The President of the United States has officially announced his support of same-sex marriage, just hours after North Carolina adopted a constitutional amendment banning it. His affirmation does not change any laws; in fact, he still believes it should be left in the hands of the states.
Here’s some of what President Obama said in his interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts:
“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.”
He goes on to say that he believes more Americans are starting to become “more comfortable” with it, especially younger generations. He uses his own family as an example.
“It’s interesting, some of this is also generational,” he said. “You know when I go to college campuses, sometimes I talk to college Republicans who think that I have terrible policies on the economy, on foreign policy but are very clear that when it comes to same-sex equality or, you know, sexual orientation that they believe in equality. They are much more comfortable with it. You know, Malia and Sasha, they have friends whose parents are same-sex couples. There have been times where Michelle and I have been sitting around the dinner table and we’re talking about their friends and their parents, and Malia and Sasha, it wouldn’t dawn on them that somehow their friends’ parents would be treated differently. It doesn’t make sense to them and, frankly, that’s the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective.”
President Obama may be right about that. According to CBS, a recent poll shows 50 percent of Americans now favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry, while 48 percent are opposed. In 1996, 27 percent supported it, while 68 percent were opposed.
He also reveals that it’s been a topic of conversation between him and the first lady, Michelle Obama, for years, and doesn’t fail to cite how she, along with his faith, influenced his change of heart.
“This is something that, you know, we’ve talked about over the years and (the first lady), you know, she feels the same way, she feels the same way that I do,” Obama said. “ And that is that, in the end, the values that I care most deeply about, and she cares most deeply about, is how we treat other people.”
“We are both practicing Christians, and obviously this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others, but, you know, when we think about our faith, the thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it’s also the Golden Rule, you know: treat others the way you would want to be treated. And I think that’s what we try to impart to our kids, and that’s what motivates me as president, and I figure the most consistent I can be in being true to those precepts, the better I’ll be as a Dad and a husband, and hopefully the better I’ll be as president.”
Watch the clip here, and be sure to watch the interview airing this morning on ‘Good Morning America’.