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 500.

    It's a bold move for Obama, hopefully one that will put this country in a direction free of bigotry and hate. Learn to love your neighbors people. Unless you would prefer to explain to God why you held hatred in your heart towards them?

    There are a number of examples of gay animals btw. Dunno why people think otherwise...


  • rate this

    Comment number 499.

    It isn't and never has been "gay marriage". It's quite simply Equal Rights.

  • rate this

    Comment number 498.

    Obama probably figures those who are vehemently opposed to same sex marriage will vote against him anyway no matter what position he takes. Others who are for it or are far less concerned about it than what havoc the Republicans would wrek on the US economy and the middle class will not make up their minds on this issue. It's not a deal breaker for anyone considering the more important issues.

  • rate this

    Comment number 497.

    In the past children born (through no fault of their own) out of wedlock were known unplesantly. It took religion a long time to move past the hatred for people who were born to unmarried parents. Marriage is in no way "just" or "primarily" for producing chidren. If it was then surely wedding vows would include such a clause as "will you conceive and have the next generation of paying catholics"

  • Comment number 496.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 495.

    If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep making gay babies.

  • rate this

    Comment number 494.

    I care not that you're not religious. This debate is not about religion.
    It is about love and tolerance and all those things that make for a society that WORKS.
    Answer the question - if a heterosexual couple cannot medically have a child, is it wrong? If it's not then you go back and you think on your views on gay marriage.

  • rate this

    Comment number 493.

    @ 479. Scumbagmillionaire

    The bible wasn't written by God. It was written by man.

    So how about if man wrote the bible, man should also write our laws.

    To say "Enter Satan" just because its modern day society that writes our laws shows more about your own religious beliefs, as it sounds like you worship God for the wrong reasons....Through fear of God

  • rate this

    Comment number 492.


    Wow, do you not realise you actively contradict yourself?

    You don't need to be married to have kids. You don't need to be able to have kids to be married.

    If gay people can't marry because they can't have kids, lets list some other people who should never marry:

    Old people
    People who are disabled
    People who are infertile
    People who don't want kids

    That is insane. Get over the bigotry.

  • rate this

    Comment number 491.

    Ady at #481,

    "Any "marriage" with a 0% chance of children is a dumb cluck"

    I guess that post-menopausal women shouldn't be able to marry, either.

  • rate this

    Comment number 490.


    Ady, that is an utterly comical argument.

    By your logic, sterile couples, postmenopausal women, or couples who simply choose not to procreate should not be able to marry, since their union will not produce offspring. But we let these couples marry anyway. Obviously, then, marriage is not just about procreation--it is also about love. Otherwise, why are you letting these people marry?

  • rate this

    Comment number 489.

    312. Boanerges
    You are, of course, perfectly within your rights to believe that being gay is a sin. But the law does not exist to force people not to sin.


    No it doesn’t.

    Everyone should be allowed to do what they feel is right, when they want to, regardless of anything.

    Cast the concept of society aside, except when it suits you!

  • rate this

    Comment number 488.

    All evil is caused by humans and almost all humans are the result of heterosexual sex. Applying this variation on antigay logic, I conclude that a major problem with society is the overabundance of straight matings - the legacy of a millennium of antigay Christian teaching repressing bisexuality. *wink*

    Also, can I register an uncivil partnership? I'm sure I've had at least one of them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 487.

    @ 481. Ady

    You may not be religious Ady, but you are rather dumb...

  • rate this

    Comment number 486.

    I definitely couldn't agree more with Obama. I believe that we are living under a free-way-of-life tendency nowadays, specially because of the globalized atmosphere we are inevitable inserted.
    Our free will was given by God to do or choose whichever path to get closer or back to his kingdom
    What we do if not against other's people life is our business, and a democratic gov is ought to preserve it

  • rate this

    Comment number 485.

    (in the US), the church should keep the sacrament marriage. If you belong to a church - get married!

    ---- THEN ----

    there should be a separation of church and state

    ----- THEN ----

    EVERYONE should be EQUAL unite with whomever they want but it should be called 'union'. This would prevent discrimination.


    we all win.

  • rate this

    Comment number 484.

    Well, that was a painfully circumlocutory way of saying it. Obama, just say it. And point out that civil unions and domestic partnerships are not the same as marriage because they reflect and implicitly endorse discriminatory social views. And that domestic partnerships are *not* the same as marriage because they involve residence requirements, while marriage does not. But thank you.

  • rate this

    Comment number 483.

    Son of Maggie and Norman Ah the Tory party at prayer. What a sad biggoted individual you are. I watch your posts with glee, because you have never said anything positive. Perhaps you should change your name, most people in view of the title Maggie, would cringe in shame, but you soldier on regardless. In about a hundred years you will suddenly realise that living in the 18th century is sad.

  • rate this

    Comment number 482.

    Why all this bible stuff ? Marriage is a legal contract - the church stuff, well that's up to the churches. What are all these people scared of anyway? That it'll become compulsory ?

    And the anti-gay stance is ridiculous beyond belief. All this "I truly believe in a loving god who HATES those people over there". Umm, can you not see the contradiction in that thought ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 481.

    Don't forget I'm not religious
    Not even slightly

    You can have a gay union

    You can never have a gay marriage. ever

    Any "marriage" with a 0% chance of children is a dumb cluck

    Deal with it boys and girls
    Blame God or Darwin if you want

    "Marriage" is not an option.

    Marriage has a purpose which you can never ever fulfill so marriage is an impossible goal

    Try becoming a billionaire instead


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