Obama’s annoucement came in a speech from the Oval Office carried live on television just two days after the US Supreme Court struck down the federal Defence of Marriage act, thereby giving gay couples equal rights under US law. The court also invalidated Preposition 8, a California referendum law banning gay marriage in America’s most populous state.
“The president wanted to build on the momentum from the Supreme Court rulings, as well as add a media-friendly personal touch to his message by marrying Reggie Love,” Vice President Joe Biden said in a comment.
“It is well known that the First Lady and I have been sleeping in separate bedrooms here in the White House,” President Obama said on television. “At the same time, my former bodyman and personal assistant Reggie Love and I have been, shall we say, friends with benefits. All the involved parties support the solution as we now have decided to come clear and formalise this situation.”Frustrated by the secret nature of their relationship and jealous of Michelle, Reggie Love left the White House job after Obama’s first term, sources in the White House say. After a brief time apart, however, the president succeded in convincing Reggie Love to come back to him with a promise of divorcing his wife in favour of a marriage with Love.
“Public opinion has moved fast the last few years, making it possible for our relationship to become open and publicly acceptable,” said Obama in his speech. “No longer do we need to hide our true feelings and I for one am glad to come out of the closet,” Obama said.
Love is expected to move in with Barack Obama once divorce formalities are finalised. Michelle Obama, meanwhile, has been seen in the company of Ellen de Generes, an openly lesbian television personality, but a White House spokesman said the two are only good friends.