President Obama has affirmed his support for same-sex marriage. In a taped interview on Wednesday with Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts, to be aired in full on the show’s Thursday broadcast, Obama said that he is no longer standing on the issue’s sidelines.
“I had hesitated on gay marriage in part because I thought civil unions would be sufficient, that that was something that would give people hospital visitation rights and other elements that we take for granted,” Obama said, listing a few of his policy accomplishments for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, including his repeal of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” and no longer defending the Defense of Marriage Act. “And I was sensitive to the fact that for a lot of people, the word ‘marriage’ was something that evokes very powerful traditions, religious beliefs and so forth.”
But over the course of several years, Obama said, he has come to embrace marriage equality:
As I talk to friends, family and neighbors; when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed, monogamous 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’re 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.