It's official: Obama has reversed his longstanding position and announced today that he supports same-sex marriage. "I thought civil unions would be sufficient," he said in an ABC interview, before describing the evolution that led him to conclude that he was wrong about this position. "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."
This makes Obama the first president to stand up openly and explicitly in favor of gay marriage. But he didn't make this decision alone. He's had pressure from voters and his party, of course. But before making this decision he talked with three very important people. Michelle, Sasha, and Malia.
This is a subject the Obama family talked about around the dinner table. And when Sasha and Malia brought up friends of theirs with gay parents, it just didn't make sense to them that those parents should be treated any different from straight, married parents. "Frankly, that's the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective," the President admits.
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Obama also said he talked with Michelle before publicly changing his position, and that she feels the same way: "In the end the values that I care most deeply about and she cares most deeply about is how we treat other people." As Christians they feel that the Golden Rule is at the root of their belief. "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 dad and a husband and hopefully the better I’ll be as president.”
Wow -- I'm getting goosebumps just hearing this! Finally, Obama makes it crystal-clear what same-sex marriage is all about: FAMILY VALUES. Strong families like the Obamas supporting other strong families, no matter what they look like.
I know this statement means a lot to my gay friends -- especially the ones in long-term committed relationships. Their comments flowing on Facebook make me want to freakin' cry. "Go Mr. President, preach to me!" "In the aftermath of North Carolina, we needed this. Thank you Mr. President." "He did it! He did it! Wow ... Thanks, Mr. President!"
In his interview Obama makes it very clear that this is a personal opinion and that he still respects states' rights to make their own decisions -- like the decision North Carolina just made. But his statement is still an important milestone on America's path to equality. Today I am extremely proud of my President.
What did you think about President Obama's announcement?
Image via GMA/Yahoo