From First Read on msnbc.com:
President Obama endorsed the right of same-sex couples to marry on Wednesday, a landmark pronouncement made in light of mounting pressure from gay right advocates.
Obama became the first U.S. president to back the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry, a reversal from his own views as stated in the 2008 campaign, when he said he opposed same-sex marriage but favored civil unions as an alternative.
Obama told ABC News that, after reflection, he had “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.”
In making his announcement, Obama completes what he had described as an “evolution” in his views on this issue, hastened by growing fervor this week involving gay rights. The growing pressure was capped Tuesday by North Carolina voters’ approval of a constitutional amendment banning not only same-sex marriages, but civil unions for gay and lesbian couples, as well.