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.
Obama, who is the first U.S. president to openly back gay marriage, had come under fire this week for remaining mum on the subject after Joe Biden and Arne Duncan publicly declared their support. The president's announcement comes a day after North Carolina voted in favor of a constitutional amendment that bans marriage equality.
Obama's interview will appear on ABC's Good Morning America on Thursday. Excerpts will air tonight on ABC's World News with Diane Sawyer.