Obama's "evolving" positions on homosexual marriage
"I believe that gay couples deserve the same legal rights as everybody else in this country," Mr. Obama said Thursday night at a campaign fund-raiser with gay and lesbian supporters, saying nonetheless the issue was best left for states to decide. "Slowly but surely we find the way forward. That's how we will achieve change that is lasting."
The president's position on gay marriage has been murky throughout his political rise. When he was running for the Illinois state Senate in 1996, he signed a questionnaire saying he supports gay marriage.
In the 2008 election, he supported civil unions and domestic-partnership rights, but said marriage should be between a man and a woman. He has also said the decision to legalize gay marriage should be left up to the states.
The president stuck with that position until last fall when he said he struggled with the gay-marriage issue and that his views were "evolving."
Mr. Obama's top aides spent the days leading up to Thursday's event discussing how he should approach the same-sex marriage issue when he addressed about 600 guests, who paid up to $35,800 a ticket. It was the first gay and lesbian gala for the president, who has been a subject of frustration for gay and lesbian activists. . . .