President's Stand on Gay Marriage Gets NY Support

May 9, 2012 Updated May 9, 2012 at 11:39 PM EDT

By Kendra Eaglin

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May 9, 2012 Updated May 9, 2012 at 11:39 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY
(WKBW)

The issue of same-sex marriage has picked up support now from more than 50 percent of Americans and with New York State passing its own Marriage Equality Act, many are hopeful that they will be granted the same rights under federal laws.

President Obama's words supporting same-sex marriage echoed from the White House to the rest of the world.

"It sends an incredible message that your president supports you in the face of all the negativity and all the hate that our youth are unfortunately tasked with," said Brian Ball, President of the Stonewall Democrats of Western New York.

Kitty Lambert and her wife Cheryl Rudd were the first same-sex couple to be married in New York State, the day the marriage equality act was passed on July 24, 2011.

"For us to deny lesbian gay, bisexual and transgendered families protection under the law is just foolish and it's un-American, it's simply
un-American," stated Lambert-Rudd.

As un-American as some may think it is Lambert-Rudd says receiving the President's approval is just the first step in an uphill battle to repeal the federal law that bans same sex marriage and to be protected under the 1324 laws that currently protect traditional married couples.

"What an awful thing to do to deny a family the right to protect their assets, the right to pass on an inheritance," said Lambert-Rudd.

President Obama's new position will no doubt draw a line in the sand for voters in the campaign for the White House.

Mitt Romney reiterated his opposition to same sex marriage Wednesday,

"I have the same view on marriage that I had when I was governor and I have expressed many times, I believe marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman."

Gregory Rabb the President of the Jamestown City Council and the self-proclaimed only openly gay elected official in Western New York, has been been promoting Jamestown as a same-sex marriage destination that he says are bringing in big bucks,

"I've been bringing folks into town to get married here in Jamestown and it's helped the economy because they stay in hotels, they go to restaurants and they get their license here," said Rabb.

Both the President and Romney say it should be up to the states to decide on the issue. Right now, same-sex marriage is legal in six states, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont.

However, 30 states have constitutional amendments or laws banning gay marriage.