For some time now President Barack Obama has said he's stance on same-sex marriage has been evolving. Well today in an exclusive interview with ABC News the president declared he's in favor of same-sex marriages. The announcement was no real surprise, since taking office Obama's repealed the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, and recently called the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.
“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,” the President said Wednesday afternoon.
For same-sex couples the issue of civil unions is often confusing… Just ask Clayton Peterson, he and his partner have been together for more than 30 years, they've been officially married for three years - but that's only in Iowa.
"I don't know whether to say 'Yes I'm married in Iowa, but I'm not married in Illinois, I'm a civil union,'" says Peterson.
The gay marriage issue has grabbed national headlines for the last several days. A new Gallop Poll indicates 52% - the majority of Americans - now support civil unions. But in North Carolina a constitutional amendment just banned unions between same sex couples. And Sunday morning President Obama's often outspoken Vice President Joe Biden announced he had no problem with gay marriage.
"I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexuals are entitled to the same exact rights all the civil liberties and quite frankly I don't see much of a distinction," Biden said Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press.
Peterson says he's encouraged the president's evolved to approve of same sex marriage. Now he says the hope is this will bring about equality.
"I just hope that eventually it conforms to complete equal rights," says Peterson
The other aspect to today's announcement is the political impact this could have. The many of the president's key voting groups - such as African-Americans and Latino voters are generally against gay marriage. And losing support from these two key groups could seriously hurt the president's election chances come November.