President Obama disclosed his support for gay marriage on Wednesday. In an interview with ABC News, President Obama said:
"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."
FOX News Radio's Mike Majchrowitz reports:
This a major adjustment in the President's campaign strategy. Up until now, he has tried to avoid taking a firm position on gay marriage, by saying that he supports civil unions, but that his position on same-sex couples has been evolving.
Republicans have argued that the President's actions, refusing to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, opposing state referendum's that enshrine traditional marriage, show that he supports gay marriage all along, but just didn't want to alienate the voters who oppose it.
This could have big ramifications against African American, Hispanic and religiously active voters.
LISTEN to GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's speak about his views on gay marriage:
Rea Carey, Executive Director of The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force released the following statement on President Obama's support: "President Obama's 'evolution' is now complete. Congratulations, Mr. President, for making history today by becoming the first sitting president to explicitly support marriage for same-sex couples. Who benefits? Millions of families who now know that their country's leader believes in fairness for all. This is a great day for America. We celebrate this moment and also remember that the right of loving, committed couples to get married is just one of many issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. It is heartening to know the president stands with our families in the pursuit of full equality, economic security and justice."
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus released the following statement regarding Obama's gay marriage decision:
"While President Obama has played politics on this issue, the Republican Party and our presumptive nominee Mitt Romney have been clear. We support maintaining marriage between one man and one woman and would oppose any attempts to change that."