Vice President Biden said Sunday on Meet the Press that he was “absolutely comfortable” with gay marriage, and Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Monday in a separate interview that he thought same-sex couples should be able to marry.
On Monday, Obama’s aides stressed that the president’s views — who supports civil unions but opposes same-sex marriage — remain unchanged, while also arguing that Obama’s position on gay rights is vastly different from that of the likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
The renewed debate on gay marriage comes as North Carolina, a swing state that Obama captured in 2008 by a razor-thin margin, goes to the polls today to consider an amendment to the state constitution that would ban civil unions and domestic partnerships. While the Obama campaign announced his opposition to the amendment, he has otherwise stayed out of the debate on the North Carolina initiative — which polls show is likely to pass.
Meanwhile, a Gallup Poll to be published today shows that Americans nationally are closely divided on the matter — 50% say gay marriage should be legal; 48% say it should not.
Obama has touted his gay rights record — that he has ended a policy that prohibits openly gays and lesbians from serving in the U.S. military, and under his watch the Department of Justice has refused to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman. Romney has vowed to defend DOMA and has signed a pledge to support a constitutional amendment
This article originally appeared on: http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/story/2012-05-08/gay-marriage-obama-biden-duncan/54818150/1