President Barack Obama said Wednesday that he supports same-sex marriage, reversing his longstanding claim that he was "evolving" on the issue.
He had supported same-sex unions and equal rights for gay couples but had yet to make a stance on marriage, partially because he was sensitive to how some Americans viewed marriage, he told ABC news.
His announcement is that much more interesting since it was made the day after North Carolina passed Amendment One, which constitutionalizes the definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Keep in mind, North Carolina is a swing state.
"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," Obama told Roberts in an interview to appear on ABC's "Good Morning America" Thursday.
Democrats and Republicans in Congress tweeted their reactions moments after the announcement was made.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California: @NancyPelosi A great day in our fight for civil rights-President Obama adds his support for marriage #equality. #BeautifulDay
Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif.: @RepLindaSanchez So proud @BarackObama backed full #marriageequality today. #LGBT community deserves equal rights.
Rep. Allen West, R-Fla.: @AllenWest Pres failures are masked by irrelevant pandering as a collectivist who does not respect individual sovereignty. More of the same politics.
Read ABC's story (and watch the video announcement) here.
Update: Check out this Mother Jones story about the announcement and Obama's support of gay marriage, "the worst kept secret in D.C."
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