Obama Backs Same-Sex Marriage

By MICHAEL D. SHEAR and MICHAEL BARBARO of the New York Times

Obama Endorses Same-Sex Marriage

Obama Endorses Same-Sex Marriage

President Obama declared for the first time on Wednesday that he supports same-sex marriage, putting the moral power of his presidency behind a social issue that continues to divide the country.

“At a certain point,” Mr. Obama said in an interview in the Cabinet Room at the White House with ABC’s Robin Roberts, “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.”

The comments end years of public equivocating over the divisive social issue for the president, who has previously said he opposed gay marriage but repeatedly said he was “evolving” on the issue because of contact with friends and others who are gay.

Mr. Obama’s remarks — becoming the first sitting president to support extending the rights and status of marriage to gay couples — came after long-standing pressure from gay rights activists who are among his most loyal constituent but have been frustrated by his refusal to weigh in on the issue.

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