Obama says same-sex couples should be able to marry


Obama: "Same sex couples should be able to get married"

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US President Barack Obama has ended months of hedging on the issue of gay marriage by saying he thinks same-sex couples should be able to wed.

He has become the first sitting US president to back gay marriage.

Mitt Romney, the Republican who is set to challenge Mr Obama for the White House in November's elections, promptly said he was against gay marriage.

In recent days, Vice-President Joe Biden and cabinet member Arne Duncan had expressed support for gay unions.

A Gallup poll on Tuesday suggested that 50% of Americans were in favour of legalising gay marriage - a slightly lower proportion than last year - while 48% said they would oppose such a move.

President Barack Obama has been forced out of the closet. Few doubted that he was in favour of gay marriage but "don't ask, don't tell" had worked well enough up until now.

The media didn't ask him. And he certainly wasn't going to tell.

I am told his campaign staff really thought they could get away with not touching this hot button issue, and go through until election night leaving his views draped with hazy protestations about the ongoing "evolution" of his views.

I have trouble believing that they thought he could avoid the question until November. But there is no doubt that the rapid evolution of his views into the limelight was not intelligent design.

Unless you see Vice-President Joe Biden as the creator of presidential frankness.

The interview with ABC News was apparently hastily arranged as Mr Obama came under mounting pressure to clarify his position on the issue.

"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," Mr Obama told ABC.

He pointed to his administration's commitment to increasing rights for gay citizens. He cited the repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy and said his administration had dropped support for the Defense of Marriage Act.

"I've stood on the side of broader equality for the LGBT community. I hesitated on gay marriage in part because I thought civil unions would be sufficient," Mr Obama said.

He said he had changed his views after seeing gay members of his own staff who were in "incredibly committed monogamous relationships", and service personnel who felt constrained by not being able to wed.

Mr Obama also said discussions with his own family had helped the "evolution" of his views on the issue.

Romney: Position on marriage is the same position I had as governor

"There have been times where Michelle and I have been sitting around the dinner table and... Malia and Sasha, it wouldn't dawn on them that somehow their friends' parents would be treated differently," Mr Obama said.

"It doesn't make sense to them and frankly, that's the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective."

In 2010, Mr Obama said his views on the issue were "evolving", a stance that had frustrated gay rights supporters and donors.

His comments aired on Wednesday come a day after North Carolina approved a constitutional amendment effectively banning same-sex marriage or civil unions.

US gay marriage laws

A same-sex couple marry in San Francisco in June 2008
  • Same-sex marriage has been passed in New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Iowa, Vermont, Washington DC, Connecticut, Maryland and Washington
  • Thirty-one US states have banned same-sex marriage through law or constitutional amendment

The Obama campaign had opposed that measure, which was passed with 61% in favour and 39% against.

In the US, 31 states have passed constitutional amendments or legislation against same-sex marriage.

Meanwhile, Mr Romney set the stage for an election year clash over the polarising social issue by saying he was against gay marriage.

The former Massachusetts governor told a Fox News affiliate: "I do not favour marriage between people of the same gender, and I do not favour civil unions if they are identical to marriage other than by name.

"My view is the domestic partnership benefits, hospital visitation rights, and the like are appropriate but that the others are not."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 100.

    There are heterosexual parents that fail their children and, don't delude yourselves, there will be many more gay parents that will fail their children. Marriage between man and woman is a cornerstone of society that cannot be improved on. The gay lobby needs to stop being so self-obsessed and start showing others some respect.

  • rate this

    Comment number 99.

    As the great Peter Griffin from Family Guy once said..."If the gays want to marry and be as miserable as the straights, let them!"

  • rate this

    Comment number 98.

    A politician showing integrity. Wow.

  • rate this

    Comment number 97.


    If you were 'royal' it seems that throughout history you would have been encouraged to marry a cousin.

    Maybe if there was a 'royal' that came out, things might look up.

    Alas, there are definitly not any 'royals' at the moment that have had any such inclinations.

  • rate this

    Comment number 96.

    Its really strange how the Christian church is pilloried over this issue...

    And yet, it is about the most tolerant about homosexuality.
    A certain other hangs Gays. And you will never ever get a liberal attitude towards homosexuals.

    But the poor church is such a soft target. Liberals often get in a quandary....Gay marriage? Great. But ssshhh.... don't upset certain religious types!

  • rate this

    Comment number 95.

    I'm not gay, not religious, but it hurts my brain that anyone, ANYONE who is religious would believe for a second that God would create homosexuals just to have them victimised and treat differently to heterosexuals.

    If you believe in God, He loves us all equally, surely?

  • rate this

    Comment number 94.

    Truly excellent that Obama has decided to come out in support - I can only hope this support will become law in the States at some point in the near future.

  • rate this

    Comment number 93.

    Gay marriage will mean the sky will fall in and the Earth will implode.

    No, REALLY...

  • rate this

    Comment number 92.

    This will be a real teaser for the divorce courts: when there are adopted kids, which dad will get them?



  • rate this

    Comment number 91.

    Clearly an attempt to gain the gay vote but will it backfire in the bible belt south?
    Yes it will, in my opinion as I used to live in Sweet Home Alabama.

  • rate this

    Comment number 90.

    1. "gay" rights are not comparable to "black" rights - as skin colour is not a desire or appetite. Many lusts/appetites are wrong and abusive and should be renounced. people can't renounce a skin colour.

    2. "gay" acceptance is not cultural evolution - roman/greek/pagan cultures embraced homosexuality and this was a symptom of their eventual demise - as they lived in rebellion to the One creator

  • rate this

    Comment number 89.

    The hipocrisy of some so called Christians disgusts me. Only happy when ranting and railing at something because they have decided the magic book says it's wrong. Something that does not even affect them at all.

    Gleefully ignoring all the infanticide, slaughter and slavery in the magic book yet frothing at the mouth because two human beings want to show their love by marrying.

  • rate this

    Comment number 88.

    @63 since you chose to raise it, to many of us your views are the voice of Satan - promoting separtaion on earth, inciting hate fuelled by intolerance and prejudice.

    Maybe you should pause in preaching about others' souls and worry a bit more about your own.

  • Comment number 87.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 86.

    Since the 7th Commandment says "thou shalt not commit adultery" and since anyone who has divorced and remarried is, in biblical terms, committing adultery, let's do a deal. Gays aren't allowed to get married and straights aren't allowed to get divorced.
    Can't wait to see the Bible fanatics campaigning on that one

  • rate this

    Comment number 85.

    When is David Cameron going to show such conviction of ideology (apart from the one that will keep him and his cronies happy). Well done Obama...drag the US and join us in the 21st century

  • rate this

    Comment number 84.

    63. VesselAnaw

    A 1000 *facepalms*
    I mean are you for real?

  • rate this

    Comment number 83.

    The problem seems to be that the bible says that same sex relationships are wrong.... The problem is the bible also says a father is allowed to sell his daughter into slavery, that it's ok to take slaves as long as they aren't from neighbouring states and that it's ok to stone someone for working on the sabbath.

    So as you can see the words of the bible (and other religious books) aren't eternal.

  • rate this

    Comment number 82.

    President Obama's announcing his support for same-sex marriage only demostrate the political clout of the LGBT electorate. It is a symbolic gesture. Let's remember, president do not pass laws. Congress does. Marriage law remain the purview of state & local govts. Whether or not, same sex-marriage & LGBT become the norm, parents are not out there, wishing or praying that their children are LGBT.

  • rate this

    Comment number 81.

    Excellent. Now I can write a letter of congradulation instead of complaint.


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