Obama: Gay Marriage Should Be Legal
Says it's clear to him now after his own evolution on the issue
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2012 2:10 PM CDT
President Obama speaks in Washington earlier this week.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(Newser) – President Obama stepped into the fray over gay marriage in a big way today, telling ABC News flatly that he thinks it should be legal. Here's the big quote from the interview with Robin Roberts, which will air on the evening news:

  • "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 called it a "generational" change occurring in the US and referred to his own daughters. "It wouldn't dawn on them that somehow their friends' parents would be treated differently," he said. But he also made clear that this is his personal view and that states should be able to make their own decisions. The interview comes after North Carolina voters rejected gay marriage, and both Joe Biden and Arne Duncan voiced support for it.