American president Barack Obama publicly supports same-sex marriage

American president Barack Obama publicly supports same-sex marriage

Washington : DC : USA | May 09, 2012 at 12:09 PM PDT
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Did Joe Biden Really Endorse Same-Sex Marriage?

Barack Obama became the first president of the United States to support same-sex marriage today on an interview with ABC’s Robin Roberts. "Americans should be treated fairly and equally," Obama said. "I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.”

"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."

Vice President Joe Biden talked to David Gregory on “Meet the Press," on Sunday, saying that he is “absolutely comfortable with men marrying men and women marrying women.” He added, however, that “the president sets the policy.” Biden has been a long time supporter of same-sex marriage. In 2010 Biden declared same-sex marriage is "all but inevitable in the U.S.” on "Good Morning America." Before Obama's remarks today, Biden was the highest-ranking American elected official to endorse same-sex marriage.

Following the passage of a constitutional amendment in North Carolina banning same-sex marriage and civil unions, this topic has again been brought to the forefront in political discussions. Same-sex partners are denied more than 1,138 rights and protections which are granted to married couples by the U.S. government. These include hospital visitation, Social Security benefits, estate taxes, family leave and health insurance coverage. In case of death, a partner may even lose custody of a child due to the lack of rights granted to same-sex couples.

The president took steps to ensure “don’t ask, don’t tell” was repealed. This was the military policy that prohibited military personnel from discriminating against homosexuals that were “in the closet” and barred openly homosexual people from military service.

Although the issue of same sex marriage is very important, voters would prefer to see the candidates focus on the economy. Now that this issue is resolved, the hope is that the focus will once again return to putting more Americans back to work, to help prevent them from losing their homes and continuing along the path toward economic recovery. The president making this public statement is expected to raise support for Mitt Romney in his own party with people opposed to same-sex marriage.

If you like writing about U.S. politics and the 2012 campaign, enter "The American Pundit" competition. Allvoices is awarding four $250 prizes each month between now and November. These monthly winners earn eligibility for the $5,000 grand prize, to be awarded after the November election.

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Same-sex marriage supporters are seeking to overturn a California law that limits marriage to men and women
Same-sex marriage supporters are seeking to overturn a California law that limits marriage to men and women
Amee Ellsworth is based in Bennett, Colorado, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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