Obama gives gay marriage his support - KMSP-TV

President Obama supports same-sex marriage

Updated:
WASHINGTON (KMSP) -

President Barack Obama says he now supports same-sex marriage, making him the first sitting U.S. president to publicly support gay marriage.

Obama said he has come to the conclusion it's important for him to publicly affirm his view that same-sex couples should be able to get married. He says that decision came over the course of several years talking with family and friends.

The president revealed his support for gay marriage in a White House interview with ABC News. The full interview will air Thursday morning.

"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...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 said.

The president said another motive for his pubic support of marriage equality is the mindset of his daughters and their friends.

"It's interesting, some of this is also generational," Obama said. "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."

President Obama had previously described his views on same sex marriage as "evolving."

But what about faith? The president said he and the First Lady have discussed the issue and said it can be boiled down to the Golden Rule -- treat others the way you would want to be treated.

"We are both practicing Christians and obviously this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others," the president said. "But 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 -- treat others the way you would want to be treated."

The president's definitive stance in favor of marriage equality comes after Vice President Joe Biden said he was "absolutely comfortable" with same-sex marriage during an interview with NBC's "Meet The Press" last Sunday.

Former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton have both voiced their support for same-sex marriage, though neither made that statement as a sitting or campaigning president.

Wednesday's interview also comes after North Carolina voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage as strictly between a man and a woman, by a 61 to 39 percent margin.

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