President Barack Obama on Thursday evening told hundreds of supporters at his first ever fundraising event targeted to gay donors, that “we are all created equal” — but stopped short of endorsing marriage equality for same-sex couples.
Obama, who has previously said his position is “evolving” on the subject, said, “I believe gay couples deserve the same rights as every other couple in our country.”
But as many in a crowd of more than 600 shouted “marriage,” and “do you support it,” Obama declined to directly address the issue, even as New York’s legislature continued working Thursday night on a bill that would make the state the sixth to legalize gay marriage.
Obama emphasized marriage was a state issue, not a federal one, and that states would come to their own decisions.
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Just hours after the President’s appearance, the New York state Senate adjourned for the evening without taking up the marriage equality bill.