Obama backs gay marriage

U.S. President Barack Obama says he believes same-sex couples should be allowed to get married, marking a shift in his evolving position on the issue that is likely to please his political base and upset conservatives.

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Gay rights activists react to President Obama backing same-sex 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:

"I am sure, however, the president's newly discovered support for marriage is cold comfort to the gay couples in North Carolina,"

– Christopher Barron, chief strategist of GOProud

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.

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Obama says same-sex couples should be able to marry

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:

"It is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.

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.

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