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Obama quotes on same-sex marriage

Wednesday - 5/9/2012, 4:38pm  ET

By The Associated Press

(AP) - President Barack Obama on Wednesday became the first U.S. president to declare support for same-sex marriage. A sampling of his comments on the subject:

"I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have 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 are 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." _ ABC News interview, May 9, 2012

"What you saw was the people of New York having a debate, talking through these issues. It was contentious; it was emotional; but, ultimately, they made a decision to recognize civil marriage. And I think that's exactly how things should work." _ News conference, June 29, 2011

"We may disagree about gay marriage, but surely we can agree that it is unconscionable to target gays and lesbians for who they are -- whether it's here in the United States or, as Hillary (Clinton) mentioned, more extremely in odious laws that are being proposed most recently in Uganda." _ National Prayer Breakfast, Feb. 4, 2010

"As I've said, my feelings about this are constantly evolving. I struggle with this. I have friends, I have people who work for me, who are in powerful, strong, long-lasting gay or lesbian unions. And they are extraordinary people, and this is something that means a lot to them and they care deeply about. At this point, what I've said is, is that my baseline is a strong civil union that provides them the protections and the legal rights that married couples have. And I think _ and I think that's the right thing to do. But I recognize that from their perspective it is not enough, and I think is something that we're going to continue to debate and I personally am going to continue to wrestle with going forward." _ News conference, Dec. 22, 2010

"I support ensuring that committed gay couples have the same rights and responsibilities afforded to any married couple in this country. I believe strongly in stopping laws designed to take rights away and passing laws that extend equal rights to gay couples. I've required all agencies in the federal government to extend as many federal benefits as possible to LGBT families as the current law allows. And I've called on Congress to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and to pass the Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act." _ Human Rights Campaign, Oct. 11, 2009


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)