News / USA

Obama Backs Same-Sex Marriage

Video: Obama discussing his support for same-sex marriage

x
Video: Obama discussing his support for same-sex marriagei
|| 0:00:00
X
May 09, 2012 9:14 PM
In ABC TV interview, President Barack Obama says he believes same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

Video: Obama discussing his support for same-sex marriage

THE WHITE HOUSE - In a major reversal of his position on a controversial issue in a U.S. presidential election year, President Barack Obama said Wednesday that same-sex marriage should be legal. 

 
President Obama's stance opposing homosexual marriage, which he had described as "evolving," was a sore point for the country's gay and lesbian community, which helped elect him in 2008.
Mr. Obama has always supported efforts to ensure the same legal rights and civil liberties for gay couples as married straight couples.  But his opposition to same-sex marriage was thrust back to the spotlight after Vice President Joe Biden told NBC television's "Meet the Press" program on Sunday that he was "absolutely comfortable" with gay marriage.
 
Two other administration officials, including Mr. Obama's education secretary, also voiced their support for same-sex marriage.
 
In a hastily-arranged interview on Wednesday with ABC News, Mr. Obama said an "evolution" in his thinking led him to the decision, influenced by conversations with his staff, gay and lesbian members of the U.S. military and his family. "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," he said. 
 
Mr. Obama pointed to his success in ending the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy barring openly gay persons from serving in the military, and his opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a union between a man and woman.  The president said he has always fought for the rights of gays and lesbians.
 
"I have always been adamant that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally," he said. 
 
Mr. Obama stressed that although his personal view on gay marriage has changed, he still supports the right of individual U.S. states to decide the marriage issue.
 
Analysts say the president's reversal probably will benefit his campaign for reelection against likely Republican Party nominee Mitt Romney.  Mr. Obama received substantial support from the nation's gay and lesbian community in 2008.
 
But the president and his campaign have had to gauge possible negatives of his new position, including the potential loss of support in relatively conservative states and among conservative ethnic minority voters.  In the political swing state of North Carolina, voters overwhelmingly approved a state constitutional ban on homosexual marriage on Tuesday.  Mr. Obama won North Carolina in 2008.
 
According to a recent Gallup public opinion survey, 50 percent of American believe that same-sex marriages should be recognized by law; 48 percent of those surveyed said such marriages should not be legal.
 
Mr. Obama is the first sitting president to explicitly support marriage for same-sex couples.  Organizations representing gay Americans and many political leaders have hailed his decision.
 
The chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, accused Mr. Obama of playing politics with gay marriage, saying that Republicans have not changed their position on the issue. 
 

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid