During a press conference about his [article id="1684873"]new "America's Got Talent" judging gig[/article], Howard Stern turned his attention to a topic that has long been close to his heart: same-sex marriage.
While he sometimes makes jokes about gays and lesbians on his radio show, Stern is a well-known and vocal LGBT advocate and believes in gay marriage, so it was only natural that he address President Barack Obama's recent support on the matter.
"My feelings are very clear on this," he told reporters Thursday (May 10). "I wish the president actually had gone further. I wish he had said he was going to back some legislation on the national level."
On Wednesday, President Obama said he believed same-sex couples [article id="1684802"]should be allowed to marry[/article] during an interview with ABC's Robin Roberts. While Stern said it seemed like a "political maneuver" for Obama to wait until three and a half years into his presidency — and six months ahead of the election — to publicly voice his support for gay marriage, he called Obama's declaration "a good first step, it's a baby step."
"I would like the president to get behind this and really push it," Stern continued. "There's just too many people being bullied, too many people's lives being wrecked. This is something that is long overdue."
Stern reserved his harshest words for former Republican presidential contenders Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann, admonishing both for the negative impact their rhetoric has on LGBT youth and saying their vocal opposition to gay rights is not in alignment with their supposed Christian values.
"These nutbags like Santorum and Bachmann, who make these people, and especially young gay kids, feel miserable, shame on them. They're quacks. I would never vote for them, I wouldn't even listen to them," Stern said. "They call themselves Christians. If you're a Christian, you don't sit there and worry about what somebody else is doing if they are happy and they're committed in a relationship. So this is wonderful news that the president has said it, long overdue, and I think he's got to do a lot more."