In an interview with ABC News, President Barack Obama announced this afternoon that he now supports gay marriage. It's a striking change from the commander-in-chief on the same day that North Carolina's voters followed in Florida's footsteps in passing a gay marriage ban. "I think same-sex couples should be able to get married," he says.
Hooray! Of course, the news isn't likely to have any actual effect -- especially since Obama adds that he still supports states deciding the issue for themselves. Still, Obama's interview should have a particular resonance in Florida, considering voters here passed a same-sex marriage ban on Nov. 6, 2008 -- the exact same day they voted Obama into office.
Here's what Obama tells ABC (via Gawker):
OBAMA: 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.
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Florida enshrined its own statewide ban into the constitution with 62 percent of the vote in 2008.
With the Sunshine State again a key swing state in this year's election, it'll be interesting to see how Obama's new stance plays. Considering the state GOP already blew its bigotry load by getting voters out for 2008's constitutional ban, it's hard to see them mobilizing much anti-gay sentiment at the polls this time around.
Here's Obama's Tweet on the issue (since that's how commanders in chief break important news):