Washington (CNN) - One day after Father's Day, President Obama used his bully pulpit to stress the importance of fatherhood for the nation's youth. "Fathers are our first teachers and coaches…they're our mentors, our role models," the President told a gathering of local students, families and women's advocates.
But it was the President's message, in his official Father's Day Proclamation, that has generated controversy. In it the President openly acknowledges gay parents, noting that some children have two dads.
The proclamation states, "nurturing families come in many forms, and children may be raised by a father and mother, a single father, two fathers, a step-father, a grandfather, or caring guardian."
Tony Perkins, from the conservative Family Research Council, called the President out. In a pointed statement he said "…proving that nothing is sacred - not even fatherhood - the President couldn't resist a shout-out to his homosexual base, marring what should have been a powerful acknowledgment of the family's importance in American life."
While not directly responding to Perkin's comments, White House Deputy Spokesman Bill Burton said the President was "just trying to be inclusive of all sorts of families, just like he was on the Mother's Day proclamation."
For Maryland State Sen. Rich Madaleno, the President's message is a welcome change. Madaleno, an openly gay white father who married his partner in 2001, adopted two African-American boys at birth.
(CNN) – President Obama will appear on "America's Most Wanted" with the show's host John Walsh this Saturday to commemorate its 1000th episode.
According to Deputy White House Spokesman Bill Burton, the president taped a 15 minute interview in the White House's Map Room with Walsh on Wednesday morning before delivering remarks in the East Room.
The president used the interview to congratulate Walsh on his show's success, but also to tout his administration's own anti-crime initiatives.
In clips released by "America's Most Wanted," Mr. Obama tells Walsh that last year's "huge economic crisis" raised great concern about the possibility for lawlessness to follow.
"One of the things we were most worried about was how this would this affect law enforcement. Because you started seeing state and local budgets hemorrhaging and there were the prospects of tens of thousands of cops on the streets being laid off." Mr. Obama said, crediting the White House for preventing that from happening.
"What we did was working with state and local governments, got four billion dollars in additional funding so that we kept those law enforcement officials doing the great work that they do each and every day," Mr. Obama said.
For John Walsh, "America's Most Wanted" is a personal crusade. He began hosting the show 22 years ago after his 6 year-old son Adam was abducted and killed in 1981.
Mr. Obama told Walsh, "I know Adam is looking down on us, and saying you know, my Dad has really done something incredible."