Watch: President Obama Publicly Endorses Same-Sex Marriage


Over the weekend, Vice President Joe Biden publicly voiced his support of same-sex marriage. One day later, Education Secretary Arne Duncan (a member of President Barack Obama’s Cabinet) also publicly endorsed same-sex marriage. Today, President Obama himself publicly voices his support of same-sex marriage. In an interview that will air in full on ABC News (both tonight and tomorrow on Good Morning America), President Obama tells the world that he is fully in support of marriage equality. Click below to read some excerpts and watch video from his upcoming interview.

President Obama today announced that he now supports same-sex marriage, reversing his longstanding opposition amid growing pressure from the Democratic base and even his own vice president. In an interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts, the president described his thought process as an “evolution” that led him to this place, based on conversations with his own staff members, openly gay and lesbian service members, and conversations with his wife and own daughters. “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 told Roberts, in an interview to appear on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Thursday. Excerpts of the interview will air tonight on ABC’s “World News with Diane Sawyer.” The president stressed that this is a personal position, and that he still supports the concept of states deciding the issue on their own. But he said he’s confident that more Americans will grow comfortable with gays and lesbians getting married, citing his own daughters’ comfort with the concept. “It’s interesting, some of this is also generational,” the president continued. “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, 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.” Roberts asked the president if First Lady Michelle Obama was involved in this decision. Obama said she was, and he talked specifically about his own faith in responding. “This is something that, you know, we’ve talked about over the years and she, you know, she feels the same way, she feels the same way that I do. 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 and, you know, I, you know, 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 as a dad and a husband and hopefully the better I’ll be as president.”

This is a very momentous day … one that I knew would come. Before President Obama was president, he was publicly in support of same-sex marriage. Making a run for the presidency, as the first African-American man to do so, complicated his ability to voice that support. Right or wrong, I completely understood his position. Did I like it? No. But I understood that in politics, you sometimes have to make tough choices in the immediate to ensure a more successful bigger picture. Since Obama became our president, his administration has worked slowly but VERY surely for gay rights here in the US. The repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy that forbade gays and lesbians from serving in the US armed forces was a major step forward in the push for gay rights. Today, President Obama’s public support of same-sex marriage is another push forward. I know many people may criticize him for not speaking out sooner (especially in light of the travesty that occurred in North Carolina yesterday when that state voted to amend its constitution to outlaw same-sex marriage) but I absolutely applaud him for taking this public stance now. The 2012 Presidential election is a very important one. President Obama MUST be reelected to ensure that our country moves FORWARD toward ensuring equal treatment of all US citizens. Now that we know where the President stands on this issue, will you stand with him to help ensure that liberty and justice is afforded to all Americans? I know I will. In fact … I say, I do.

[Source, Source]

  • Meghan

    Yay!!! First President to do so. So happy he did it on the heels of same sex marriage being banned in NC. This sends a powerful message.

  • Krissy


    Supreme Court, Loving V. Virginia:

    “Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival…. “

  • Hyzenthlay

    Thank you, Mr President!

  • Jen

    Finally!! This makes me so happy!!

  • beth


  • Jaks

    “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.”

    Such a powerful and true statement.

    • kel

      @Jaks: I totally agree. I teach 3rd graders in a public elementary school in MA (where we have had legal same-sex marriage for years), and my students can’t comprehend people with differences not being treated the same as others. To my students, fair is fair, and being treated differently because of something that makes you YOU is just unbelievable to them. I hope that they can teach their parents the same…

  • Susanne

    Go obama power!

  • Katie

    Fantastic :)

  • Jessica

    Woooooo hoo!!!!!! What a great day!! Just when I thought I couldn’t love him anymore!

  • Ben@pr

    Wow!!! I didn’t see that one coming but it’s great news!!! So many people can identify with him in so many ways. He’s the only President of the USA that comes from the 99% of the nation. Keep making great history Mr. President!!!

    • @Ben@pr — Honestly, I saw it coming. When Obama repealed DADT, I saw it coming. When VP Biden voiced his support over the weekend, I saw this coming. I thought Obama might wait until the Democratic National Convention to make an announcement like this but … I’ll take sooner rather than later :D

    • Ben@pr

      Trent you wrote: “Before President Obama was president, he was publicly in support of same-sex marriage. Making a run for the presidency, as the first African-American man to do so, complicated his ability to voice that support.” Because of this fact I didn’t saw it coming. He’s done great progress for equal rights and I thought he would leave it there. I can’t wait for what he will do for equal rights in his next term as President. Yes we can!!!

  • Joanna

    This is awesome! He better be reelected in November. Romney is a scary alternative. All the progress we have made in this country since Obama has been president will be undone very quickly if Romney is president.

    • Krissy

      Volunteer! :)

  • Goofy

    I hate to the one who isn’t as happy as I Should be at this news.
    ORLY OBAMA? is all I can say; he was opposed to it and now all of a sudden, after NC proved its bigotry, he’s now all for it?

    Okay. Great timing, Obama.

    (and just to be clear I voted for him last time and will vote for him again)

    • @Goofy — “he was opposed to it and now all of a sudden” Not all of the sudden. For years he has made it clear that his stance on same-sex marriage has been evolving. This is not an overnight thing, it’s been a process — politically, for sure.

    • Goofy

      I know; I heard him saying that. First Biden supports it and then some other guy I can’t remember in his administration supports it. I’m sure one of his advisors told him he needed to come out with a statement to the same effect.

      The timing is what makes me suspicious; not that he’s LYING or something. It’s just amazing that he makes the statement NOW of all times. Why not yesterday? Next Thursday? It’s the day AFTER NC proves its intolerance.

      Maybe I’m just a bit paranoid.

    • @Goofy — “Maybe I’m just a bit paranoid.” Yeah, maybe.

    • Brenda

      I kind of love that he said it the day after NC voted to ban it. It’s kind of like a public reprimand or something.

  • Teri

    Great news!!! :)

  • jr

    yes Obama!!!!!

    push it forward!!!

    he’s such a winner!!

  • Jennifer Verde

    It’s awesome – but Gay Marriage Rights are decided at the state level, as evidenced by NC’s ban.

    Just because he supports it doesn’t mean there aren’t other candidates out there that don’t support it too.

    This is honestly the LAST thing I want to hear about from Obama. JUST JOBS AND THE ECONOMY, PLEASE.

    He truly is a celebrity president.

    • @Jennifer Verde — Interracial marriage rights were once decided at the state level too. It took the Supreme Court to legalize and a strong president to enforce that legalization. Obama’s public support of same-sex marriage changes nothing about his plan for America. You make it sound as if his support will take away from the other work he is doing to lead our nation. That is not the case. In addition to his continued work to create jobs and strengthen the economy, he is also telling the world that he is in support of marriage equality. It is, IMHO, silly to claim that any of this has to do with “celebrity”.

    • Jennifer Verde

      That’s awesome about the Supreme Court taking prior action- if he feels that is what he wants to do if re-elected, then by all means, let’s get it on already! I am by no means trying to demean the celebration of a Presidential endorsement. I am just not satisfied with his term and see it as a campaign ploy.

      I also wasn’t tying in Gay Marriage endorsement to his Celebrity. He made his own bed when he slow-jammed the news on Jimmy Fallon.

    • @Jennifer Verde — Interesting that you see it that way … I personally believe that he is hurting his reelection chances by coming out publicly in favor of same-sex marriage. Every single time same-sex marriage rights have been put to popular vote in this country, voters have voted no. My fear is that his endorsement will hurt him some. It was always my belief that he would wait until after his reelection to come out in full support of marriage equality, that way he could push the envelope as far as possible without fear of voter reprisal. I honestly don’t think this endorsement is a campaign ploy … particularly because, as I said, voters have not supported marriage equality.

      Regarding the Jimmy Fallon thing, I’ll give you that one. But let’s not forget it was President Clinton who was jamming on his saxophone on The Arsenio Hall Show way back in the 90s.

    • Krissy

      Jennifer said, “That’s awesome about the Supreme Court taking prior action- if he feels that is what he wants to do if re-elected, then by all means, let’s get it on already!”

      That isn’t in the President’s authority, it isn’t something “he” can do. The case that will go to the Supreme Court regarding marriage equality has already rolled out of the station! It was the case over Prop 8 in California. It is working its way through our justice system, and will eventually land at the Supreme Court.

    • Krissy

      Oh, and the trend for Presidents to be on late night tv was started decades ago. President Reagan was on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

  • Jennifer Verde

    Your politicians are BOUGHT AND PAID FOR by Special Interests & Corporations.

    The two-party system is a mess that is impeding much from being done.

    If you’re looking for someone else who is actually running on the principal of getting money out of politics, go to Americans Elect DOT org and get to know Buddy Roemer. Americans Elect is the FIRST EVER online primary where WE THE PEOPLE CHOOSE who gets on the ballot. Even if you are undecided about the election, supporting this website will help the candidate get on the ballot and raise ISSUES THAT MATTER to Obamney. That’s what 3rd Party Independent candidates do – they see through to what’s relevant.

    Buddy is in favor of Gay Marriage, FYI.

    PS, I love this blog dearly :D.

    • Meghan

      Oy! Yeah, no….

    • Miranda

      Oh Jennifer, you hit the nail on the head. He’s already in the bed with Monsanto/Biotech Industry. Back in 98 while on the campaign trail Obama announced his support of GMO food labeling (on tape), then turned around and placed Michael Taylor (former Monsanto VP) in the second highest position in the FDA and then placed Tom Vilsack (awarded governor of the year by the Biotech industry) as head of the USDA. GMO crops are being deregulated faster under Obama than under any of the previous 3 presidents. Sold out the foodies, so will he sell out the gays too?

  • jean

    I do, too! Here’s to dreams come true.

  • Jennifer Verde

    Oh, Bill Clinton…don’t get me started on him :) Did you know he’s partially responsible for the Economic Collapse? He repealled Glass-Steagall Act, granted it was enacted during the Depression-era, which prohibits commercial banks from engaging in the investment business. Clinton’s repeal allowed big banks like Citigroup to grow and tank our economy.

    I don’t think Obama has anything to worry about – with this endorsement, the youth will stay on his side (except for me, I’m with Buddy).

  • Trisha

    Yay! Woo hoo! Tears came to my eyes and I nearly started jumping up and down when I saw this… and I am a straight black woman. I know what it is like to be kept from things that others freely enjoy.
    If you are against gay marriage – don’t be in one!
    I do fear that this will cost him some votes but hope people will concentrate on the fact that the economy is coming back. If you haven’t seen it already, you should look at this great interactive graphic which shows job loss and growth across the country since 2004 – this should be required viewing.
    We must keep this man in office and our country moving forward.

  • jenn

    jennifer verde- i respect your right to have a sour attitude about this endorsement, but can we just have a moment here to enjoy the awesome news before you shit all over it? thanks, doll!

    and, for what its worth- social justice is j.u.s.t as important to the future of this country as ‘jobs and the economy.’ actually, probably m.o.r.e important.

    • Jennifer Verde

      I agree, social justice is around the bend as our younger generations come into power – and it’s importance is astronomical, don’t get me wrong.

      But if people don’t have jobs and our economy keeps dragging on like this, gays and all kinds of kinds won’t have much to celebrate with when it finally IS legalized.

  • @Goofy: Of COURSE the timing seems suspect, and of course it wasn’t the President’s first choice to address this now. The truth is, with the statements from Biden, etc. and the result in NC, this issue was going to be front and center for awhile. The media were going to hound him at every turn for a statement on the subject, so he did the politically expedient thing and got out in front of it and made the announcement in an interview, where he could flesh out his position. It was the smartest thing to do.

    Regardless of the way it went down, I agree that it is cause for celebration. Progress!

  • Megan

    FINALLY, now do something about it~!~

  • MM

    I am trying to be happy about this but as a former North Carolina resident, I am still so upset with how that vote went down. For that matter, as a current California resident, I am still very upset about how Prop 8 went down in 2008.

    I can’t help but wish Obama made his endorsement sooner. I always get cynical during election years though because I get so paranoid that we’ll go 2 steps forward and then 3 steps back.

    Fingers crossed that I’m wrong and Obama wins in 2012. I feel like he’s been walking on egg shells for the past 4 years so am ready for him to dive in and show us all what he’s really about.

    Equality for all!

    • Krissy

      I feel like a huge part of his first term has been Congress acting like spoiled children who don’t want to play together. They refuse to get anything done for the common good. The President can’t legislate, unfortunately.

      IMO, the only thing that takes away the worry about whether or not he gets a second term is volunteering for the campaign or causes you believe in. And not only do we need Obama to get a second term, we need members of Congress who will actually focus on the important things (instead of getting all up in my womb).

  • millo

    you guys are so lucky you got obama

    • krtmom

      Why? If you’re into the government running your life then I guess you’d feel lucky but those who have educations and work their asses off for what they’ve got certainly don’t feel that way!

  • BradywantsMoore

    This is an epic and amazing day! It makes me smile and sonhappy to know that with Obama I can one day marry the same as info married a woman

  • Jessicagiovanna

    About time one of them strapped on some balls and gave their firm stance on it rather that skirting the issue. I am pro marriage, gay and straight.

  • I am so happy that Obama has endorsed gay marriage! I believe that everyone has the right to be different. It’s what makes the world beautiful after all.

  • brittany

    I’m so happy with this I want to cry!!

  • Kelly

    Great news! Still smiling about this.

    Who someone decides to marry is nobody’s damn business except for the two people that choose to wed!

  • kel

    Personally, I think anytime is the right time to stand up for the oppressed.

  • krtmom

    Looks like somebody needs some votes!!!

    • Vmbottt

      negativity much?

  • cinner

    The timing is definitely suspect, it will be interesting to see going forward what processes Mr Obama enacts/endorses to ensure that gay marriage is available to all gay americans.

  • Cynthia