Top Dem moments of 2012: Obama backs same-sex marriage

Updated
By msnbc staff
In this May 8, 2012 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks in Washington. President Barack Obama faced mounting pressure Wednesday to express support for...
In this May 8, 2012 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks in Washington. President Barack Obama faced mounting pressure Wednesday to express support for...
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File

President Barack Obama declared his support for same-sex marriage on May 9, 2012, becoming the first sitting president ever to do so.

For the past two years, President Obama had said that his views on same-sex marriage were “evolving.” In the May 9th interview with ABC’s Robin Roberts, the president explained: “I had hesitated on gay marriage, in part because I thought civil unions would be sufficient.”

But after some honest soul-searching—talking with the First Lady, gay and lesbian friends and staff members, and servicemen and women who fought Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell—the president announced his support.

“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,” Obama told ABC’s Robin Roberts.

Now, 53% of Americans believe same-sex marriage should be recognized by law, with the same rights as traditional marriage—tying with May 2011 as the highest-ever level of support for the issue, according to the latest Gallup polling.

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Top Dem moments of 2012: Obama backs same-sex marriage

Updated