In an interview with ABC’s Robin Roberts, Barack Obama became the first sitting President to affirm same-sex marriage.
In a clip of the interview released at 3pm this afternoon, the President noted his ‘evolving’ beliefs on the subject and that he felt that he was now able to “affirm” marriage for same-sex couples.
As reported by The Huffington Post, the President told Roberts:
"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."
President Obama states that conversations with his wife, Michelle, and his daughters had had a profound impact on the gradual change in his stance. Speaking about his daughters, he stated:
“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.”
He also cited his faith as a factor in his decision:
“In the end the values that I care most deeply about and she [First Lady, Michelle Obama] 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.
President Obama’s remarks come after Vice President Joe Biden and other prominent member of the Obama Administration announced their support for same-sex marriage over the weekend.
Jack Palmer is communication associate for Sojourners. Follow him on Twitter @jackpalmer88.