Obama declines to 'make news' on gay marriage in interview
President asked by Rolling Stone if he supports issue 'on a personal level'
Facing re-election in November, US President Barack Obama has carefully avoided endorsing same-sex marriage. He has continued to say he is 'evolving' on the issue while at the same time touting his administration's record on LGBT equality.
In the new issue of Rolling Stone magazine, publisher Jann Wenner tries to get Obama to acknowledge if his stance on the issue is more political than personal.
Wenner asks: 'You've shied away from demanding marriage equality for all. Are you at least willing to say that you support it on a personal level?'
Obama does not bite.
'I'm not going to make news in this publication.' the president said.
But he did use the interview as an opportunity to tout his administration's accomplishments in other areas of LGBT equality including the end of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, changing the AIDS travel ban, establishing hospital visitation rights for same-sex partners, and 'a whole slew' of regulations that have made sure that federal workers are treated fairly in the workplace.
'Ive made clear that the issue of fairness and justice and equality for the LGBT community is very important to me,' Obama says. 'And I haven't just talked about it, I've acted on it. You'll recall that the last time you and I had an interview, we were getting beat up about "don't ask, don't tell" in the LGBT community. There was skepticism: "Why's it taking so long? Why doesn't he just do it through executive order?" I described very specifically the process we were going to go through to make sure that there was a buy-in from the military, up and down the chain of command, so that it would be executed in an effective way. And lo and behold, here we are, and it got done. Ending "don't ask, don't tell" has been the dog that didn't bark. You haven't read a single story about problems in our military as a consequence of the ending of the policy.'
He added: 'We're going to keep on working in very practical ways to make sure that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters are treated as what they are — full-fledged members of the American family.'