David Mixner has been fighting for gay marriage since it seemed like a pipe dream.

The veteran gay rights activist became a prominent figure in the 1990s when, after emerging as one of President Bill Clinton’s top gay supporters and fundraisers, he broke dramatically with the president over his ban on openly gay and lesbian people serving in the military. Mixner, who had been seen as Clinton’s closest gay advisor, was arrested in the summer of 1993 after chaining himself to the White House fence.

Today, Mixner hailed President BArack Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage today as “historic and extremely important.”

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