Facing pressure to take a stand, President Barack Obama on Wednesday said he supports same-sex marriage.
In an interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts, Obama (D) described his “evolution” on the issue through talks with friends, and reflection on military personnel and members of his own staff who, he said, “are not able to commit themselves in a marriage,” adding that “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.”
Excerpts of the interview are scheduled to appear on ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer on Wednesday evening. The full interview is scheduled to appear on ABC’s Good Morning America on Thursday morning.
Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) issued the following statement in response to Obama’s endorsement:
“Today, President Obama affirmed that for a people of many different faiths -- a people who are committed to the principle of religious freedom -- the way forward is always to be found through greater respect for the equal rights and human dignity of all.
"In Maryland, we agree.
"Ultimately, we all want the same thing for our children: to live in a loving, stable committed home protected equally under the law."
The General Assembly in February passed legislation legalizing same-sex marriage. The law would take effect in January, but is likely to face a referendum on the November ballot first.
Opponents said last week that they have more than half of the 55,736 signatures required to put the question to voters in this fall’s general election, The Washington Post’s “Maryland Politics” blog reported.
Same-sex marriage supporters are mobilizing as well. Supporters collected signatures in support of the law at polling places during last month’s primary election. Marylanders for Marriage Equality recently held a strategy session in Rockville, the Post reported.
Speak Out: What do you think of Obama’s statement? What about O’Malley’s? Will Maryland’s same-sex marriage law go before voters in November? If it does, will supporters prevail, or will Maryland go the way of North Carolina and 31 states before and reject same-sex marriage? Could it be a topic for the General Assembly’s special legislative that begins Monday?