OBAMA: 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.
His endorsement comes less than a week after Vice President Joe Biden embraced the issue during an appearance on Meet The Press and a day after North Carolina banned marriage equality and civil unions in its state constitution. During the interview, Obama stressed that he personally affirms same-sex marriage, but says the matter should be left to the individual states.
The president last made news on the freedom to marry 560 days ago, when he told progressive journalists at the White House that he is evolving towards greater acceptance.
Obama’s remarks today bring him full circle to his position in 1996, when he was running for the Illinois state Senate. In response to a questionnaire from Chicago’s Outlines gay newspaper, he proclaimed, “I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.” You can thank President Obama for completing his evolution here.
Update: The Log Cabin Republicans’ R. Clarke Cooper was quick to try to discredit Obama’s announcement, calling it “cold comfort” and “offensive and callous” in the wake of the defeat in North Carolina yesterday. “This administration has manipulated LGBT families for political gain as much as anybody, and after his campaign’s ridiculous contortions to deny support for marriage equality this week he does not deserve praise for an announcement that comes a day late and a dollar short,” Cooper said.