WASHINGTON (abc24.com) - President Obama comes out in support of same-sex marriage in an interview with ABC News Wednesday.
The President previously said marriage should be between a man and a woman, but said he supported civil unions. Now, in an interview with ABC News, he explains why he says he supports marriage between same sex couples.
"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."
In the interview, the President explained why he didn't believe in same sex marriages in the past.
"I had hesitated on gay marriage, in part because I thought civil unions would be sufficient, that that was something that would give people hospital visitation rights and other elements that we take for granted. And I was sensitive to the fact that for a lot of people, you know, the word marriage was something that evokes very powerful traditions, religious beliefs and so forth."
But President Obama says his views on the issue have evolved and he now believes in fairness for same sex couples and their right to get married.
Republican rival Mitt Romney is standing by his opposing views.
"I do not favor marriage between people of the same gender, and I do not favor civil unions if they are identical to marriage other than by name," he said. "My view is the domestic partnership benefits, hospital visitation rights, and the like are appropriate but that the others are not."
It's a hot button political issue, especially for President Obama who needs to shore up support with the LGBT community and younger voters who embrace same sex marriages