Colin Powell, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State under President George W. Bush, said on Wednesday (23 May) that he believes same-sex marriage should be legal in the United States.
‘I have no problem with it,’ Powell said in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. ‘In terms of the legal matter of creating a contract between two people that’s called marriage, and allowing them to live together with the protection of law, it seems to me is the way we should be moving in this country.’
Powell’s remarks come two weeks after President Barack Obama publicly endorsed marriage equality for the first time.
‘I support the president’s decision and I think most Americans increasingly understand that times have changed,’ said Powell who is making a series of media appearance in support of his new book It Worked For Me: In Life and Leadership.
Powell said he understand some religious objections to same-sex marriages and believes churches should be able to continue to decide what is best for them.
‘I know a lot of friends who are gay who are in relationships with loved ones,’ he said. ‘They are as stable a family as my family. I see no reason not to say that they should be able to get married. … I hope that everybody will just carefully look at this.’
Powell also backed Obama’s successful push for the end of the military’s anti-gay Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy which was enacted in 2003 when Powell was chairman of the Joint Chief of Staffs. It officially ended last September and gays and lesbians can now serve openly in the military without fear of being discharged.