Obama: Gay Couples Deserve Same Rights as All

But he doesn't endorse same-sex marriage at LGBT event

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 24, 2011 4:25 AM CDT

(Newser) – President Obama told a gala LGBT fundraiser in New York last night that he believes "gay couples deserve the same legal rights as every other couple in this country" but he stopped short of calling for legalization of gay marriage, despite hecklers' demands. The president has described his position on the issue as "evolving" and many in the audience appeared to be expecting a big announcement, notes the New York Times.

"Traditionally marriage has been decided by the states and right now I understand there's a little debate going on here in New York," Obama said to laughter. A bill to legalize gay marriage has stalled in the state Senate and lawmakers announced late Thursday that a vote has been put off once again and they will meet today to decide what to do, reports Reuters. The bill is still one vote short of passing.

President Obama gestures as he speaks at a fundraiser last night.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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If you keep up the fight, if you will devote your time and your energies to this campaign one more time, I promise you we will write another chapter in that story. - President Obama

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