As President Obama prepares to sit down with ABC’s Robin Roberts this afternoon just hours after voters in North Carolina passed a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and civil unions, political reporters are predicting that he may finally complete his evolution and endorse the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian people.
“Every expectation that we will, within the next hour, be in a different world, where we will have a President of the United States who supports the legalization of gay marriage,” Mark Halperin said this afternoon during an appearance on MSNBC. “The Vice President, I think, forced his hand. But even before the Vice President spoke on Meet The Press in favor of gay marriage, the President was headed in this direction,” he added. Watch it:
Halperin explained the politics of the possible change: “if Republicans go after this hard — now, they’ll do it in a micro targeting way if the president changes his position. If Mitt Romney tries to make this a big issue, it takes them off the economy. If this election is fought not on the economy, that’s better for the President, and I think Republicans will see that. I don’t think this will be a huge issue in the election.”
Obama has long spoken out in favor of equal rights for gay and lesbian people, but stopped short of calling for full marriage equality. In October of 2010, Obama told blogger Joe Sudbay, “attitudes evolve [on marriage equality] including mine.” For a full timeline of Obama’s positions on the issue, click here.
Richard Socarides also predicted that Obama will embrace marriage equality today in an interview with the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent.
ABC News will release excerpts and play clips from the interview at 3pm.