"I've just concluded, 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," Presidentsaid in an interview with ABC News, but left the decision to individual states whether they would legalize it or not, GMA News said.
The president, who had previously backed strong protections on gay and lesbian couples but not to ‘full marriage,’ arrived at his conclusion after talks with his wife Michelle acceding on the basis of their faith saying "We are both practicing Christians and obviously this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others, but it's also the Golden Rule, you know -- treat others the way you would want to be treated."
Obama’s change in position about gay marriage also came after he learned that friends of his two daughters Malia and Sasha had same-sex parents, "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."
Joe Solmonese of the Human Rights Campaign said "President Obama made history by boldly stating that gay and lesbian Americans should be fully and equally part of the fabric of American society. His presidency has shown that our nation can move beyond its shameful history of discrimination and injustice. President Obama extends that message of hope to a generation of young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans, helping them understand that they too can be who they are and flourish as part of the American community."
Obama’s decision has made him the first US President to publicly support same-sex marriage amidst strong lobby by conservative groups seeking ban on the controversial issue.