This morning on ABC, President Obama said that he thinks same sex marriage should be allowed. "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," the president said.
But he also reaffirmed his belief that same sex marriage is a states' rights issue, and that it's therefore OK for states to ban the practice:
PRESIDENT OBAMA: And I continue to believe that this is an issue that is gonna be worked out at the local level, because historically, this has not been a federal issue, what's recognized as a marriage.
ROBIN ROBERTS: Well, Mr. President, it's-- it's not being worked out on the state level. We saw that Tuesday in North Carolina, the 30th state to announce its ban on gay marriage.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well-- well-- well, what I'm saying is is that different states are coming to different conclusions. But this debate is taking place-- at a local level. And I think the whole country is evolving and changing. And-- you know, one of the things that I'd like to see is-- that a conversation continue in a respectful way.
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. They're coming at it because they care about families. And-- they-- they have a different understanding, in terms of-- you know, what the word "marriage" should mean. And I-- a bunch of 'em are friends of mine-- you know, pastors and-- you know, people who-- I deeply respect.