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Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Obama Reverses Previous Position And Now Supports Same-Sex Marriage

By Susan Duclos

As predicted by many, Barack Obama has just come out in support of same-sex marriage in an interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts.

President Obama today announced that he now supports same-sex marriage, reversing his longstanding opposition amid growing pressure from the Democratic base and even his own vice president.

In an interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts, the president described his thought process as an “evolution” that led him to this place, based on conversations with his own staff members, openly gay and lesbian service members, and conversations with his wife and own daughters.

"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 told Roberts, in an interview to appear on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Thursday. Excerpts of the interview will air tonight on ABC’s “World News with Diane Sawyer.”

The president stressed that this is a personal position, and that he still supports the concept of states deciding the issue on their own. But he said he’s confident that more Americans will grow comfortable with gays and lesbians getting married, citing his own daughters’ comfort with the concept.

The part in bold in the above paragraph is important as yesterday North Carolina joined with 30 other states that have voted to add an amendment to their constitution banning same-sex marriage in their state.

This comes just days after Joe Biden created a "mess" for the White House when he addressed this issue.

This is risky for Obama because while the majority of the Democratic party is in favor of same-sex marriages being legal, the biggest lead in demographics for Obama is the African-American vote, with  Quinnipiac finding that while White voters back the Republican ticket 52 - 39 percent, while black voters go Democratic 89 - 6 percent, and  Post-ABC data finds that 55 percent of African Americans oppose gay marriage.

Example: In California, one of the most dependably Democratic states, exit polls showed that when Proposition 8, a ban on gay marriage,  was on the ballot 70 percent of African-Americans voted in favor of the ban.

BuzzFeed provides a video timeline from 2006 when Obama was for gay marriage, to 2004 when Obama was against it, two vids from 2008 against same-sex marriage but for civil unions and 2012 when Obama planted himself on the fence and called it "evolving."