The election of Barack Obama in 2008 had been a milestone in American history.
Wednesday he has created another milestone: The first U.S. president to support same-sex marriage.
In a sit-down interview Obama told ABC’s Robin Roberts that he supports marriage equality.
“I’ve always been adamant that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally,” Obama told Roberts, in an interview. It will air on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Thursday.”
“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,” he said.
This sends a feeling of victory for the gay rights community which had been waiting for him to declare his support for marriage equality for years.
Vice President Joseph Biden showed his support of the issue last Sunday during an interview with NBC’s “Meet The Press.” He said he was personally comfortable with same-sex marriage.
The next day Education Secretary Arne Duncan said the same.
After the State of North Carolina passed an amendment outlawing same-sex marriage, many waited for the president’s response.
Finally, the president chose to speak out about the matter Wednesday.
“It’s interesting, some of this is also generational,” the president said. “You know when I go to college campuses, sometimes I talk to college Republicans who think that I have terrible policies on the economy, on foreign policy, but are very clear that when it comes to same sex equality or, you know, believe in equality. They are much more comfortable with it. You know, Malia and Sasha, they have friends whose parents are same-sex couples. There have been times where Michelle and I have been sitting around the dinner table and we’re talking about their friends and their parents and Malia and Sasha, it wouldn’t dawn on them that somehow their friends’ parents would be treated differently. It doesn’t make sense to them and frankly, that’s the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective.”
Although there are many supporters for gay marriage, there are still who those who oppose it. States like North Carolina strongly opposed to the same-sex marriage. Many believe supporting marriage equality may have a negative affect on the president’s 2012 campaign.
With the 2012 election in the midst is Obama’s reelection campaign in jeopardy due to his support of same-sex marriage?