President Barack Obama
President Barack Obama has said that his views on supporting full same-sex marriage rights are evolving.
Obama made the statement in a question-and-answer session at the White House with five progressive bloggers on Wednesday.
When asked about his position on same-sex marriage, the President said that while he is a strong supporter of civil unions he has not to this point been willing “to sign on to same-sex marriage primarily because of my understandings of the traditional definitions of marriage”.
He admitted however, “that attitudes evolve, including mine. And I think that it is an issue that I wrestle with and think about because I have a whole host of friends who are in gay partnerships. I have staff members who are in committed, monogamous relationships, who are raising children, who are wonderful parents”.
Obama refused to say if his stance had changed but added: “The one thing I will say today is I think it’s pretty clear where the trendlines are going.”
When questioned about the LGBT community’s disillusionment with his administration’s progress on LGBT equality, Obama said that he felt that this is unjustified.
“I guess my attitude is that we have been as vocal, as supportive of the LGBT community as any President in history. I’ve appointed more openly gay people to more positions in this government than any President in history. We have moved forward on a whole range of issues that were directly under my control, including, for example, hospital visitation.”
“On ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ I have been as systematic and methodical in trying to move that agenda forward as I could be given my legal constraints, given that Congress had explicitly passed a law designed to tie my hands on the issue.
“And so, I’ll be honest with you, I don’t think that the disillusionment is justified,” said Obama.