Barack Obama supports same-sex marriage

President Barack Obama has said that he believes gay and lesbian Americans should be able to marry.

In an interview, Mr Obama said he had hesitated endorsing same sex marriage for years in belief that "civil unions would be sufficient".

Mr Obama also stressed it was a personal opinion, saying he still supported states deciding on the issue.

His remarks come a day after North Carolina voted for a constitutional ban on same-sex unions. In recent days, Vice-President Joe Biden and education secretary Arne Duncan had supported same-sex marriage.