May 9, 2012

Via ABC News:

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.”

Joe Sudbay at AmericaBlog:

I told the President that if our relationships weren't treated like everyone else's, we aren't equal. Today, he acknowledged that we are. Now, this doesn't change any law or over rule any constitutional amendment. It's symbolic. But, it certainly feels different to know that, for the first time, our President thinks our relationships are equal. During our interview, the President said, "The one thing I will say today is I think it’s pretty clear where the trendlines are going." Now, he's with the trend. And, our talk concluded:

By contrast, Mitt Romney supports a constitutional amendment to limit marriage to that between a man and a woman, a position very consistent with the Mormon church. The Mormons were major backers of California's Proposition 8 and also played a role in North Carolina's Amendment 1. Romney is on the record as opposing marriage equality in any form, including civil unions.

On a personal note, I am deeply gratified to see this President "evolve" on this issue. Like women's rights, it's one I'm still somewhat amazed we're still debating, but having President Obama affirm his personal support for it means a lot, especially to those whose rights have been stripped by right-wing zealots.

Update: Via scarce, Shep Smith's reaction on Fox.

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