In what will undoubtedly be seen as a landmark moment for gay rights in America, President Barack Obama has announced his support for same-sex marriage.
Up until his declaration today, the president had always stopped short of advocating for legal matrimony between homosexuals, instead saying that civil unions and domestic partnerships were sufficient.
Yet President Obama said his personal views on the subject have evolved over time, and that he was ready to declare his support for matrimonial equality. The move, which comes only six months before the 2012 general election, was a sticking point between the democratic president and the LGBT community.
Obama, however, says his support for gay rights has never wavered.
“I’ve stood on the side of broader equality for the LGBT community. I hesitated on gay marriage in part because I thought civil unions would be sufficient,” Obama said in a White House interview with ABC News’s Robin Roberts. “I was sensitive to the fact that for a lot of people, the word ‘marriage’ evokes very powerful traditions, religious beliefs."