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Pro-con: Is Obama correct on same-sex marriage?

Barack Obama's evolving stance on gay marriage has finally brought the president and the nation to the bright side of history. For the first time, a U.S. president has unequivocally affirmed that same-sex couples should be able to legally marry. In an interview with Robin Roberts of ABC News, Obama offered a well-crafted and nuanced explanation of how he transitioned from supporting legal rights short of marriage for same-sex couples to endorsing legal nuptials. Obama was careful to emphasize that his position was a personal one. Laws governing marriage are primarily the responsibility of the individual states. Unfortunately, 30 states, including Kansas and Missouri, have laws banning gay marriage. North Carolina joined the list on Tuesday with a public vote. But the tide is clearly turning. And for the first time, the millions of gay and lesbian Americans who want nothing less than the full privileges of citizenship can claim the president of the United States as an ally. – Kansas City Star

President Obama's announcement that he supports legalizing same-sex marriage finally brings his words in sync with his actions. From opposing state marriage amendments to refusing to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act to giving taxpayer-funded marriage benefits to same-sex couples, the president has undermined the spirit if not the letter of the law. As demonstrated by the overwhelming vote in North Carolina, redefining marriage remains outside the mainstream of American politics, especially in the critical battleground states and among minority voters. The president's announcement almost ensures that marriage will again be a major issue in the presidential election. The president has provided a clear contrast between him and his challenger Mitt Romney. Romney, who has signed a pledge to support a marriage protection amendment to the U.S. Constitution, may have been handed the key to social conservative support by Obama. – Tony Perkins, Family Research Council