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Should same-sex couples in the U.S. be allowed to marry? Why or why not?
Throughout his political career, President Obama has gone back and forth in his views on same-sex marriage. And it makes sense to some extent, given how loaded an issue it is in America, where 30 states have already passed their own amendments banning same-sex marriage.
But it took just 10 words from President Obama to end his career-long wrestling match with the issue. During a deceptively casual television interview on May 9, Obama simply said:
“I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.”
And with that, history was made: he became the first sitting American president to endorse same-sex marriage.
Although Obama’s stance on the issue doesn’t change any existing laws, and his endorsement was almost certainly pressured by unexpected remarks that his vice president and education secretary made (both independently voicing support for same-sex marriage), the president’s statement marks a watershed moment in one of this nation’s biggest and most contentious social issues. Because even as the country remains bitterly divided about it, a presidential endorsement packs a pretty powerful punch in influencing the debate.
PBS NewsHour segment Obama Supports Same-Sex Marriage: Now What? – May 9, 2012
President Obama said Wednesday that he now believes “same-sex couples should be able to get married.” Judy Woodruff and author Kerry Eleveld discuss the president’s “evolution” on the subject, then Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry and the Rev. Harry Jackson of Hope Christian Church debate the legal future of same-sex marriage.
KQED’s The Lowdown Same-Sex Marriage Timeline
Scroll this this video timeline to see Obama’s changing positions on same-sex marriage throughout his political career.
The Daily Show segment Endless Suffrage 2012 – States’ Rights Edition – May 9, 2012
North Carolina takes a step towards equality, since many opposite-sex couples will now enjoy the same lack of rights same-sex couples have always never had.