitter.com/SwWYILYHVA
— BUSTER COOKE (@Alphapupbuster) October 25, 2021
.@GlennYoungkin's right-wing campaign is giving refuge –– and encouraging –– the worst forms of hatred and division.
They're all in for him because he's all in for them. #VAGov https://t.co/paxRbGfEmm
— Manuel Bonder (@manuel_bonder) October 25, 2021
Obama nails it: you're either for democracy or you're on the side of tearing it down. You're either helping defeat Trump and Trumpism or you're helping enable and empower it.
Even politicians — especially politicians — don't get to put a foot on both sides of this. https://t.co/AHcfyNNd0R
— Ian Bassin (@ianbassin) October 24, 2021
The most recent polling shows McAuliffe and Youngkin in a very closely contested race, with McAuliffe having a slight edge within most polls' margin of error.