Transcript: ABC News interview with President Obama on same-sex marriage

Transcript of excerpts from ABC News / Good Morning America interview with President Barack Obama on same-sex marriage:

Robin Roberts, ABC’s Good Morning America anchor: “Mr. President, are you still opposed to same-sex marriage?”

President Barack Obama announces he is in favor of same-sex marriage in an interview with Good Morning America's Robin Roberts. SOURCE: ABC News

President Obama: “I’ve been going through an evolution on this issue, and I’d hesitated on gay marriage in part because I thought civil unions would be sufficient.

“But I have to tell you that over the course of several years – as I talked to friends and family and neighbors, when I think about members of my own staff who are incredibly committed, monogamous relationships – same-sex relationships – who are raising kids together – 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.

“And I continue to believe that this is an issue that’s going to be worked out at the local level because historically this has not been a federal issue.”

Robin Roberts: “But Mr. President, it’s not being worked out on the state level. We saw that Tuesday in North Carolina – the 30th state to, in essence, ban gay marriage.”


President Obama: “What I’m saying is that different states are coming to different conclusions. I think it’s important to recognize that folks who feel very strongly that marriage should be defined narrowly as between a man and a woman – many of them are not coming at it from a mean-spirited perspective. A bunch of them are friends of mine – pastors and people I deeply respect.”

Robin Roberts: “Especially in the black community.”

President Obama: “That’s right.”

Robin Roberts: “And it’s a very difficult conversation to have.”

President Obama: “Absolutely. But I think it’s important for me to say to them that as much as I respect them, as much as I understand where they’re coming from, when I meet gay and lesbian couples, for me, I think it has just tipped the scales in that direction.”

Robin Roberts voice-over: “A historic and controversial announcement he says is happening now in part of Vice President Biden’s revelation this weekend that he was absolutely comfortable with same-sex marriage.”


Robin Roberts: “Did he jump the gun a little bit here?”

President Obama: “I had already made a decision that we were going to take this position before the election and before the convention. He probably got out a little bit over his skis but out of generosity of spirit.”

Robin Roberts: “So you’re not upset with anybody?”

President Obama: “Would I have prefer to have done this in my own way, in my own terms without, I think, there being a lot of notice to everybody? Sure. But all’s well that ends well.”

Robin Roberts voice-over: “The President says one inspiration for his change of heart was close to home.”

President Obama: “You know Malia and Sasha, they’ve got friends whose parents are same-sex couples. It wouldn’t dawn on them that somehow their friends’ parents would be treated differently. And frankly, that’s the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective – you know, not wanting to somehow explain to your child why somebody should be treated differently when it comes to the eyes of the law.”

Robin Roberts voice-over: “But what about critics charging this move as just about politics, looking for an edge in a tight race against Mitt Romney?”

Robin Roberts: “You and others in your administration have been critical of him changing positions, feeling that he’s doing it for political gain. You realize there are going to be some people that are going to be saying the same of you about this. Do you see where some people might consider that the same thing?”

President Obama: “I think it’d be hard to argue that somehow this is something that I’d be doing for political advantage because frankly, you know, the politics – it’s not clear how they cut.

“But I’m not going to be spending most of my time talking about this because frankly my job as President right now, my biggest priority is to make sure that we’re growing the economy, that we’re putting people back to work.”

Robin Roberts: “Did you discuss this with Mrs. Obama – the same-sex marriage issue?”

President Obama: “She feels the same way that I do. We’re both practicing Christians and obviously this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others. But, you know, when we think about our faith, the thing at root that we think about is not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf but it’s also the Golden Rule. I figured the more consistent I can be in being true to those precepts the better I’ll be as a dad and a husband and hopefully then I’ll be as a President.”

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One Comment on “Transcript: ABC News interview with President Obama on same-sex marriage

  1. Pingback: Transcript: Mitt Romney reacts to Obama's support for same-sex marriage | What The Folly?!

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