UPDATED: St. Louis' LGBT Crowd Reacts to Obama's Support for Same-Sex Marriage

May 11, 2012 at 9:00 am
Updated Friday at 9 a.m. with reactions from Joan Lipkin and Nancy Novak.

In the wake of President Barack Obama's historic endorsement of gay marriage, here's what some locals in the LGBT community had to say:

click to enlarge Joan Lipkin of That Uppity Theatre Company - Image via
Joan Lipkin of That Uppity Theatre Company
Joan Lipkin, playwright and artistic director of That Uppity Theatre Company
I am cautiously optimistic. Certainly it is grounds for celebration that a sitting president has finally and appropriately endorsed same-sex marriage. However it seems he's encouraging this to be a state issue, which would ensure years more of inequality. I wish he would've made his statement earlier, perhaps it might have affected the utter travesty of human rights that went down in North Carolina earlier this week in which discrimination was written into the constitution.

However, as Dr. Martin Luther King said, the time is always right to do what's right. So yeah, I've got a smile on my face and a spring in my step.

Scott Emanuel - Image via
Scott Emanuel
Scott Emanuel, LGBT Community Member

It's great news. So many other countries have some sort of recognition for same-sex couples that I feel the U.S. is behind in that. I know many many couples that are going to benefit greatly.

I've been thinking about how patient most people have been with president on this issue. Some have not been. But I've tried to be patient. Strategy is everything.

I was thinking about what kind of message the president is sending to all people. What does it mean to families who have LGBT family members, cousins or siblings? What does it mean to young people in the LGBT community who wonder what they're future will be like?

When the president makes it personal and shows how he's come to hold his views, I think that really matters.  I want more dialogue on this issue, even from people who think what he said is the worst thing ever.

Ed Reggi weighs in on Obama's endorsement of gay marriage - Image via
Ed Reggi weighs in on Obama's endorsement of gay marriage
Image via
Ed Reggi weighs in on Obama's endorsement of gay marriage
Ed Reggi, actor/director/producer, LGBT activist
I'm absolutely thrilled. I personally think it's been a great process for the entire country - and I really mean this - for the president to go through what a lot of people have been going through in the last four years. I think we literally watched a human being make this decision and wrestle with it. We got to publicly watch that. And today that's really what many people are doing. Stepping outside of their comfort zone, and saying "no" to discrimination.... So I think this is a very big day. I think this is a day we'll remember for many years forward.

click to enlarge Jerry Berger of Berger's Beat
Jerry Berger of Berger's Beat
Jerry Berger, creator of Bergersbeat.com and former Post-Dispatch gossip columnist

We should all do everything we can to make it easier for loving couples to be and stay together without dark clouds of fear, intimidation, ridicule and discrimination.  Millions of open-minded Americans will rightly be encouraged by the president's brave move.  But more should be done to protect sexual minorities from hatred and discrimination.  Meanwhile, this gives same sex couples a chance to see if half of them fail at marriage as well.  Where same sex marriage has been legalized, spending has skyrocketed on wedding ceremonies and receptions.  Perhaps this is really part of the president's job-growing agenda.

click to enlarge Nancy Novak of Novak's Bar & Grill - Image via
Nancy Novak of Novak's Bar & Grill
Nancy Novak, owner of Novak's Bar & Grill in The Grove neighborhood

It's about damn time! I'm so excited for the future!