In an interview with Robin Roberts of ABC News, President Obama has officially thrown his support behind gay marriage. Until now, the President has stated that his position on gay marriage was “evolving,” but many felt his position was driven by politics and not wanting to alienate potential voters.
The President’s comments came after days of speculation following Vice President Biden’s off-the-cuff comments that he supported gay marriage, which left many wondering if the President would do the same. Although the Obama Administration has done more than any other presidential administration to further LGBT rights (ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and refusing to defend the Defense of Marriace Act), may in the LGBT community pressured Mr. Obama to take the final step and affirm gay marriage.
Today, President Obama again made history as the first President to come out in favor of gay marriage.
He told Robin Roberts:
“I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.”
Although the President supports gay marriage, he said his decision was a personal one and reiterated that legislating gay marriage initiatives was still up to the states.
The President’s comments come just a day after voters in North Carolina voted to amend their constitution to ban gay marriage, and many are wondering how his support for gay marriage will affect his reelection prospects in the fall, particularly with black voters who are reluctant to support gay unions.
During today’s interview, President Obama also told Roberts that Mrs. Obama also supports gay marriage.
“This is something that, you know, we’ve talked about over the years and she, you know, she feels the same way, she feels the same way that I do. And that is that, in the end the values that I care most deeply about and she cares most deeply about is how we treat other people and, you know, I, you know, we are both practicing Christians and obviously this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others but, you know, when we think about our faith, the thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it’s also the Golden Rule, you know, treat others the way you would want to be treated. And I think that’s what we try to impart to our kids and that’s what motivates me as president and I figure the most consistent I can be in being true to those precepts, the better I’ll be as a as a dad and a husband and hopefully the better I’ll be as president.”
President Obama’s full interview with Robin Roberts will air on Good Morning America on Thursday.
How do you think President Obama’s remarks will affect him in the fall?