BROOKLYN, New York, December 21, 2011 ( – A homosexual couple in New York says they received a formal letter of congratulations on their wedding from President Obama, who in public statements has maintained opposition to redefining marriage.

Matt Katz and Aaron Lafrenz of Brooklyn, New York, were among the first homosexual couples to obtain a marriage license in New York this summer. This week they offered to the media an image of a congratulatory letter signed by Barack Obama and bearing the White House seal that arrived in their mailbox this month.


It reads in part: “Congratulations on this special occasion. Michelle and I hope it is blessed with love, laughter, and happiness. Your union marks the beginning of a lifelong partnership as you share in the joys of your life together.”

Katz told ABC News that a family friend had heard that Obama was taking requests upon passage of the New York marriage bill, and thus requested the letter for the couple. The White House confirmed the authenticity of the letter to ABC.

Katz said he suspected the letter was probably at least somewhat politically motivated. “I do think he’s trying to (pander), but I don’t blame him,” Katz told ABC. “At this point, this is not necessarily a ploy but he can’t for public office reasons be on one side, so maybe this is his way of winking at the gay public in New York and saying I really need your vote now.”

Obama has courted the gay rights lobby on several issues throughout his presidency, such as open homosexuality in the military and employment discrimination laws. However, he has remained coy in the face of demands to end federal marriage protections, saying that his views on the marriage subject are “evolving.

During a fundraiser in New York when state lawmakers were on the brink of changing the definition of marriage, Obama sympathized with gay activists, but said the Defense of Marriage Act could not be immediately repealed because the democratic process was “not always pretty.