President Barack Obama believes everyone has the right to marry, regardless of sexual orientation. Speaking to ABC News' Robin Roberts Wednesday, the father-of-two admitted he now fully supports same-sex unions.
"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."
"When I go to college campuses, sometimes I talk to college Republicans who think that I have terrible policies on the economy, on foreign policy, but are very clear that when it comes to same sex equality or, you know, believe in equality. They are much more comfortable with it," Barack, 50, explained.
"Malia and Sasha, they have friends whose parents are same-sex couples," he said of his daughters, 13 and 10. "There have been times where Michelle and I have been sitting around the dinner table and we're talking about their friends and their parents and Malia and Sasha, it wouldn't dawn on them that somehow their friends' parents would be treated differently. It doesn't make sense to them, and frankly, that's the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective."
In 1996, as a candidate for the state Senate in Illinois, Barack pledged his "unequivocal" support for same-sex marriage but later changed his position. While running for President of the United States in 2008, Barack said he supports civil unions, but declined to back same-sex marriage.
Barack's new views on same-sex unions come three days after Vice President Joe Biden, 69, told NBC he is "absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties."
The two most powerful men in America's beliefs are not shared by everyone, however. On Tuesday, voters in North Carolina passed a measure to add an amendment banning same-sex marriage into their Constitution.