President Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage in an interview with ABC host Robin Roberts today, representing a marked shift in his public support for LGBT rights.
Previously the president claimed he believed all Americans should have the same rights, but that his position on same-sex marriage was “evolving.” The statement comes days after Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Vice President Joe Biden, close advisors to the president’s reelection campaign, revealed their support of marriage equality.
The president’s change of heart was “based on conversations with his own staff members, openly gay and lesbian service members, and conversations with his wife and own daughters,” ABC correspondent Rick Klein reported Wednesday.
“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.
The full interview will air Thursday morning on ABC’s Good Morning America.