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President Obama announced his support for gay marriage during an interview with ABC's Robin Roberts this afternoon, saying "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."
According to ABC's Rick Klein, Obama "stressed that this is a personal position, and that he still supports the concept of states deciding the issue on their own." Yesterday, voters in North Carolina approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage as "between one man and one woman."
Still: he's the first president to openly support gay marriage.
OBAMA: 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's stance in opposition to gay marriage had been, in his own words, "evolving" — it now appears to have "evolved" right back to his 1996 stance in favor of marriage equality. On Sunday, Vice President Biden described himself as "absolutely comfortable" with gay marriage, thanks in part to, no joke, Will and Grace, so if you're going to thank anyone you might as well thank Sean Hayes.