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The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza analyses what he says is President Obama's calculated gamble on gay marriage.
President Obama's remarks were celebrated by Human Rights Campaign, a gay advocacy group, which said Obama had "made history" with the comments.
Neera Tanden from the Center for American Progress described the expression of support as "another large step toward realizing this country's promise of equality."
Republican gay rights activists applauded the decision but were more muted.
Christopher Barron, chief strategist of GOProud said:
North Carolina voted on Tuesday to join 28 other states that have voter-approved constitutional bans on same-sex marriages, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
President Barack Obama has said he believes same-sex couples should be allowed to get married, Reuters news agency reports.
In an interview with ABC's Robin Roberts, Mr Obama said:
Obama's comments mark a shift in his evolving position on the issue that is likely to please his political base and upset conservatives.
It also comes days after Vice President Joe Biden said he was comfortable with gay marriage.
Latest ITV News reports
George Clooney's dinner is expected to raise up to $15 million for Obama's re-election campaign, a record for a single political fundraising
President Obama coming out an expressing his support for same-sex marriage is an intriguing political calculation.