ICYMI, President Barack Obama said yesterday during his interview with ABC News—in which he came out in support of same-sex marriage—that New York’s vote to legalize it had a role in his “evolution” on the issue.
Obama, who previously opposed same-sex marriage but supported civil unions, told ABC’s Robin Roberts that he considered how he would have voted if he were in the New York state Senate when it voted to pass the marriage law last June. Four Republicans and 29 Democrats voted for the bill in the upper chamber, and it was signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that night.
And—you know, one of the things that you see in—a state like New York that—ended up—legalizing same-sex marriages—was I thought they did a good job in engaging the religious community. Making it absolutely clear that what we’re talking about are civil marriages and civil laws.
That they’re re—re—respectful of religious liberty, that—you know, churches and other faith institutions—are still gonna be able to make determinations about what they’re sacraments are—what they recognize. But from the perspective of—of the law and perspective of the state—I think it’s important—to say that in this country we’ve always been about—fairness. And—and treatin’ everybody—as equals. Or at least that’s been our aspiration. And I think—that applies here, as well.
ROBIN ROBERTS: So if you were the governor of New York or legislator in North Carolina, you would not be opposed? You would vote for legalizing same-sex marriage?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: I would. And—and that’s—that’s part of the—the evolution that I went through. I—I asked myself—right after that New York vote took place, if I had been a state senator, which I was for a time—how would I have voted? And I had to admit to myself, “You know what? I think that—I would have voted yes.” It would have been hard for me, knowing—all the friends and family—that—are gays or lesbians, that for me to say to them, you know, “I voted to oppose you having—the same kind of rights—and responsibilities—that I have.”
(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)