San Diego mayor lauds Obama on same-sex marriage - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Diego mayor lauds Obama on same-sex marriage

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  • Obama voices his support for gay marriage

    Obama voices his support for gay marriage

    Wednesday, May 9 2012 5:47 PM EDT2012-05-09 21:47:10 GMT
    Equivocal no longer, President Barack Obama declared his support for gay marriage on Wednesday in a historic announcement that instantly elevated a polarizing social issue to a
     
    Equivocal no longer, President Barack Obama declared his support for gay marriage on Wednesday in a historic announcement that instantly elevated a polarizing social issue to a more prominent role in the 2012 race for the White House. 

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - President Barack Obama's announcement that he supports marriages between gay and lesbian couples was hailed today by San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders.

In an interview with ABC News, Obama said that he "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."

Sanders, who has a gay daughter, was excited to hear the president express his views, but he said he did not think the issue would be a key one in the election.

"It's obviously a historic day for the president of the United States recognize the rights of all individuals to marry," he said. "I applaud President Obama, I know it's a difficult political position but he's on the right side and history will judge him that way."

Obama said he has "been going through an evolution" on the issue and while he has supported equality, he has hesitated on same-sex marriage "because I thought civil unions would be sufficient."

"And I was sensitive to the fact that for a lot of people, the word marriage was something that evokes very powerful traditions, religious beliefs and so forth," Obama said.

"But I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I talked to friends and family and neighbors; when I think about members of my own staff who are (in) incredibly committed monogamous relationships -- same-sex relationships -- who are raising kids together; when I think about those soldiers or airmen or Marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my

behalf and yet feel constrained -- even now that Don't Ask Don't Tell is gone because they're not able to commit themselves in a marriage -- at a certain point 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."

Sanders was opposed to gay marriage when he took office, but announced a change of position in 2007, saying his daughter, Lisa, was a lesbian. He has since advocated letting same-sex couples marry. Earlier this year, he joined other big-city mayors in voicing their support for gay marriage.

"It's very difficult to come to that position at times because you're getting a lot of advice in a lot of different ways and I think you finally have to go with your heart and that's what he's doing," Sanders said.

After the president's remarks were publicized today, Obama's likely opponent in November, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, reiterated his belief in marriage being a bond between a man and a woman.

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