Obama affirms support for same-sex marriage

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.

May 9, 2012 1:14:07 PM PDT
The timing is hardly coincidental. With a tough election ahead, and with polls showing the slow transformation of American public opinion from against same-sex marriage to in favor of it - President Obama today now says he too has evolved his thinking.

Mr. Obama says he now supports same-sex marriage.

He chose an interview with Good Morning America's Robin Roberts to announce his new stance, which ABC News broke today at 3 p.m.

Mr. Obama said he saw friends and members of his own staff in committed relationships with same-sex partners, and raising kids together, and that sparked him to change his thinking, and come out in support of it.

He is the first President to support same-sex marriage. The first signal, looking back, was Vice President Biden's statement on Sunday, saying he was a supporter of same-sex marriages. It seemed to fly in the face of the President's personal stance - but now it's clear Mr. Biden was the forward scout in this well-orchestrated change of direction.

Six states and the District of Columbia have laws allow same-sex marriage, more than two dozen have laws outlawing it, including North Carolina which last night passed its law.

And the issue will be on ballots in 4 states in November.

The President is a political animal, of course, and his "evolution" as he calls it mirrors the evolution of American thinking on the subject of same-sex marriage. As such, some gay activists are viewing this as a "teachable moment."

Perhaps, but it will also starkly show the differences between Mr. Obama and his Republican rival in November - Mitt Romney, whose own thinking on the issue of same-sex marriage has evolved stronger in the other direction. His opposition will please those who are against it, just as Mr. Obama's will please those who support it.

More people support it than oppose it - so the President may have the political advantage here. And it's especially important to him as he tries to energize the people who came out to vote for him last time, but who have become sometimes disenchanted with the President.

We'll have reaction - and it is widespread - tonight at 11.

Also at 11, and speaking of marriage, or the flip side of it, our Michelle Charlesworth looks at the evolving world of post-marriage dating. It's changed.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Laura Behnke (in for Rob Powers) with the night's sports, including the Knicks do-or-die playoff game against the Heat, and the Rangers playoff game against the Capitals. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.


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