President Obama told ABC News today that he supports same-sex marriage, saying that he believes same-sex couples should be able to marry.

"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 ABC News' Robin Roberts.

The President's statement appears closer to his stance in 2004, when he expressed support for civil unions but not marriage for gay couples. In 2010, Obama said that his views on same-sex marriage were "constantly evolving." But he said then and in interviews since that he believed civil unions could provide same-sex couples with the same legal rights as marriage does.

President Obama's position on the issue of marriage became an issue earlier this week after Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan each stated their support for same-sex marriage. The comments were applauded by advocates for same-sex marriage who hoped that the President would also speak out in favor of it.

On Monday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney fielded numerous questions at a briefing, where he told the press that Obama's personal position was still "evolving."

"The President was asked this and said that his views on—his personal views on this were evolving," Carney said. "The President does have, as you noted, significant support in the LGBT community, and that's because of his unparalleled record in support of LGBT rights."

The interview with ABC News was hastily planned as a way for the President to personally clarify his position and put the controversy to rest. When a President cancels a press conference for an interview, pundits assume the purpose is to control the message and make an announcement. ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.