President Obama endorsed the right of same-sex couples to marry on Wednesday, a landmark pronouncement made in light of mounting pressure from gay right advocates.
Obama became the first U.S. president to back the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry, a reversal from his own views as stated in the 2008 campaign, when he said he opposed same-sex marriage but favored civil unions as an alternative.
“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 on Marriage Equality, 5/9/12
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