UPDATE: 3:00pm EST
Obama told Roberts:
"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."
The President said that this is a personal position, and that he still supports the concept of states deciding the issue on their own. But said he’s confident that more Americans will grow comfortable with gays and lesbians getting married, citing his own daughters’ comfort with the concept:
"It’s interesting, some of this is also generational,” the president continued. “You know when I go to college campuses, sometimes I talk to college Republicans who think that I have terrible policies on the economy, on foreign policy, but are very clear that when it comes to same sex equality or, you know, sexual orientation that they believe in equality.
They are much more comfortable with it. You know, Malia and Sasha, they have friends whose parents are same-sex couples.
There have been times where Michelle and I have been sitting around the dinner table and we’re talking about their friends and their parents and Malia and Sasha, it wouldn’t dawn on them that somehow their friends’ parents would be treated differently. It doesn’t make sense to them and frankly, that’s the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective."
Roberts asked the president if First Lady Michelle Obama was involved in this decision. Obama said she was, and he talked specifically about his own faith in responding:
"This is something that, you know, we’ve talked about over the years and she, you know, she feels the same way, she feels the same way that I do.
And that is that, in the end the values that I care most deeply about and she cares most deeply about is how we treat other people and, you know, I, you know, we are 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, you know, treat others the way you would want to be treated.
And I think that’s what we try to impart to our kids and that’s what motivates me as president and I figure the most consistent I can be in being true to those precepts, the better I’ll be as a as a dad and a husband and hopefully the better I’ll be as president."
President Barack Obama will express his views on same-sex marriage today as he sits down with Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts at the White House according to a Washington insider.
In the interview, Obama is expected to announce that he has put his full support behind same-sex marriage, a day after North Carolina voters imposed a new ban on all same-sex unions.
We're expecting some of his comments later this afternoon, with the entire interview scheduled to air on Thursday's GMA.
Obama is beginning to feel the pressure from gay rights advocates to endorse same-sex marriage in light of recent comments by Vice President Biden and Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
Biden said he is "very comfortable" with the idea, while Duncan flat out endorsed gay marriage.
Obama has long spoken out in favor of equal rights for gay and lesbian couples, but stopped short of calling for full marriage equality.
In October of 2011, Obama told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that “I’m still working on it,” saying:
"I probably won’t make news right now, George. But I think that there’s no doubt that as I see friends, families children of gay couples who are thriving, you know, that has an impact on how I think about these issues."
He’s making news right now, as we will most likely have a President of the United States who supports the legalization of gay marriage!