WASHINGTON — Two years ago today, President Barack Obama ended a 19-month long evolution on the issue of extending marriage rights to gay couples when he voiced support for marriage equality.
In a May 9, 2012 in interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts, Obama endorsed marriage equality after he said he’s “stood on the side of broader equality for the LGBT community,” but “hesitated” on same-sex marriage because he thought “civil unions would be sufficient.”
“I was sensitive to the fact that for a lot of people the word marriage evokes very powerful traditions,” Obama said.
But after conversations with his own staff members, openly gay and lesbian service members, and discussions with his wife and daughters, Obama said he “just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.”
LGBT and marriage equality advocacy groups praised Obama for becoming the first sitting president to support same-sex marriage, and announcement just six months prior to the general election in which he was seeking a second term in office.