PORTLAND, Maine -- A gay rights group on Monday urged President Barack Obama to speak in support of same-sex marriage in Maine and three other states that have ballot initiatives on it next month.
A Los Angeles-based organization called LegalizeLove.com said it plans to air a one-minute TV ad in those states using Obama's own words when he declared support for gay marriage.
To drive home their call for Obama to speak out, two of the group's organizers were delivering a bullhorn and a wedding cake with two grooms to Obama's campaign headquarters in Portland on Monday as the first stop of a campaign that will visit all four states with marriage votes on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Maine, Maryland and Washington are holding up-or-down same-sex marriage referendums. Minnesota's ballot measure proposes a constitutional ban on gay marriage.
Those states are all expected to go for Obama in the presidential election, and the TV ads will help make sure the president's support for gay marriage is "heard loud and clear," said Eduardo Cisneros, who is traveling his partner, Luke Montgomery, from state to state in a Volkswagen Beetle plastered with more than 1,000 "Legalize Love" bumper stickers.
"Because of a tight national race, we understand the president might not be able to hammer home his support for gay marriage himself, so we are stepping in to make sure that this new TV spot using his own words gets that message out no matter what," he said in a statement.
Obama last May announced his full support for the right of same-sex couples to wed, serving as a rallying point for gay marriage supporters.
In April, before Obama vowed his support for gay marriage, an Obama campaign spokeswoman in Minnesota released a statement saying the president opposed the proposed constitutional amendment in that state. But he has not voiced support for the specific ballot initiatives in the other states.
Mainers United for Marriage, the organization spearheading the gay marriage campaign in Maine, took Obama's announcement as blanket support for gay-marriage initiatives, said spokesman David Farmer. The president's words have already had a positive impact on the campaign, he said.
"We feel like we have his support," Farmer said. "He was pretty straightforward."
To drive home Obama's support for same-sex marriage, Cisneros and Montgomery have produced a TV ad that features gay and lesbian couples in wedding dresses and tuxedoes with Obama speech quotes edited together.
They said they plan to buy air time in all four states.